i realize that so many times in life, we’re unaware of the many things that happen behind the scenes. we’re unaware of the reckless car that runs out of gas before it heads toward our minivan, full of kiddos. we’re unaware of the grand orchestration in the inner most parts of a corporation thus creating a job for our loved one. we’re unaware of the angels protecting the crosswalks. and we’re definitely unaware of all the ways the lord truly goes before us, hems us in & comes behind. i believe sometimes He will pull back the curtain so we get a quick glimpse into some of His works. and i believe sometimes the threads that are woven underneath the tapestry of our lives won’t be seen until that day when we meet Him face to face and then see ….breathtaking moments where our heart can say….wow, it was You all along.
the scriptures say all good gifts are from Him. sometimes we think it’s because of something we did or something we accomplish….all on our own. i believe He allows us to be part of the stories He writes. He doesn’t need us, but He allows us to join in & see face to face what He’s up to. well. these past few days He pulled back the curtain for me & i got a quick glimpse into His heart, His heart for my girl & His heart for this mama that’ll stay behind having sent not one, but two out of the nest within days of each other.
friday evening madi texted dan & i telling us she’d been offered an internship with the Anthropologie’s buying team! this has been a dream of hers for years. she was on track to graduate from georgia state in december, having gone through in less than three years. to make a long story short, she changed up one of her classes this summer to allow her to be gone for a week thinking she’d just take that class in her fall (& final) semester. days before class began she realized a pre-req was required. to make a very long story short, she wouldn’t be able to graduate on time. as you can imagine this caused much disappointment. graduating early would allow her to apply for the winter internship with anthro & now that dream was going to be put on hold.
she spent days researching & applying to other schools in the hopes of finishing online probably spring of 2017. mind you, this all occurred the first week of august. what’s such a big deal about the first of august you ask? well. we were moving savannah out of her apartment in the city to live here the last few days prior to her wedding….yes at this point we were less than three weeks from her wedding. any mother of the brides in the house? can i get an amen? i’ll insert here, three weeks before your daughter gets married and you and said daughter along with madi are the wedding planners is nuts. nuts i tell you! the final push of emails, delegating, gown fittings, orders, phone calls, vendor lists, tracking down guests, travel details. and…we were trying to pack up savannah to move. across the country. the first week of august emi was also packing up as we were days from moving her into her sorority house. she was full on prepping for rush at axo. as if that’s not enough, caroline was in full season with volleyball. first week of august i was feverishly wrapping up a busier summer than ever with my own business. the list goes on. it was a lot. a whole lot.
madi found out there was actually a fall internship available & began the application process. she was immediately interviewed and began what turned into a six week interview process with what felt like everyone and their mama from anthropologie’s home office. she began to talk about the what if’s of moving. oh did i tell you? anthro’s HQ? it’s in philadelphia.
let me tell you a little about my madison. we’re very very close. she’s been my right hand in many ways. she’s a chatty introvert who loves her family fiercely. she went with me to many of my noonday trunk shows & often times wanted to come along & assist on my photoshoots. she loves to hang out with dan & i. she works like a machine. she’s maternal and enjoys spending time with her little sissy. we have much in common. and honestly i think she likes me. i think many of you wonder if your little one & you will be friends when they become teenagers and even into young adulthood. it’s a sweet thing when even through hard times, miscommunications & misunderstandings you see that they really do like you. and when they seemingly love to spend time with you, well it’s the icing on the cake. i had a client text me this week & say she was at anthropologie and saw a young woman who was clearly my twin. she had no idea it was my madi. when she saw my post about madison’s internship she flipped realizing it was indeed my girl.
well last friday madison’s dream of working with anthropologie was realized!! i am OVER THE MOON thrilled for her!! she’s worked like a beast for the shop in westside for four years. they hired her when she was in high school-she was dual enrolled at the time and we honestly think they thought she was in college full time. follow? she was the baby there and has grown up with them for over four years. you guys. i’ve never been there, but as you can imagine the home office is AMAZING. i mean AMAZING!! ( here’s a hint, look up URBN on insta & check out some pics) . here’s an article about the “epic campus” home office. i die.
we were in athens with emi friday celebrating her sorority’s parent weekend when madison let us know her news. first thing saturday morning i posted on instagram the awesome news. i also halfheartedly included something along the lines of ….if anyone is renting an inlaw suite let me know. at the time of the post, she needed to report in less than two weeks. yes essentially it was a roommate open call. i know no one in philly. the thought of her heading up in a matter days, to start a new job, while taking a full load of college courses online, knowing no one was what caused me some serious stress. during those weeks prior to the wedding, i totally compartmentalized and put away the thought of sending her away. cheering her on, wanting her to land this job, YES!! moving, leaving the nest, a whole lotta new simultaneously, no.
within less than two hours someone reached out and offered to host her for the entire 10 weeks of internship. she sent a plethora of emails about their finished basement, she was cooking homemade chicken noodle soup for two of her four (adorable children). details on the commute madi would have. i kid you not. by middle of the day i had another family offer to host her, again for the entire internship. pictures were sent of their family & their golden doodle. we had multiple mutual friends. she would be a 7 minute walk to the train. two families you guys. two busy families who i’ve never met offering to love on & host my girl ( both included “she’s welcome to have thanksgiving with us…one even “your entire family is welcome to join us for thanksgiving”) until middle of december. by the next day a third family reached out with the same offer.
i can’t even.
i made a little note on my agenda that the moment the email arrived ( the moment less than 2 hours from my post) the song playing on my computer was chris tomlin’s “how great is our god”. i’ve received so many emails with notes saying things such as “we don’t have a room but would love to have madi over for dinner”, “we’d love for her to come to church with us. we attend one of tim keller’s church plants”, “i don’t have an extra room, i wish i did, but i’m just a phone call away & we’d love to have madison over anytime”. i received so many of those i actually created a mailbox within my inbox labeled “philly”.
i can’t even.
besides the heartache all us mamas have sending our birdies out of the nest, i feared there was just “too much” , way too much, too far away for us to figure out before her first day. which at this point, is in 9 days.
yesterday i spent some time just humbly thanking the lord. He knew. and while i’ve never heard his voice audibly, i felt this is what He told me.
paige. i knew this was going to be very very hard for you. i see you & i see madi. i see all the hopes & dreams you have for her and i see all the dreams she has. and i heard your fears. so i went before you. i always do, you just don’t always see it. but i’m always there. i put on these families hearts to invite madison into their lives, into their stories. i’ve always gone before you & i go before you now. & i go before your babies. the ones i chose you to raise. the ones i chose for you. so, i’ve got this. i’ve taken away all those fears & figured this out for you. now go cheer her on. it’s her time to fly.
all good gifts are from Him. my girl savannah is living a dream right now. her hubby has an amazing job. they’re in an amazing city. her wedding was everything and more. my sweet madi girl has the opportunity she’s dreamt of for years. and these families are a gift from Him. with their pots of chicken noodle soup & private suites ( one even offered her a car during her stay), with their precious children & fluffy pups ( one has already purchased shampoo & conditioner for her. ya’ll. what on earth. can you even?) it’s all from Him. all of it. and i will give Him, not instagram or social media, Him all the glory.
here’s what i want you to know. the scripture says~ Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! ( hebrews 13.2). and i believe the flip side is even true. He uses regular people with regular names in regular neighborhoods with regular crumb filled cars to be His vessels. everyday. & while we may never get a glimpse behind every curtain to see the glorious works of the heavenlies in our regular moments, don’t doubt for a moment that that’s what’s behind every good gift.
dan will drive up to philadelphia with my “little bird” ( my nickname since birth for her) in 8 days ya’ll. 8 days. and in 11 she’ll begin this next chapter in her story!! she’ll be spending time with both families with hopes that we won’t overstay our welcome or be a burden. i can’t wait to see this all unfold and i can’t wait to hug these women in person!! i’m so excited for my girl i don’t know what to do. well, i’ll tell you what I’m going to do…im going to book many a flight to see her and i’m going to count my blessings with a thankful heart!!