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{HeartTouchers.com}   *The Heart To Let Go* 

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If you enjoy this email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by visiting:

http://www.HeartTouchers.com

Be sure to check out our inspirational list just for teenagers!

http://www.Heart4Teens.com

 
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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book!  Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you!  An E-book version is also available for just $3.25!

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Booklocker.com

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For those of you who are in the southern Wisconsin/Northern Illinois area, I will be preaching at our church during the 11:00 am service on Father's Day June 19th.  For directions on how to get there visit:
http://www.FaithCommunityChurch.net

To listen to the last message I gave you can visit our website at:
http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the first link you see at the top of the page!

From my family to yours,
Michael

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THE HEART TO LET GO

By Ginger Boda
 

It's seems like just yesterday those little notes signed, "(heart), your only daughter," would pop up around the house for no special reason.  I often wondered if she was trying to tell me something.  Maybe I was giving more attention to her older brothers than to her, maybe she was feeling insecure about our relationship, or maybe she was just being the loving little girl that blessed my life everyday.  Bottom line is this: I took her love for granted.

As the teen years rolled around, I looked upon my budding blossom, with her modest attire, her quiet reserve, her many academic achievements, and her compliant behavior; and I could not imagine that she and I would ever be "at odds with each other."  She talked to me about everything, and she looked up to me. I went to every soccer game, track meet or special event.  She and I teamed up to decorate for family birthdays, give each other pedicures, laugh and cry while watching movies with one another.  We baked goodies in the kitchen, as I tried to instill in her how important it was to serve others and extend hospitality.  We went shopping for clothes, and we always seemed to see eye to eye about everything. She was a "good girl" and I was a proud mama. She told me that many of her schoolmates "were either promiscuous, pregnant, drinking heavily, or worse," adding, "You don't know how bad other parents have it, Mom." I just assumed that she would never fall into any of those traps, because I was "always there;" the devoted "stay-at-home Mom," with great kids and the badge to show for it.

Then one day, it all began to fall apart, right before my eyes.

I was shocked to find that our car was missing one morning, when her father got up for work.  We checked our daughter's room, only to find her missing as well.  Frantic, we began making phone calls; to her cell phone, her friend's homes, etc.  No response.  Then finally she answered, and confessed that she was "on the freeway, coming back from a party."  She had defied our rules, sneaked out of the house, took the car, and we were flabbergasted!  As she entered the house that morning, the tears began to flow.  She explained that she "was tired of being the good girl."   All of her friends were at that party, and she was never allowed to go, so she just decided to rebel.  I remember looking at her with my mouth open, speechless for a moment.  We had never had to discipline our youngest child, really.  She never needed more than "a look" from either of us, to teach her right from wrong.  For the first time in her young life, she was grounded.

The little "heart" notes began to dwindle from sight. The times we spent in the kitchen became few and far between. Her clothing choices became more revealing and our "talks" turned into "20 questions," as the gap between me and my daughter grew wider and wider.   

It was Christmas Eve, and I was busy preparing the meal, and appetizers, when I urged the kids to help out.  Although our two sons were included, I always expected more out of my daughter.  After all, she WAS a female!

In the midst of my complaining to her, she burst out with an emotional, "Mom, I am NOT like you ... I don't like domestic duties... I am going to be a "career woman" with a maid and a cook!  I don't have the same interests as you!  I'm not just going to stay at home; I am going to be more than that!"  Well, the lump in my throat was obvious as I responded back, in self-defense.  I reminded her of the jobs I held outside the home during her childhood, working graveyard shift, so that I could be home when she and her brothers needed me. Through uncontrolled tears, I pointed out the sacrifices I'd made, and the reasons for doing so; to ensure that she would have all the necessary teaching and training I could give.  How dare she make me feel like my life "was a waste" and not worth emulating.  I was hurt, deeply hurt. 

In the days and months that followed, it was made clear to me that my counsel was "old fashioned" and my morals were "outdated," as was my taste in clothes.  My daughter no longer wanted me to shop with her, talk with her, or anything.  I was losing her.

My closest friends tried to console me and remind me that "this too will pass."  They confirmed that we had raised our kids in the way they should go, and God's promise to us was that "when they were older they would not depart ." But my heart was heavy, as I worried about her going too far, possibly hurting herself.

When my husband and I were planning on moving to a new city, my daughter, who was now in college, informed us that she would not be going with us, but would be moving out on her own . with a friend.  It was hard enough when my two sons ventured out into the world, but it was devastating for me to think about our little girl, our baby, doing the same.  I wasn't ready for her to go; I wasn't ready for the "empty nest;" There was so much more to teach her, to give her, to prepare her, I thought.  I cried to her father, "Why doesn't she need us anymore?"  "How are we going to protect her?"

The day we packed up her belongings and set her up in her own apartment was a painful phase for me.  I must have called her cell phone five times in the first fifteen minutes after heading for home.  She never answered.  I sat in the middle of her empty room, once filled with pink frills, trophies, and collector dolls, and cried my eyes out.

It wasn't long before her father and I learned that her "roommate" was her boyfriend.  Although she had lied to us (to avoid the parental confrontation), the truth had finally come out when she called for help with her car.  My husband was just as upset as I was.  The blow of his daughter's "new roommate" was evident as he shared with me how he felt robbed of that precious experience of watching her go out on a date, with the boy coming to our home, seeking her father's approval.  Sure he had "met the boy" but he definitely wasn't ready for this! 

Again and again, my family and friends would reassure us that our daughter was just trying to "find herself," "to be her own person," and "stretch her wings."  I, for one, would often wonder "what did I do wrong?"  And I would pray for her safety, her life, and her heart.

Then one day she announced that she was going to become an egg donor.  At 20 years of age, how could she make a decision such as this? I thought.  I tried to discourage her, but she was adamant about it.  I made my opinion known, as I had about her living arrangements, but it seemed to matter little to her.  She went ahead with the process.  Not once, not twice, but three times in one year! 

The pivotal place for me was when she asked me to come along with her, to be there during each procedure.  I knew I could have stood my ground, insisting on having NO part in this decision, with hopes that she would see things my way, and wait till she had her own children first.  But I didn't.  The bottom line, I decided, was that she was my daughter, and I would love and support her no matter what she did in life, or who she lived with, or how different she was from me.  I began to let go.

Over a year and a half has passed since that Christmas Eve when I lost connection with my youngest child; my baby girl.  During that time, I observed how she called and chatted with her father about many things; career choices, vehicle maintenance, job ethics, investments, and education.  He never brought up the life choices that she knew we disagreed with, but just continued to keep the door open for her.  Often, the call ended without so much as a "let me talk to Mom" comment.  I was hurt, but I understood, since most of our conversations always led back to "what she was doing wrong." I realized that my reminding her of what I thought she should be doing was only pushing her away.

I guess you could say it was a turning point for me.  Having felt like a failure as a parent, as a role model, as a Christian woman, a heavy cloud had formed over my head. It affected every aspect of my life.  I even stopped writing, assuming that there was nothing to write about since there was "no happy ending."  There were, also, other family crises that contributed to my ongoing depression, as well. I knew that God was in control, and not me, but I was angry at Him for allowing things to go the way they did. 

Sometimes, we just have to learn the hard way, don't we? 

Now, my parental plight could have been worse, and pales in comparison to others, but the concept is still the same. Accepting the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference is the key. My daughter's situation remains the same; however, the phone rings now, almost every day, with her need to "just talk," or a "quick question," or a "how ya doing?"  She may  call me for a family recipe, advice about personal issues, or with a plan for the two of us to go to a play or shopping or an amusement park together, just us girls.  I smile inside.  It spreads to my face as I listen to her, and see her with new eyes. 

We are enjoying womanhood together, and although I am still her Mom, she considers me "her best friend" as well.  Our relationship has flourished and she knows I want only the best for her.  I thought I had lost her, but when I learned to let go, I found her heart again.  When I gave up trying to control her life, I found my own peace.  It's not the completed "happy ending" I was hoping for, but I trust God to take care of the rest.  The empty nest is a tough transition, no doubt, but there really is life after it happens.  I may not always agree with what our kids do, but I agree with who they are. Doesn't God feel the same way about all of us? 

Recently, a card came in the mail from my baby girl, thanking me "for always being there for her." She added, "You raised me into a woman, a reflection of you.  I cherish the times when people say, ?you're so much like your Mom,' yet I know I still have much to learn from you ... Thank you for being so patient . I love you."

And it was signed, (heart), your only daughter.

Ginger Boda, 2005
Rhymerbabe@aol.com

Write Ginger and let her know your thoughts on her story!
 
Ginger is an award winning author and contributor to various online publications.  Her work is also featured in Chicken Soup For the Bride's Soul, and the Christmas edition of God's Way.  Weaving faith, tradition and humor into her stories and poetry, she writes from the heart.  Ginger lives in Southern California with her husband, Mark, of 28 years.  They have three grown children, who have left the nest, but visit often ... to their parent's delight!  Ginger also loves to read, garden, karaoke, and strives to make a memory every day.


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Thought For The Day:

"You always pass failure on the way to success." --Mickey Rooney


Verse for the Day:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."


Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Dirt is only considered bad when it's not on the ground."


Parent's Thought For The Day

"Shouting at your children to get cooperation is about the same as steering your car using the horn...same results."


Coach's Thought For The Day

"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." --Hank Aaron


Writer's Thought For The Day:

One of the reasons one writes is to write the book that doesn't yet exist." --Erica Jong


Deep Thought For The Day:

"Into every life some rain must fall. Usually when your car windows are down."


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Have you been to the HeartTouchers.com website lately?  If you like what you see and would like to have your own professional looking website, visit the link below.  Bizstudio has been a wonderful service for HeartTouchers.com and with 701,767 visitors and over 1,363,542 page views in the past three years, the website has been a tremendous tool in helping us to "Touch Lives, One Email at a Time." Although I had no prior experience building a website, I was able to create and build the HeartTouchers.com site easily utilizing Bizstudio's online editor.  It includes an Online Site Editor, Unlimited Updates, Unlimited Pages, Professional Themes, Pre-Programmed Features, E-mail Accounts, and free Search Engine Submission.  If I could do it with no prior experience you can too! Check it out at this link:

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Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Love,
Trisha
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business
by visiting: http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery

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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?
http://www.greatcom.org/english/four.htm

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Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the HeartTouchers.com bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with!

http://www.HeartTouchers.com/books


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A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions.  An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $3.25 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 for the print book. Plus your EBook will arrive the same day you order it and you can begin reading the stories right away!

EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that is already on your computer. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this link to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter."

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

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