Last night we celebrated the birth of our oldest son, Chris. He turned 28. He's amazing! He's smart, funny, quick witted, loves Jesus, his wife and his family. He works hard. He gets down at times, but he gets back up. He's not a quitter. It has been a joy and honor to raise him (imperfectly at times) love him and watch him grow into a super tall and loving guy! He's kind of a freak of nature, not sure how he got to be 6'4", but it comes in really handy at times.
As our kids are all now married, the plans for their birthday celebrations fall onto their spouses and we just hang back. When we were invited to join them for Chris's 28th birthday dinner, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate his life.
I am a little more emotional this year as I see him closing in on 30, married and working hard. You see, when I found out I was pregnant with him, I was kind of a wreck. I didn't have my life together. I was single and partying non stop.
But in the midst of that there was one thing that kept me going...VOLLEYBALL. I was good, really good. Granted, today I can't jump 2 inches off the ground, but in my hay-day, I could get up there.
Volleyball was everything. Finding out I was pregnant halfway through the sophomore year of my college volleyball season, with a full ride scholarship offer from another University, sent me into shock.
I didn't know what to do. The school looking to bring me on thought I could swing it, get back in shape, do school, motherhood and play volleyball all while moving away from home. I just didn't see that happening. It was all so overwhelming.
The other advice I was given was to abort. Abort my baby, abort Chris. I remember that voice as if it were yesterday. "You have so much going for you, you should have an abortion." But the thing was, it wasn't just one voice. It was several voices. Several voices telling me to end the life of my beautiful child so that I could play two more years of volleyball. To them it seemed like an easy exchange.
Yet, there was a voice that was buried in my heart that said, "You can do this, I will give you the strength." It wasn't as loud as the other voices. But it was still and small and I wanted to hear more of it.
I remember sitting and telling my parents that I was pregnant. I remember their hearts aching for me, because they knew what my lifestyle was like. I remember my Dad, with love in his heart, suggesting adoption as an option, but I also remember my parents both saying that no matter what they would be there for me, they would support me. And that's what they did.
As a single mom for the first 2.5 years of Chris's life, I was anything but single. I was loved and supported by my family, my parents and my community. That love is what amplified the voice of truth when the voice of the lie seemed so loud.
As someone that always considered myself Pro-Life, even at 19 years of age... I recognize there is a challenge when you are faced with that choice in real life, when you are alone, broke, and people are telling you what you should do, when it is all still legal and accepted.
My point is this: May we be the kind of people that walk alongside others to amplify God's truth into the darkness, truth that is hard to hear in desperation. Sometimes the choice that people would make might be different if they simply felt loved and supported. Maybe it's not enough to simply say 'Choose life", maybe we need to BE LIFE and DO LIFE alongside the hurting.
So as I celebrated the fact that my son turned 28 last night, it was much more than that for me. It was a lifetime of being thankful that He is alive, that he "made it out" (that's an inside joke, but so very true), that he was loved and supported by so many people all throughout his life.
And the most amazing words I heard from my Dad, who was an advocate for all life especially life of the unborn; my Dad, who looked at a broken messed up 19 year old, not imagining how on earth I could parent and care for a human being, let alone, myself was the day that he said to me "Mia, I am so glad that you didn't give him up for adoption. I am so glad you kept him. I love him so much."
Little did my Dad know, I could not have done it without him. Chris, my son, his little boy, was the apple of his eye. Grandpa was the first daddy that he had, until Bob, my husband and his Father, walked into our lives.
So, to my son, Chris, Happy Birthday, I am so glad that you are alive. I am so glad that you made it out!! I simply cannot imagine a world without you ever having been in it. You changed my life.
Before I posted this, I asked my mother for permission. More moving to me than the writing of this blog is my mother's response. Please read her response following the written piece. My portion may not be very eloquent as I had actually written this in my private diary, but I felt compelled to share it with you. . .Strong language is alluded to (well for me it is).
And now, the blog.
"......You didn't grow under my heart, but in it. . . ."
I was adopted and my mom loved me with an everlasting love.
My mom pursued me to Christ, prayed me to a right walk with Him, yet her pursuit of me is nothing compared to the pursuit that Jesus had for my soul.
I remember when I was a teenager, making some really poor choices. I always thought that my mom was nuts, crazy; I didn't get it. She was on pursuit. I had the ability to bring out parts of my mom that no one could have ever imagined. My mother was disgusted with sin. Sin brought out in her a holy anger, propelled by the mandate to raise her children in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it. She was a lioness, protecting her cubs. I just didn't get it.
I didn't get why she cared where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, who I was "messing" around with. She just bothered me and got in my way.
I remember one day vividly, like it was yesterday, thank God it wasn't. I was up at my High School hanging out with my boyfriend, who by the way was a drug dealing gang member who thought it was ok to hit me. My mom came marching across the field this day and went head to head with him and said "YOU WILL NOT F*!# MY DAUGHTER!!" She then grabbed my arm and marched me, a junior in high school, home. I have to note that the only time I ever heard my mom use the F word was in dealing with me and the outright visible sinful lifestyle that I led. Nothing else got her riled up like my sin.
At that point, after my mom just verbally declared a battle for my life, all I was thinking (and probably saying) was how embarrassed I was, how dare she come up to MY school and talk that way to MY BOYFRIEND. I know there were giggles and laughter at this lady marching across the field like that, but had I known at the time what was driving her, I probably would have backed off. She was driven by something greater than herself, fully armed with the love, driven by the word of God and the Holy Spirit was paving the way.
I still to this day don't think she knew who she was going to bat with, but it didn't matter. I was her child, she was called to protect me, be wisdom for me, love me to Christ and raise me in the ways of the Lord so that when I got older, I would not depart from it. That was my mom, my "crazy" little mom, who wouldn't let me be. Man, I love her.
So the battle didn't end there. Many more times, I strayed. It took another 15 years after that for me to grasp the reality of who I am in Christ, where my identity lies, and that God's passion for me to walk in His ways isn't just a cute phrase, but a desire that drives Him, who created me, to pursue me unrelentingly every day to the point of sacrificing His own son, Jesus. If I thought my mom was relentless, Man oh man, she doesn't come close to the love and relentless pursuit God has on our lives.
This life is not about me and what makes me happy and comfortable, this life is serious, it is the beginning of eternity. My eyes are on eternal things. And how awesome that in those eternal things, God grants a deep Joy in walking it out. God has a great command and commission. We are to go, teach, reach, and love people for Christ's sake. It's not a game. This life is serious, this walk is serious, it is eternity, life or death.
So as I now stand in my mother's shoes' having raised three children, (ok, she had seven and sometimes more depending on the foster kids) I remember that pursuit. Nobody messes with my kids. It's enough that Satan is out to lie to them, steal from them and destroy their relationship with Christ. He's NOT messing around and neither am I!!
Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross, so that we all could be restored into a right relationship with the Father and be given freely the gift of eternal life. Thank you for faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. Thank You for Your word, God, Your true Word. You are God alone. Thank you for Your Spirit that guides. Thank You God!
MY MOM'S RESPONSE WHEN I ASKED HER FOR PERMISSION TO MAKE THIS PUBLIC. SHE IS AMAZING!
"Oh, Mia ... whew! ... yes, I did know who I was going to bat with, it was the Evil One ... and if he won with you, it was going to be over my dead body. My small bible has all kinds of verses circled ... lots of markings ... from those days when I needed His comfort, wisdom, and strength from above. I felt like such failure, that I had failed Him and failed you. I poured out my heart to God, for you - because I knew He loved you even more.
And I loved you with all my heart. I definitely was not concerned with my popularity! I wanted to be loved by you, but if that was not to be in those years, it was not so important to me. I loved you unconditionally - and "through it all" - but that would have been hard for you to understand at that time in your life.
I knew what we had promised God, at your baptism, and long before that. You were an incredible gift from God, dropped into our family circle like a little miracle. We weren't sure how long you were staying, but in about 2 hrs we knew we wanted it to be forever. In fact, Julie wrote a note and put it on my pillow the evening of your first day with us - saying "Mom, can she please stay with us forever and ever???"
Until you lay me in my grave, I will forever be amazed at God's remarkable redemption and HIS unconditional love. Dad and I are thankful forever for what He did to turn your life around. He was the one 'who would not let you go"!! Then I will be in heaven praising Him forever for bountiful blessings and tender mercies beyond belief.
I don't think about those troubled days very often - I really don't care to go there as 'the slate is wiped clean', praise God. Often Dad and I will marvel at the joy you have brought us, and the blessing you are as a godly wife and mother ... loving Bob and being wonderfully loved by him, and raising 3 precious gifts from God 'in the way they should go'. No wonder you can write your music, over and over pouring out your praises to our Awesome God.
Yes, you may do with your blog what you wish. I have no secrets from my Lord, or any one else, and what others might think of any of this, it simply doesn't matter to me. You not only write wonderful music, Mia, you also have the gift of writing (and speaking) from your heart of love and thanksgiving, to reach and help others in their walk towards eternity. I really have to find another word for my vocabulary besides AMAZED !!!" -Joan Grotelueschen (my Mom)
I am four solid weeks off the road. It seems like it takes about that long to re-adjust to not living in airpots and sleeping in my own bed. This "spring" I visited 26 different cities with the Aspire Tour. I have had the joy of serving on this team since it's beginning in the fall of 2014. What a ride.
Sometimes, the different cities, airports and travel is a blur, but the one things that stays in focus are the stories of freedom, the faces I meet, the prayers and the hugs. What a whirlwind of joy!
Here are some sweet moments from this spring's Aspire Tour. February 15-May 11th, 2019
And if you like to plan ahead, check my EVENTS page to see where I will be this fall of 2019!
I pre-scheduled a certain graphic to post on my Facebook page last week. At the time, I shared it to encourage those that visit my page. Little did I know at the time, it was posted to encourage me.
You see, I have been battling.
I LOVE my time on the road, the Lord sustains me, but when I come home and decompress, it all comes out at the most inopportune moments.
The other day, I attended my Turbo Kick class which is such a great way to de-stress! About 15 minutes in, not only did my stress release, but it manifested itself in tears. Not wanting my instructor to witness my breakdown, I quickly left and headed to the locker-room where I let it out (thank You Lord that there was no one in there.)
I just bawled... overwhelmed... confused... tired... exhausted.
The workout warrior in me was not gonna let this stop me. I battled back, let the tears finish their business and returned to class.
I knew that I needed to be broken, but I also knew that I needed to battle. Depression hits me, but one thing I know is that I can't let my body loose motion, so I move... actually, I kick, I jump, I bur-bee!
What God shows me in the battle is that He is still good... that this too will end... that His Word is true and that weeping may remain for the night....many nights, but JOY comes!
That is the sure hope. Joy comes in the battle; not just at the end.
So friends, it's okay to sit down and weep, you are still counted as a warrior. The battle belongs to God and He will not fall back. Press on when it's hard, Press on when it's dark, press on when you feel all hope is gone, because you know that it is not.
During a recent VIP Q&A session that I was on the panel for, I was overwhelmed when asked the question about balancing life, travel, ministry, family, marriage...
I don’t know if there is ever balance or what that actually means, but there IS a call from God and it’s not always easy. It’s hard, it’s fulfilling, it’s lonely, it’s overwhelming.
I shared with the audience how I haven’t been to my home church in nine weeks and won’t be back there for another two.
That’s 11 weeks without my church community, but more than that it’s 11 weeks of not sitting next to my husband in worship.
Yet, I go.
I go for the broken. I go for the lost. I go for those who have worn the mask for far too long. I go because the Lord has called. With the blessing of my husband and the covering of my Pastor I go at times in tears and fatigue, BUT I always go in the JOY of the Lord and the expectant anticipation of the amazing things He will do.
So until the Lord calls me home, I will go where He sends me. The balance? The balance is easy to discern. Do what God says or don’t. When I don’t, everything else is thrown off kilter and the balance if off. When I obey the call, balance is restored.
Will you, if you don’t already, pray for me?
Pray for my marriage, my strength and my obedience to His voice. Pray for me to hear and grasp the words the Lord is commanding me to share and that I would share them boldly. Pray for my heart to be soft and open. Pray that I would do the next thing He is asking of me.
Pray especially for my husband. He is my life and my greatest cheerleader. Pray that I would give him the best of me and not the leftover weary scraps.
Please pray and I will pray for you.
Love you in the Lord, Mia
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.