Hello mamas! Do you remember watching “Anne of Green Gables” when you were a girl? It was one of my favorite movies! Anne referred to her friend Diana as a “kindred spirit”. Some friends are extra special and I’m excited to introduce to you a Mom in Progress who is just that. Her name is Katrina Dean.
Hi everyone! Thanks for having me today. Here’s a pic of our family.
Tell us about those boys of yours.
I have 4 absolutely handsome boys! ? My almost-12-year-old Ethan is showing me how fast time flies! He is constantly growing and maturing way too fast! He has hit that stage where you don’t know what to expect from him. I’m seeing him and EXPERIENCING his hormonal changes! Samuel is 8. He is my sweet, compassionate, full- throttled son! Since he was young, he would smother you with hugs and kisses all the while pummeling you with jumps from whatever he could jump from! I remember being pregnant with our fourth son and couldn’t wait till my husband got home to get this boy off of me! ?? Landon is my 5- year- old. He still has his baby blond, wavy hair! He is the youngest and wish I could keep him this age for a few more years! He loves mommy and wants to help me anyway he can! He just mopped the floor for me. ?? He is so polite and occasionally, he still likes to cuddle with mommy!!?
How sweet! You are the ultimate “boy mom”! You mentioned you have four boys. Can you tell us about the one who isn’t in the picture?
Our second child after Ethan is Aaron!! Aaron was my only brown-haired, brown-eyed boy!! Aarron had a smile that lit up a room! Aaron was born with multiple heart conditions that we found out about the day he was born. Our Aarbear, (his nickname) went through open heart surgery at 8 months old. He was also given a pacemaker at this time. After awhile Aaron wasn’t doing well and he had to have a biventricular pacemaker. After a few more months, we were told Aaron would need a transplant. Aaron was put on the transplant list. We went on a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World! Seeing Aaron laugh was healing to this momma’s heart. But Aaron also was starting to show signs of suffering. Just BROKE our hearts. We didn’t want Aaron to suffer. Aaron needed to have a procedure to put in a picc line to put medicine directly on his heart to help him gain strength and put on some weight before a heart transplant. During this procedure, Aaron had his first heart attack. Aaron means “strong”, and this little boy of ours was so strong! He fought through 2 more heart attacks. He was with us for 2 more days. We prayed that Aaron wouldn’t suffer and that if God wanted Aaron to be here with us, he’d make it through. But we also prayed that if Aaron was going to suffer, that he would be taken home. Our Aarbear was taken home on April 11, 2012.
Still when I’m in busy places with lots of kids, I try to count four kids. You know when there are children running everywhere and you try to locate your kiddos and you do a head count? I still count four! He is forever on my mind, always in my heart. There have been plenty of times I’ve asked God, “why?” Plenty of times I’ve doubted God’s goodness. Plenty of times I’ve been angry that He choose to take Aaron home. But can I just say that God has never once left me alone in this journey? He didn’t get mad and throw His hands up and say, “enough.” He actually brought people into our lives to share stories that He knew would help us. He is SO FAITHFUL, even when we doubt.
Yes, He truly is faithful and you’ve experienced that in such a tangible way. Can you share a recent experience that has challenged your mothering?
I was raised in a very dysfunctional home. My mom married several times and I witnessed her being beaten. I was placed in situations where men would take advantage of me. My dad would come home drunk and you never knew what to expect. My mom would chase men that treated her awfully. We were in and out of shelter homes. I can remember a time my brother and I where at school and after classes dismissed, I had this inclination that we needed to get home immediately. As we just about got to the door, I remember my mom opening the front door screaming, “Don’t come here! Go to the neighbors and call the police!” I knew something terrible was happening and I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. The police came and took us all back to a shelter home. That was the story of our life for several years. Then my mom decided to get it together. She went to college. As she went to college, she was so busy building her life that she had no idea what was going on in ours. We grew up not caring about our grades in school and she didn’t ask. I dropped out of school with only 2 months left. I had actually moved out of my mom’s house as I was accused of dressing in an inappropriate way to get my stepdad’s attention. That was the final straw for me. So I moved in with a boyfriend and fell in with the wrong crowd. I dropped out of high school and got deeper into drugs. I finally woke up to where this life was going if I didn’t make different choices. I started taking night classes to finish high school, and I started attending church. Jesus became my best friend! He helped to get this crazy life of mine turned around. I married an amazing God-honoring, (but not perfect) man! We had children and I remember thinking, “I will not raise my children in dysfunction.” I have always said, “Just because I grew up in dysfunction, my children don’t have to.” Just recently, my mom and stepfather moved in around the block. This has caused me to be uncomfortable for a multitude of reasons. In order to protect my children, I had to put up boundaries and that was NOT easy. When the boys ask if we can go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I have to say no. My husband bought the book “Boundaries” and that has helped me to know that as a momma I have every right to protect the boys. Knowing that boundaries are life- giving and freeing has been my breath of fresh air! And that it IS OKAY to have them! I, as a momma, have the right even when others don’t understand.
What a story, friend! It’s so amazing to hear how God has worked in your life to bring you to Him! Can you share a victory you have experienced in your life lately?
I have just very recently talked to my mom about all of the things that have been weighing on my heart- all the things of the past; the feeling like I am responsible for her happiness; why I have had to have these boundaries. I love my mom, I have forgiven her and have had to ask God to help me give GRACE and to let go of the past. After talking with my mom, she actually told me that she is proud of me for being the mom that I am! God knows our hearts and He is constantly working on us to free us! If we can face our fears, if we can come face- to- face with our realities and NOT run and hide; if we can share our scars and hurts, be vulnerable and not try to hold ourselves up and humble ourselves under God’s almighty hand, then He WILL RAISE US UP OUT OF THE PIT! I still will have boundaries, but I feel so free!! I’m not pretending anymore; I’m not hiding from my pain. Not acting like I can handle it all on my own or that the pain isn’t there. I’m not closed in anymore by fakeness. I am free, liberated! He IS FAITHFUL! HE HAS NEVER LEFT ME! It wasn’t easy sharing all that I did with my mom, but I do believe it also helped her!
That is an amazing testimony to God’s power. You were so brave to go to your mom and share what was on your heart! On a much lighter note, will you share something funny your kids have said or done recently?
My oldest son said, “Mom I have hair starting to grow on my legs. That means I’m old enough to have a phone!” ??
Haha! Apparently having hair is a qualification for owning a phone! ? Thank you for taking the time to share with us! I know your story will inspire other moms.
I hope so because being real and genuine has helped me to heal. Hiding the hard places we have been through puts us in a room with airtight locks and hard surfaces that cause us to close ourselves off from anyone. We are depriving ourselves of any hope and we are also living in pride. When we humble ourselves with all that we have been through in life, it gives God permission to help us and bring healing to those around us!! We are sisters in the Lord; we should not walk around in shame for the things we have been through or are going through. Our scars, our vulnerability, and our REALNESS shows off God’s faithfulness!
Wow. That is so true. Do you have any words of encouragement that you’d like to share?
You are not alone, sweet sister in the Lord. Even when life seems lifeless or overwhelming. Remember it is then that He is carrying you. He hasn’t, He won’t, He can’t let go of you! You are His heartbeat! You are exactly the momma your children need! If you need help, don’t withdraw! I promise you, He will send help, He will send a friend, He will never let the righteous be forsaken!! He will continue to guide you! Don’t hide in your pain. Try to conquer your fears, hurts, and pain step by step. You know what? It really wasn’t until I started writing this that I even realized I was hiding from pain. Our scars can bring hope to others. I hope my story brings hope to you, sweet momma!
Amen! Do you have anything else you would like to add?
You are worth His love! You are worthy of His forgiveness! You are worthy to be free! To be real! There is NOTHING He can’t handle!! He’s got you!!! Even when you think He doesn’t!?
Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to be featured in a future Moms in Progress post? Just click here (or the image above) and answer a few questions including the details of your story. We will do the rest.