Wednesday, September 21, 2011


a child at twenty
i've been through plenty
life is no longer for me
it is for her,
can i do this?
i'm not sure
trips, boys, parties, danger
i've missed out
i'll never know what that's all about
i want to be just me
i want to be free
i want a chance
i feel mine is gone
i want a dream
i feel mine is lost
i want hopes
i feel i have no hope
i want myself
where am i?
written by gina l masterjohn/1995

Madelynn Violet 
I still am head over heels in love with this picture! I didn't like pink and all things girly when she was little, now I am super girly and adore Pink! Her closet was filled with tans, black, greys and red.
January 15, 1995

i wrote this poem when i was 20 years old, and in the thick of confusion,
emotional pain,
and feelings of being totally lost.

Her and I at the Minnesota Zoo/September 1995(look at that face)!

 i loved my baby girl just like anyone else does when you first
see your child, nothing compares to the feeling, and there are
no words in the english dictionary to describe how much we love
our children.
but i think my life was flashing before me in this time;
i mean i look at this poem today, and i don't really feel
any of what i wrote then....

 Cutie at 3

i haven't missed out--maybe in a traditional sense, but honestly
i've gained so much! i learned how to maneuver single motherhood
unexpectedly and survive by myself juggling things that
should "normally" be dispersed between 2 people.
i have discovered that my dreams aren't the way i thought
a lyric in a Sara Groves song I CLING to.

but i've discovered new dreams, new freedoms. i've realized that life
is found in God, and loving him and his people. i have found that
my dreams were pretty self-centered anyway--i  have now become a wife, and i put all of me into that too.
i found that i was able to
put all that energy from my twenties and thirties (still thirties cough cough), into raising up
an incredible toddler, adolescent, and now woman-instead of
partying, or going to college--and I'm at peace with that. i'm ok with the fact
that my experiences were different than i thought they would be. i have gained character, and have learned to persevere. what is better than endurance, and wisdom?

At my Wedding, she was my Maid of Honor/November 2001

i look back at this poem and i see such a immature child. not in a
bad way--i've just come so far, it has been quite the journey for me,
but i made the best of a situation that i didn't plan, and today?

i couldn't be more thankful or grateful for my girl. i thank GOD
for this child every single day, every time i look at her actually.

she's my miracle. she is my dream. she is my life's work.

unexpectedly yes, but wholeheartedly i embrace and  consider
it an honor to raise her.
i love motherhood more today than i did when i first
laid eyes on her. aren't our hearts incredible? that
we can love MORE?

how great is our God.

 She has a great laugh!

So how does this happen? 16 whole years! Photos amazingly taken by the gifted AJ Doetkott @

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


Kevin Norman said...

Madelynn is an amazing young woman and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Thank you for being a wonderful mother.

austintwalker said...

What A Tribute to A Great Mother & Daughter.
You have raise quite a woman.
God has blessed you two with an intimate relationship.

Keep up the good work

chestnutmocha said...

you both are so wonderful! i enjoyed looking through the photos and your comments!

Gina said...

thank you all for your sweet and thoughtful feedback, I cherish it!

ruth@gracelaced said...

I love this post, Gina. Oh to be blessed with that perspective as a mother! What a wonderful testimony of how the Lord makes beautiful of what doesn't make sense to us at the time. Thanks for a lovely post!

Anonymous said...



Gina said...

Thank you Ruth and Ann! Hard to believe she graduates in 2 years, after all we've been through....!

Gina said...

and Kevin and Austin, thank you both so much for commenting, I cherish each comment, they mean so much!

Sarah Kate said...

I LOVE this. I love everything about it - the words, the truth in it, the fact that you still have it after all these years. :o) I practically could have written it myself. I remember those feelings SO WELL.

Actually, that's not entirely true, enough time has passed that those old feelings sometimes feel like someone else's. And then I read this, and it's like I'm right back there again, 18, scared and completely lost. I remember feeling like this too - like I'd given up my entire life. I was so incredibly wrong, but try telling that to a stubborn, selfish high school senior.

Thanks for sharing this. It hurts a little to be able to relate, but now in a good way. :o)

Laci Burton said...

There is no end to the words that can be used to describe the ways in which God moves and yet words can never do justice to how His movements can make us feel. I get why my words to you have left you scratching your head because in actuality they have been your words, that have echoed through your mind only I hadn't read them yet. And that's just the way He moves ;)