Athena Moberg-A Military Mom’s Story {Part 1}

May 16, 2014 | Parenting

It’s my privilege to introduce you to my dear friend, Athena Moberg, of Maui, Hawaii. She is one of the most remarkable women I know – I’m glad to call her friend, and I’m excited to speak at her Aloha Conference In September. I’ve asked her to share her perspective on being a military mom. Here is part one of her story. Visit her complete bio here.




Athena-Moberg-Blog-2014-Healthy-Strong-Wise-1 (1)As a mom, I am convinced parenting is made up of equal parts paranoia, prayer, hugs and tears.<–Click to Tweet that!

Today is the first day of Kindergarten.  September 2, 1997.

As I open my eyes on this brisk autumn morning, I lay there wondering how on earth five years have come and gone. With a lump in my throat, I prepare our gourmet breakfast for two. Frozen waffles and juice boxes are set up perfectly on our placemats as I tip-toe back across the one-room studio apartment over to our bunk beds. Finding his Elmo slippers along the way, I lift him out of the top bunk where he is a warm bundle of no-more-tears shampoo and Lion King pajamas. Wrapped in his favorite Power Ranger blanket, he is sound asleep in my arms.

“If God gave moms the ability to pick a superpower, I bet they would choose to freeze time. I would.”<–Click to Tweet that!

As I hug him close, I glance at his little hands. Around his right wrist is a shiny little ID bracelet that I bought for him to wear in case he ever gets lost. On one side: his name, my name, our home number and my work number. On the other side, imprinted deeply are the words Healthy, Strong and Wise. 

We sit at our dining table reciting the pledge of allegiance. He tells me his favorite color is red (pronounced wed). He asks me questions about show-and-tell, story-time and the playground. He is shocked to hear there will be separate boy’s & girl’s bathrooms. Love and excitement fill our tiny home as we finish breakfast and throw away our paper plates.

With his brand-new outfit draped across the couch, he giggles his way into our bathroom. He grabs his step-stool, looking up at my reflection in the mirror and says, “I’m doing my brush-floss-mouthwash-vitamin, mama!” I smile back and tell him how proud I am of him. “Thank you God, for my son…”

I really need my superpower right about now.

Around the corner at school I take exactly 36 photographs, as this is the maximum number available to me on the roll of film I just purchased for $8.95. This is the first of many moments I get teary-eyed over as I grasp the reality of releasing him into this world of Kindergarteners. I engage in meaningless small-talk with other moms as we all watch our children play together on the playground. Their laughter is like music. Their smiles are precious. Then, the bell rings and my heart sinks.

There he is. My only child. Walking away with his backpack on, he is almost 5 years old and looks so grown up all of a sudden. He carries a lunchbox with a picture of his favorite superhero.

As he walks away, he looks at me over his shoulder with a smile that lights up my whole heart.

He waves goodbye to me.

I watch him walk away with tears in my eyes and I thank God for my boy. I pray silently for him as he disappears into the crowd of 5-year olds.


Without my superpower, the next twelve years seem to be a blink.

“Time is the most valuable gift we will ever give our children.”<–Click to Tweet that!

I am pleased to report there is in fact life after the first day of Kindergarten.

What will you remember most about the time you share with your kids?

What will they remember most?

What do I remember most as I glance back over that twelve year span?

If we’re all being honest, yes there was plenty of paranoia, prayer, hugs and tears to go along with the unforgettable memories of birthdays, holidays, morning devotions, school plays, and spelling tests. We enjoyed water balloon fights, go carts, camping, and pizza parties. While I went to PTA, he went to youth group. I laugh when I think of football, little league, laser tag, and Disneyland. I cry when I think of his prom, his homecoming, and his high school graduation.

Even my “would-be superpowers” couldn’t prepare me for what was coming next.


Today is the first day of Boot Camp.  June 13, 2010.

There he is. My only child. Walking away with his backpack on, he is 17 years old and looks so grown up all of a sudden. He carries a lunch I packed him to eat on the flight.

As he walks away, he looks at me over his shoulder with a smile that lights up my whole heart.

He waves goodbye to me.

I watch him walk away with tears in my eyes and I thank God for my boy who is now becoming a man.

With the words from his little ID bracelet coming to mind more vividly than ever before, I pray these familiar words silently over him as he disappears into the crowd:

“There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.” -Luke 2:40 (NIV)

Lord, thank you for hearing my prayers all these years. I pray Your favor will be on our servicemen and servicewomen. Please help us as parents, to treasure each moment we have with our children so they always know how loved they are. Thank You God, for sustaining me through this season.



I would love to hear from you.  Can you relate with my story?  Maybe you cannot…perhaps you, like so many other moms, you’re just struggling to come up for air in the midst of soccer, ballet, scouts, homework and youth group.  Maybe you have lost your child to a tragic death or a broken relationship.  Are your children grown?  Please leave a comment and let me know how this touched your heart. – Athena

Sunday I’ll share part two of Athena’s story. Check out her ministry and radio program at She is incredible, amazing, and has a heart as wide as the distance between Indiana and Hawaii! Join her blog and radio program and come back on Sunday to catch “The rest of the story.”


Simple Secrets For A Compelling Life

Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. Tina Collazo

    Athena, that was wonderful! Memories are so important. It carries us as well as our children during their childhood and teenage years. Praise God for the seeds you’ve planted in his life. You are definitely a VIRTUOUS WOMAN and MOTHER…your son shall rise up and call you blessed! Proverbs 31.28

    • Athena Moberg (@AthenaMoberg)

      I agree Tina! Oh, the teenage years…. I look back on them and take a deep breath. While we are in them it is somewhat challenging, but now… I look back on them fondly and would love to look my son in the eyes and tell him I am proud and blessed. Empty Nesting is ten times more challenging than the Teenage years. Motherhood is such a gift. : )

  2. G. Gates

    You are a gift to so many as you inspire.

    • athenamoberg

      Thank you so much. I am so blessed to be able to encourage other single parents and their loved ones. This journey is more beautiful when we share it with those around us 🙂

  3. Bobbi Parish-Logie

    This is absolutely beautiful, Athena! So full of emotion, capturing the bittersweet emotional journey that is parenting. The details and visual imager make this post so rich. As a single mother of a boy myself I can identify with so much of what you’ve written. I can’t wait to read the next part! Bravo!!

    • athenamoberg

      Bobbi, thank you for your encouraging words. Our children really are our whole world when we raise them as single parents. I’m grateful God has filled us up in a way that we may pour out all of His love onto them as they grow into adults.

  4. Athena Moberg (@AthenaMoberg)

    Oh, Ingrid… thank you. It is such a privilege to peek into the mother’s heart…it is there where much buried treasure is found. My son, too, barely tolerates our only means of communicating during his deployment: Facebook messages and posts. He says he feels “clung-to”…ouch! It is in those painful moments when I can either retreat to the fetal position or reach out and ask God to fill that gaping hole that is shaped exactly like my boy, who is now a man. Thank you for reading and for your heartfelt words… I was thinking of requesting a refund for my superpower… 🙂

  5. Ingrid Lochamire

    This is just so beautiful, Athena. It’s like you’re peeking into my heart. Our four boys are now young men, with the last one “tolerating” a summer at home after his freshman year in college. I’d take that “super power” even today. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story!

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