Category Archives: children

Be Anxious for Nothing

Before I had kids, a wise woman made a statement I have never forgotten: “The theory of a baby and the reality of one are two very different things.” As a young woman with hopes of raising a family, I grasped her meaning only slightly. Once that first baby scream hit the airwaves in the delivery room, my understanding grew immediately.

There is no way to prepare for motherhood. Worse, no one tells you that the rules change every three to five years as the littles grow into bundles of miniature energy balls, ultimately developing into bigger humans with their own thoughts and ideas — lots of them that they don’t mind expressing.

In all these stages, a mother prays, sometimes for patience, others for wisdom, some days  simple survival. As our kids grow older and we learn to navigate the hurricane level storm waves that teenage-hood and young adult land bring along, our prayers can get desperate, pleading, and fearful. On those days, my wise female friend’s words ring back in my ear with a slight alteration: “The theory of raising teenagers and the reality are two very different things.”

Before we have kids or teenagers, we brimmed with ideas on how it would go, what we would do in each situation, or how our kids would act, do, say, and be. Let’s pause and moment and laugh. If there is one thing we know now, very little of that ends up being true.  The truth is the only thing most of us know in these situations is that prayer is our greatest weapon, and if we want to boost those prayers, we pray scripture over those wild and wooly almost adults.

In these past two years, I’ve learned one thing. I don’t pray out of fear for my children. I will not live in anxiety and worry because I serve a God who loves my kids more than I do and will chase them to the corners of the world should they decide to run there. What a comfort!

At such a crossroads place like almost adult-hood (those years from the last part of high school through college or the working world), I’ve learned that one prayer brings my heart peace. One prayer that covers all those little worries and hopes for the future.

{I} ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives and {I} ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better (Colossians 1:9b-10). 

With God chasing them and our prayers for their greater understanding of who He truly is, we can have peace. As we pray this prayer, we can also ask the Lord to reveal those moments to us when he makes himself known to our kids. And my friend, he will. He does! I know this to be true.

So if you are pleading with God over your children in a million different areas, or maybe it’s just one vital area, keep it up. Join me in claiming this verse from Colossians and let’s watch together as the Lord reveals himself in the most delightful, maybe a little painful, but always loving way to our kiddos — I mean, to our almost adults.

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Learning the Letting Go

It’s that time of year where we focus on relationships – mainly of the romantic kind. For me, that focus has widen just a little since having kids.  I have an anniversary date to celebrate my love for my man, but at Valentine’s Day, I do my best to remind my whole family how much they are loved and celebrated. So thus the reason for today’s post:)

Y’all, relationships are hard! That’s no new revelation for any of us. In today’s over-connected world, it’s utterly impossible to go 24 hours without engaging with another person. No matter how hard we might try.

Our God, however, calls us to live in relationship. In fact, that’s the whole reason he created Adam, and then Eve. He longed for companionship, for someone with whom he could  share creation.  That same desire is deeply planted in each of us. (Even myself, who loves spending large amounts of time alone.)

God loves relationships so much, he created the whole concept of family. Putting very different people in close proximity with one another to learn how to love – really love without conditions. To keep it interesting, he lets us all get older so that the ways we used to love must adapt to new seasons of life.

Infants become kids who become teens who grow into young adults. And each time we must adjust our tools of discipline and love. As our kids become young adults and begin to navigate life on their own, we sometimes long for those child-like disciplinary tools that once filled our tool belts. We ache to give a lecture on the ills of bad behavior, poor choices, or annoying habits. We wish we could take away privileges when responsibilities aren’t met, just so we could help them “see” the error of their ways. When their spiritual life falters, or in some cases, vanishes, we want to drag them to church or quote scripture.

I wish I knew the exact age that the rules change, so I could write a book and become a millionaire. But I don’t. I do know that my prayers have changed. I’m learning to control my impulses to launch into a lecture or give unsolicited advice. I’m loving harder in spite of my frustrations. And I’m living by a single verse: The Lord will work out his plans for my life –– for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me (Psalms 138:8). With a singular change –– replacing the word “my” with the name of my almost fully-adult kid –– I gain a new perspective on my role in the life of my older offspring.

When my kids we young, I worked hard to instill in them a genuine faith, not one that I simply taught, but one I tried hard to live. I made mistakes often; I apologized often as well. Even in those days, I put my kids in God’s hands, but I still had a strong ability to influence their behavior. As they grow older, that all changes.

Now more than ever, I’m living the commitment I made on the day we publicly dedicated them to the Lord. This is the point where I allow the Lord to work out his plans for their life. This is the place where I rest in God’s faithfulness, in his perfect love, in his mercy, and his desire to give my kids a hope and future. This is where I loosen my grip and let God take both of their hands. This is where I FULLY TRUST God with my kids’ lives and accept that my role has changed.

The exact nuances of that role change is something I’m learning every day. Some days I’m an ace at accepting it; others, I fight it like a tiger. But there is still one thing that I do without fail: pray for God to chase them, move in them, and use them in His perfect plan. And according to Psalms 138:8, His word says he’ll do just that. And that is everything I hoped since the day they were born.

How has God helped you in this “letting go” season of life?