Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

wisdom

 

 

When my kids were young, I often thought how easy parenting would be when they grew up. My daughters are now 21, 20 and 18 and I now know that parenting gets much tougher when your children grow into adults and start dealing with adult problems. It gets tougher when, as a parent, you give them advice and it goes unheeded. You sit back and watch them suffer the consequences of their decisions, wishing that they would have listened to your wise advice before rushing head first into a difficult situation.

 

It never ceases to amaze me, how God can use my experiences in parenting my own children to give me glimpses of His character. How many times has my heavenly Father tried to warn me about a course of action that I was hell bent on taking? How many times has the Holy Spirit said, “this isn’t the best thing for you”? I understand now that He must have sat watching me suffer the consequences of my decisions. He must have been heart-broken knowing that I could have been saved this suffering, if I would have listened to His advice. I know that I am heart-broken knowing that this child that I love could have been spared this heartache had she listened to us, her parents.

God gives us free-will and sometimes we have to learn things the hard way. Sometimes we have to take the tough road in order to know for ourselves that it isn’t going to work the way we want it to. It is never easy, watching your child suffer. It is even harder when it is an adult problem and there isn’t anything you can do, but watch and pray.

Dearest heavenly Father,

I am so sorry for not listening to you. I am so sorry for not heeding your advice, when you tried to save me from the consequences of my own decisions. I know now. I get it. I see how hard it must be for you to watch me suffer when I didn’t have to. Help me to use this life lesson in the future. Help me to listen to you before I rush head first into a difficult situation. I love you, Jesus.   Amen.

Read Full Post »

the storm

 

 

Matthew 14:22-33

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

 

It was a normal Thursday morning in mid-October. I had just picked up my oldest daughter, Cherokee, from her dorm room, and was going to spend a few hours in the prayer room at a local House of Prayer. We had not even made it out of the parking lot when this precious child of mine announces that she was pregnant. I was floored. She was 19 and had just started her first semester of college. She had been seeing this boy off and on for just over a year, but I had no clue they had taken things that far. Cherokee was always my purity ring wearing God girl. As I drove to the House of Prayer, she says laughing, “Well, I thought I would tell you now, since you were on your way to the prayer room.” Cherokee and I had always been close, but we had recently struggled in our relationship, as she pulled away and discovered her independence.

We did not end up at the prayer room that day. We went window shopping and simply hung out and talked about her future. I was heartbroken for this daughter of mine, but I also cherished the life that she carried. As I loved Cherokee that day and in the months to come, I felt the love of God as I had never felt before. I focused on God and took comfort in Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.

I felt God’s unconditional love for me in all my imperfection, as I stood by my daughter and loved her through this tough time. My hopes and dreams for my first born were dashed, but new dreams took their place. She was 6 months pregnant when she and Nick married. Ava was born in June of 2013 and is the sunshine of my life. Cherokee, Nick and Ava live on a Marine base in North Carolina. Ava is 16 months and is a blessing in my life.

My dreams changed. When I focused on Jesus in the eye of the storm, I was blessed with a grand-daughter and a son-in-law that I am proud of. It was a difficult time, but I chose to keep my eyes on Jesus and I was blessed.

Often, when we as mom’s are in the middle of the storm, we doubt that Jesus is there to help us walk on the waters of our trials. He is there. We simply have to focus on Him and not our situation. We have to keep the faith and not doubt. Jesus tells us to take courage, do not be afraid. He is there standing in front of us, encouraging us in this journey of motherhood. Focus on Jesus, sweet mom, and not on your circumstances and you will be able to walk on the water of the stormy seas of parenting. Jesus is right in front of you, encouraging you. Go to Him.

Read Full Post »

cat love

 

 

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

My thought as Mother’s Day approaches is: have I done my best? Have I done everything possible to raise them up to be Christ followers? I worry sometimes that I have made to many mistakes, that I haven’t been a good enough mom, that I have harmed them in some irreparable way that I will never be able to fix. My two oldest daughters,19 and 18 respectively, have a relationship with God, but are still figuring things out. I watch them and wish they would embrace Jesus with all of their hearts. I can’t force this on them. I worry that I have not given them enough information about Jesus, for them to want a relationship with him. I worry that I have not been the role model of a Godly woman that I should be.

I know they are not perfect, but there are times when they are fighting and screaming at each other that I wonder if I’ve done something horribly wrong. There are times when they are selfish, mean, disobedient, defiant, and rebellious that I think, is this what I have modeled to them? Is this what I have taught them? It scares me, because this is not how I want them to be. This is not how I want to be. I want them to see Jesus in me. This is what I strive for, but I wonder if it is enough.

Then in his mercy, God gives me a glimpse into the core of their hearts:

Cherokee, my 19 year old daughter, is expecting my first grandchild in mid-June. Cherokee usually listens to secular music, but one day when running errands with her, I noticed her car radio on WBGL, our local christian radio station. I commented on it and she said, ” well, I don’t want my child listening to that other stuff.”

Earlier in the school year, Kiowa, my 18 year old daughter, noticed that an autistic boy in her school was being bullied by a group of boys. Kiowa stood up for him and took him under her wing. She reported it to the teacher, nothing was done. She went to the dean of students, nothing was done. She then, wrote a very well written letter to the principal, telling her the entire story. The principal called Kiowa in to her office to hear from her what was going on. Something was done and the bullying ended. Kiowa was called a snitch from then on, but it was a name she wore proudly.

Cree, my 16 year daughter, is a student leader in her youth group. She has a heart for the hurting kids in her group. Many of them come to her with questions about Jesus and being saved. They look up to her and she is a role model for them.

Talon is my oldest son. He is 13 and like Kiowa, he is a protector of those who are bullied. Last week, another 6th grader was being put in the trash can by another student. Talon happened to be in the restroom where this was taking place. Talon grabbed the bully and shoved him away. Talon then helped the kid out of the trash can and they went their separate ways. Talon also has a heart for serving others. We will often find him helping others mow their grass, shoveling snow, or giving bottles of water to the mail carrier in the middle of the Summer.

Ty, my 11 year old is very active. I never really know what is going on in his mind. About a month ago, he came up to me and asked, “Would Jesus tell on someone?” I told him that Jesus doesn’t have to tell on anyone because he was able to deal with things on his own. Ty proceeded to tell me that a boy in his class had pushed him and Ty did tell. I told him that it was okay to tell, because sometimes we need help dealing with situations like that. I thought it was great that he wanted to know what Jesus would do in that situation.

I was grateful that God would give me these wonderful glimpses into the hearts of my children. I do worry at times and there are times when I feel completely helpless in parenting, but this verse comes with a promise: If we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. We all make mistakes, but if we do our best to raise up Godly children then we can trust God with the rest. Our children may wander from the path, they may turn away from God for a time, but God will bring them back. This is his promise, if we do our part.

My daily prayer is for wisdom, patience, perseverance, and God’s grace as I parent my 5 children. They are all unique individuals, responding to different ways of correction. With God beside me, I apologize when I mess up and move on. I make mistakes, but I trust God to use those mistakes for our good. Trust God to walk beside you in this journey of parenting. He will give you the wisdom, patience, perseverance and grace that you need in parenting your children. God is ALWAYS with us…ALWAYS!

Read Full Post »

moon-night1

 

As I was laying in bed last night, waiting for slumber, I heard the sounds of giggling coming from Kiowa and Cree, in the next room. As I listened to the soft banter and the childlike giggles of my 18 and 16 year old daughters, I was reminded that, as much as I delight in these daughters of mine, even more so does my heavenly Father delight in me. In my journey of parenting 5 children, I have shared the joy of achievement with them and I have shed tears of sorrow with them. I have laughed with them, wrung my hands in frustration and even yelled in anger. Through all the emotions of parenting, I have loved them deeply and always will. Through the emotional highs and lows of parenting my own kids, I have been reminded of God’s tender mercies in parenting me. I have been reminded of how God deals with me when I frustrate, disappoint and even anger him. He is always tender in his discipline, gentle in his rebuke and even when I have to suffer the consequences of my own actions, I know my Father in heaven loves me so much that he has counted every hair on my head. He convicts my spirit firmly, but is careful not to wound my heart.

My question to myself when disciplining my kids is, “is this how God disciplines me? Am I showing the same gentle correction to them that God has shown me?”  I don’t ever want to wound my children’s hearts. I want to encourage them always, even when having to discipline them. I am tempted to tell the girls to go to sleep, but decide I would rather fall asleep listening to the giggles in the night.

Read Full Post »

Kiowa.

 

At this moment, I am propped up on my bed fighting a nasty cold. Normally, I would be in the prayer room, but my body said otherwise. I needed this day of rest and am actually glad to have this time to catch you up on my crazy life. Monday was Kiowa’s last day of high school. I’m not sure what she is going to do. She wants to start a running group, so she may do that. She is young and her life is a blank canvas. She just has to choose the colors she wants and paint her life the way she wants it (or hopefully, the way God wants it…). The other big news, is that Cherokee is getting married Saturday. Her boyfriend, Nick, graduated Friday from basic training with the United States Marine Corps. They will get married Saturday and then he will be gone again Tuesday night. They found out that they are expecting a girl, so our little Ava Rose Fields will be making her appearance in mid June. I am so excited to be a grandma!

rosie wedding

On a more emotional level and because I promised to share the good, the bad and the ugly…I have to tell you that this wedding has been somewhat difficult for  me. Not because I don’t like Nick. I do. Cherokee and I have always been close. I am close to all of my kids, but Cherokee is the first born and she will be leaving, as soon as Nick is done with school and stationed somewhere. She and the baby will be leaving. This has been hard for me. I also, at times, struggle with the fact that she chose to live with his parents when she left school in December. She chose to live with his parents and live with the baby there until they can join Nick. In all honesty, I have dealt with the green-eyed monster called jealousy. I have had moments where I felt like Cherokee loves them more, moments when I felt like they get all the important news first, because they are “better” parents. I have found myself comparing myself to them and coming up short. Now you know…God has been dealing with me on this issue and I refuse to let the enemy wedge his way between myself and my daughter. He would love nothing more than to break this relationship and have victory. I won’t let that happen. I am aware of Satan’s tactics and I love my daughter and grand-daughter to much to let Satan win. I love my soon to be son-in-law too, and am proud of his accomplishments! I can’t say that I won’t have these feelings in the future, but I know where they stem from and I know that I have control over those feelings as long as the Holy Spirit dwells within me. I am not consumed with jealousy to the point where it would tear apart our relationship, but there are moments when something triggers that feeling and then I feel it for a day or so and then with God’s help let it go. I can’t allow myself to dwell on those feelings.

ava cute side

I will cherish the time I do have with Cherokee and Ava Rose and then when the time comes I will release them and know that God is with them and is guiding them into His purpose for their lives. He has a plan and a purpose and I, as a loving mother, need to get out of the way, as hard as that is to do. I need to trust that God loves my children even more than I do and will protect them when I can’t.

My kids are growing up and that means that I am growing older and prayerfully, wiser. I have made many mistakes along this path of parenthood, but I have done my best to raise my kids to be men and women of God. I trust that God will take my mistakes and use them for the good. As they spread their wings to fly solo, all we can do is train them up in the way they should go and trust God with the rest. Am I done parenting these two? I don’t think our jobs as parents ever end, but somehow, I think we transition into a friendship with our grown children that says, “I am here for you as a parent, but I will respect you enough to let you live your life as a friend.” The transition is never easy and I pray that God will give me the grace to listen as a friend, before I act like a parent as my children grow into their own lives.

Read Full Post »