Parenting

Dear Children, This Is My Prayer For You…

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Last week, after my son couldn’t find his iPod for several days, the whole family embarked on a deep-cleaning, every-corner-of-the-house search and rescue mission to locate his beloved device (which turned out to be in my purse the whole time).  But something pretty great turned up in the process.

In the back of a cupboard in the basement laundry room, I found the journal I had started for my firstborn, Samuel, when I was pregnant with him.  The first 12 pages had been filled, before it was lost, with prayers, hopes, and dreams for him.  Even though it’s not full and is missing several years, I can’t wait to be able to give this to him someday.  It got me thinking about what message I want to pass along to all of my children today.  As a mother, there’s so much I want them to know, and so much I want for their lives, but when it comes right down to it, there’s really only one thing that matters.

Dear Samuel, Silas, and Adalie,

My prayer for your life is that you would follow Jesus.

AdalieAt night, I come into your rooms while you’re sleeping pray for protection over you. I pray for your health, I pray for wisdom and guidance as your mother, but above all, I pray that you would love and follow Jesus.

As a parent, there’s so much that I wish for your life.  I want you to experience incredible love, great adventure, hope, wholeness, family, stability, fulfillment, and providence.  But the best and greatest of all those things is found in following Christ.

Yes, there will be pain.  There will be trials, and there will be hardships.  Your faith will be stretched and tested and the refiner’s fire will burn and sting.  But keep following Jesus, because the product at the end can never compare to anything this world can offer.

SamuelI pray that you will see the Lord the way Isaiah did, and that the awe of Him would be all consuming, so that when those difficult seasons come, you would keep your eyes on and Jesus, knowing that your life is not your own.

I pray that all your successes and achievements would be done for the glory of the Lord, and in the midst of the accolades and praises your prayer would be John 3:30 “He must become greater, I must become less”. 

The solution to everything I could ever worry about as your mother can be found in following Jesus.

I could worry about what career path you will choose, but if you’re following Jesus, I can rest knowing you’ll seek His will for your life.

I could worry about your finances, but if you’re following Jesus, I can rest knowing that you’ll want to make biblical decisions with your money and strive to be good stewards of what God gives you.

I could worry about who you will choose to marry, but if you’re following Jesus, I can rest knowing that whomever they are, they will be following Jesus, too.

I could worry about your marriage, but if you’re truly following Jesus, I can rest knowing that you will always fight for your wives and husband and never stop working toward becoming the spouse the Bible calls you to be to them, even in the tough times.

I could worry about your safety, but if you’re following Jesus, I can rest knowing that whatever happens, you are right in the center of His good and sovereign will.

I could worry about your character and your heart, whether or not you will love others, show kindness, and uphold justice, but if you’re following Jesus, I can rest knowing that the more time you spend with Him and read His word, the more He will cause you to see others with the same love and compassion that He does.

Screen shot 2015-02-02 at 2.48.01 PMI could worry about whether or not your children will know the Lord, but if you’re following Jesus, then I can rest knowing that you will be purposeful in showing them how to walk with Him, contending for their hearts and minds.  And know that I will be contending along with you.

Many people love Jesus, but not many people follow Him.

I pray that you would follow Him.  Jesus first called out to His disciples saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.  (Matthew 4:19)  My prayer for you is that you would follow Jesus and allow Him to make you.  Place your whole life on the Potter’s wheel and let Him make you as you follow Him.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you”. – Matthew 6:33

That is my prayer for you.

It is OKAY to say YES to my kids!

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I have decided to take a short intermission from politics, theology, and opinionated controversy to bring you this fluffy Mommy-Blogger post about fluffy mothering stuff.

I know.  You’re excited.

There’s some brutal transparency in here, folks, so no judging.  But it needs to be shared because I am noticing that as I begin to talk to and develop relationships with other mothers, I am finding many other mommies like myself out there.  Who are we?  We are the mothers of “No.”  What do I mean by that?  I mean our days sound a little something like this:

Painting NailsChild:  “Can I help you load the dishwasher?”

Mom: “Not right now, honey.”

Child: “Can we get the paints out?”

Mom: “Not right now, honey.”

Child: “Can I flip the pancakes?”

Mom:  “Maybe another time.”

So what exactly can the child do?  He/she can sit in the high chair/Pack ‘n Play/ sofa in front of the flashing box that does all of their imagining for them while I make sure that everything looks perfect in the house.  Because, after all, having a perfect looking house means I have it all together.

And why are we the mothers of “No?”  Is it because we dislike fun?  Is it because we don’t want our kids to learn or try anything?  Is it because we’re big mean meanieheads who hate children?  No. (See what I did there?)

“No moms”, like me, are usually perfection/control personality types and it is important to us that everything is done the right way the first time.  But I’ve come to realize that trying to raise kids this way is just a constant state of chasing your own tail, and as you’re fighting to maintain perfect control of your household, your kids, and your schedule, it can feel like drowning.

Frankly, I am tired of drowning, so this Summer, I decided to do something RADICAL!  We got rid of ALL of our TV services.  No Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Cable, Nada.  I am actually going to, like, do stuff with my kids.  Like Hiking, puzzles, going to the Pool and the park (and actually get in the splash pad with them).  And in addition to that, my goal these next few months is to say “Yes” to everything that is safe, biblical, and reasonable. Even if that means I have to re-load the dishwasher, sweep glitter off of the kitchen floor for the next week, eat pancakes with egg shells in them, and show up to a board meeting with rainbow colored nail polish all over my fingertips.

This isn’t natural for me, but I know that it is important, because one day my children are going to be out in the world on their own, making their own choices, and finding their own way and our tiny little window for putting into them what they’ll need to be Godly, successful adults is going by faster than I expected. I hate the idea of them not knowing how, or being afraid of making decisions for themselves because I have micromanaged them their entire lives.

A dear friend pointed out to me once that the ever so popular verse in Proverbs 22,Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” says, “In the way he should go”, not the way he shouldn’t.  Which means we have to show our kids how to do right, not just tell them what they can’t or shouldn’t do.  And sometimes, that means saying, “Yes.”  What an injustice I am doing to my children by telling them about Jesus without showing them Jesus.

I may be coming into the game a little late, but I am finally ready to get messy, to teach and to play, and I am excited to see the changes that will happen in our family because of it.  Send one up for me, folks, because honestly, I don’t know how the H-E-Doubble-Hockey-Sticks to do this, but I am about to give it my all, praying a lot, and depending on God’s grace to power me through it.

I leave you with today with this paper towel commercial from a few years ago that I always loved that shows the totes awesome “Yes Mom” that I’ve always dreamed of being.

Did you enjoy this article?  You’ll probably enjoy these as well:

 

Grace for the Journey – Letting Go of Perfect

 

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