A friend and I were talking over a spectacular cup of coffee this week. Together, we have an ability to talk about more subjects in a 2-hour conversation than my husband and I discuss in a month. Well, I talk and she mainly listens. All chatty extroverts need a friend like Tracie. I just tried to find a picture of us together to post. Unfortunately, we are obviously too busy drinking coffee and talking to get a picture of us together. I will correct this sometime soon.
Update: Tracie just sent me a picture from 6 years ago. She is as beautiful inside as she is out.
A reoccurring conversation during our coffee chats is our children and how much we have to fight the culture of what is acceptable. She is a counselor by profession and I am just opinionated from birth, so together we can solve the problems of the world. Our poor kids ;)
We were talking about our kid's electronics and how often should we check their phones, devices, snap chat, FB, and Instagram. The studies are horrifying. Sometimes, it would be easier on my poor mamma's heart to put my head in the sand and stay there until they are grown. But...if I want them to not only survive but thrive during these adolescent years, I have to stay informed and purposed in my involvement.
This culture will not win with our children. I know this is a bold statement to make as a parent, but my prayer for all 4 of my children is that they would hold onto their faith all through their teen and young adult years. I don't believe my children will be lured into an addiction with pornography, drugs, or alcohol, but in order to safeguard their hearts and minds, I have to stay engaged.
I desire to parent from a position of trust. No, I don't mean from a position of trusting my kids...I mean from a position of trusting Jesus. I still want to be fun and loving and I can't be that for them if I am afraid of the choices they may make.
We are not perfect parents. Just think of all the mistakes you have made with your kids this week, times that by 4, and that is me. I lose my temper. I get frustrated. I say things in a way I shouldn't. This list could go on and on, but for the sake of maintaining some pride, I will assume you get my point. Only through the grace and forgiveness of Jesus could I ever accept a compliment for how my kids are turning out.
Instead of perfection, I am giving them me...that includes my love, my flaws, and my prayers. Heavy on the prayers.
It is so easy to get discouraged. I know I battle the fear of if I am doing enough to keep them safe. I question if it will it be enough to protect them? Am I checking on the right sites? Do I know the new lingo? Will it be enough...because honestly, I don't have anything else to give them. So in the end, if I don't entrust them into the loving arms of Jesus...I will drive myself crazy with worry.
The other day my 8-year-old said at the dinner table, "that dude looked like he was smoking weed." You have got to be kidding me! I didn't know what weed was until the guy next to my locker in high school started selling it. After a thorough interrogation, I learned that someone in his class talked about smoking weed...so Lincoln thought it was funny. He knows better now.
That same day, my 12-year-old asked me if I wanted him to open the can like he would a beer can. Yes, my head did a spin on that one! "How do you know how to open a beer can?" He said that someone told him at school you open a beer the same way as a soda can. I told him the next time he should say "Soda Can."
We were on a roll that day!
Yes, these are the things that fly out of the mouths of my babes that could keep me up at night. On the other side, I am thankful my children talk so much that I hear the things going on in their little minds. I do not like talking to my children about weed or beer or pornography or sex, but if I don't...someone else will. I want to get there first. I want to lay the ground floor for a Godly foundation of truths and facts instead of hearsay and twisted deception.
In order to be a foundation layer, we have to keep our kids talking. We can't "flip out" when they tell us things that make us cringe inside. I have to admit I almost lost it when Lincoln talked about smoking weed, but that is where our culture is. Small children know things I didn't know until I was much older. I can't blame the internet or the change in parenting styles or the influence of video games because where the information comes from is irrelevant. These things are immersed in our culture. The conversations are happening right now while they are at school among their peers. And yes, the children at Christian schools hear it too. Philip and I both went to Christian schools and believe us, it is there.
I could grow weary from worry, but I am not going to. I want to enjoy this parenting journey and fear could rob me of this experience. I choose to instead remain diligent and engaged. Fear will not steal an ounce from me or from my family.
In college, I heard a message, "When you have done all that you can do...Stand." We have to stand strong in God and his truths and let him work in the lives of our children. When it comes to my family, my kids, what their eyes may see, and their ears may hear...I am standing on the truth that if I stay engaged and alert, if I take the time to invest in their lives, if I work hard to build a supportive community around them...our secular culture will not win their hearts.
They may wander.
They may stumble.
They may (temporarily) walk away.
But they will return and that is a promise I am counting on.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.