Good morning! We’re in the middle of a beautiful spring week here. I hope you had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter and our Lord’s resurrection!
Our two college daughters were home for four days and it was great to have them around. We enjoyed some good family time including games, movies, and lots of good food!
After four days with our house full, I went to complete silence on Monday evening. I’d dropped our girls off at the airport to fly back to college and my husband left to go out of town. I’ve been a bit sentimental and reflective since then. It’s only three weeks until our daughters are home for the summer, but all these comings and goings take a toll on a mama’s heart.
All that led to the observations I’m sharing below about parenting. I’m sure there are more profound lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty years, but these are five that I’m reflecting on in this season.
1. You don’t get any do-overs in parenting.
This is one of those things I’ve always known in the back of my head, but I didn’t often focus on it during my early parenting years.
Parenting is such a solemn responsibility. We’re given our specific children to steward for the Lord. The opportunities we have to shepherd their hearts and train them in Bible principles are priceless.
Yes, we know that there are no perfect parents. We’re going to make mistakes. But do we daily ask God to give us wisdom and guidance as we parent our children?
2. God’s grace is over it all.
I had to follow the lesson above with this one. God’s grace is greater than any of my mistakes. He can work in their lives to develop those things I failed to teach them. His grace can help them become strong in areas where I’ve been weak.
And as the years go by, if our girls grow to love and serve God and live for Him all their days, it’s not because I was such a great mom. It’s all because of God’s grace.
3. Just when you get used to one life season, things change.
I feel like I’ve gotten used to our older daughter leaving for college and then returning home for Christmas and summer breaks. But now we have one more summer and one more Christmas break until she’s married. And I’m thrilled and excited for her…but still, it will be different.
There are lots of transitions like that with our children. They start school. They develop independence in certain areas. They start going to events without you. They get a job, start driving…the list goes on.
Those are big transitions, but there are small ones, too. And just when you feel like you have a handle on parenting in a certain stage, something changes.
4. Young adult children are delightful.
One of my favorite things in life right now is when all four of us eat a meal together around our dining room table and then sit there and talk for a while when we’re done eating. I love the conversations and the laughter and the sharing of our lives.
Is it all rainbows and sunshine parenting young adults? No. We’re still learning to navigate this. But it’s neat to see that we share some common interests. And their energy can be contagious – except that my bedtime still has to come a lot earlier than theirs!
5. In every stage, your relationship with God is most important.
We can easily get so wrapped up in our husband or in our children or really anything including jobs or hobbies. But at some point, every last one of those things is going to change in some way.
The one constant in our lives is God. He will always be there, never changing. He is our source of strength, our comfort, our joy, and our peace. May we make spending time in His Word and in prayer a priority through every stage of parenting.
Are there any parenting lessons you’ve learned lately? If so, please let us know in the comments!
- 5 Helpful Steps to Parenting Your Teenager Well
- 7 Life Principles from Proverbs to Teach Our Children
- 5 Things Parenting Is Teaching Me About My Relationship with God
I’ve been learning lately that my kids’ attitudes are more important than the curriculum. What I mean is that, when they’re having a legitimate bad day (not just being disobedient), there’s nothing wrong with not doing everything on the schedule for the school day. Sometimes they just need an easier day.
I love that!! I remember having those days when we were homeschooling and that’s a great way to handle them.
All of these are so good & accurate! I love the new depth of sharing as they become young adults, and I hadn’t really thought about “no do-overs” but that’s so true, and God’s grace DOES cover our shortcomings!