Thursday, May 04, 2017

Keep Going

Easter 2017
I have found that it's harder to keep going after discouragement in parenting. It's easy to say, "I've done all I could, it's up to them now." Parenting is a long road, it shouldn't stop when the children get older.

Some time ago at church, I asked all of the children who had memorized their scripture memory verses to come to me to see how they are doing. The oldest child who came was eleven and said, "Oh, I'm the only one?" and walked off. She didn't even attempt to tell me how far she had gotten.

I found it sad to think that none of the teenagers had come to say their verses. Then I realized that one of my own children was in that group. I had told her to memorize, but I hadn't followed through, I had left it up to her.

There does come a time when we have to take a step back and let them take care of themselves. But I hadn't even attempted to follow through. Parenting teenagers is difficult. They have opinions and real life needs.

A few days after that night, that particular daughter mentioned something about the verse and said she had forgotten to come to me to tell me what she memorized. Whew, I'm off the hook, right? Wrong.

Just because she did the right thing at that moment, doesn't mean I could stop doing my job.

My job may look different, but it doesn't stop. Parenting Mary is a lot different than parenting Abigail. I no longer hold her hand to ensure she pick up her toys, I don't even tell her to. (Well, I try
not to.)

Mary knows that her things need to be picked up. If she doesn't, they may disappear, and she pays the consequences. Those consequences could be the time it takes to find the lost items, having to replace the lost items or living without the lost items.

I often have to remind myself that Mary isn't as old as Hannah and Sarah and she still needs guidance. Hannah and Sarah do too, but not as often. Parenting Rachel looks different too.

But how do we parent these older girls? One particular week I was in quite a dilemma. Hannah had been very sick and I have told her many times that she shouldn't go to work. A sick teacher produces sick students. She didn't think she could miss, saying that she thought she could do it.

I had to make a decision. Was I to let her go or not? In the end, she went.  It was a decision that I had to turn over to her.

Questions about concerts, over nights at friends' houses, parties with people we don't know send me into a tailspin sometimes. Can't I just pull all of my cubs inside my bear cave? That's what I want to do!

God's mercy to our family is so evident as the girls grow. He is the one to uphold us, as well as our children. They continue to grow and will make mistakes. But God will remain faithful to the end.

Easter 2017 at Nana's house
Catherine, Sarah, Lydia, Aunt Robin, Rebekah, Mary, Hannah

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