Monday, May 13, 2013

Don’t Pass the Buck

The topics are endless…the friends she’s hanging out with are poor influences, she doesn’t care about her grades, the guy she is talking to is bad news.  But the conversations I have with the moms of teenage daughters almost always starts out the same.

“Will you talk to my daughter?  She won’t listen to me, but I know she’ll listen to you.” 

While the truth of the matter is I will talk to your daughter, it’s critically important that you talk to her first.

Unfortunately, it is true that a lot of teen girls go through a period of time where they aren’t interested in listening to their mother.  However, just because it doesn’t appear they are listening that you, this doesn’t get you off the hook as a mom from correcting and offering guidance.  Please, I beg of you, speak truth into your daughter’s life.  It will be hard.  They may roll their eyes or stare out into space.  They may say you have no clue what they are going through.  I mean, I don’t even have a child and I know how hard it is to put it all out there and offer guidance to only have them do the opposite.  But, that’s not the point. 

You are the mother of your daughter for a reason.  Please don’t put your mothering on hold for a season just because you are fearful she won’t listen…or even worse, you just want to be her friend instead.  You are her mother. 

Just think about it.  If you choose not to speak, she won’t have the opportunity in a few years to say, “When I was a teenager my mom told me that…I didn’t listen…but, she was right.”  You want that.  I promise, you want that.  Because when that realization happens, your daughter will realize that you have some wisdom to offer and you will find her willingly coming to you with her struggles. 

But, if you choose not to speak and instead pass the parenting buck on to someone else, it’s much more likely that your daughter will continue to go to someone else when she has passed through the teenage waters and is seeking wisdom. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Know Your Role

Well, it has been A WHILE!  I could start with a laundry list of excuses, but who wants excuses? 

Since my last post, my days have been busy, and one of the first things that had to go was blogging.  Not just writing, but even reading the blogs.  I pared down my “must read blogs” from the hundreds to a few handfuls.  It was one of the wisest things I’ve done.  Mainly because it has allowed me to really focus on me---on what is going on in my life, and the lives of those around me---not just what’s going on in the lives of some people that I will likely never meet. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good blog…and some of my favorites to read are written by people that I will likely never meet.  But gone are the days of hundreds of mindless posts. I have been mighty selective with the blogs I read.  In order to make the cut, they must be truthful and honest, push me to Christ, and challenge and convict me.  While I do laugh from time to time reading through my blogs, that’s not a requirement—I can get laughter from other places.  The blogs full of shopping deals and posts that make me say “I want that” have gotten the axe as well. 

As I’ve gone thorough the weed-out process, I’ve realized that if I was someone else doing what I was doing, I would cut my blog right on out of my reader.  So I thought the blog may be a good thing to add to my prayer list.  Is it something that I should just shut down?  I mean, there aren’t lots of people that read it…especially since I blog about once in forever…surely I wouldn’t be missed.  While that may be true, after a few months of prayer, I felt like God was saying not to shut it down, but to use it to share wisdom. Wisdom that is truthful and honest…will push others to Christ…and challenge and convict. 

I kept praying.  Quite frankly, I wasn’t interested in all of that.  Surely I had heard wrong.  I didn’t feel like I had much wisdom to share.  Then, over the course of the next months (yes, months…I’m not always the quickest to obey), the Lord made it quite clear that I had heard correctly.  He showed me through countless conversations with people that I respect and admire.  Conversations that I had not initiated.  Conversations where people said things like, “you have so much wisdom in that area…you should really share it with others” or “the experiences you have in that area are enough to write a book…have you thought about that” or the one that cut me to the core “you may want to pray about sharing some of that wisdom with others…we need it!”

So…after almost 6 months of prayers and conversations…this blog is about to be revived.  Then,when the posts start showing up they will be different.  Instead of it being a random compilation of whatever I decide to write about, it will be a blog to share some of my experiences. 

Here’s the disclaimer, and the whole reason why despite the Lord’s clear instructions to do this that I didn’t want to follow. I’m not an expert.  Even more so, the topics that I am most often asked to share about are being single in my late twenties and how to raise children and teenagers.  The thing is, while I may be single, I have never had a child.  Yes, I’ve been a baby-sitter for 17 years.  I’ve even been a nanny and done some overnight baby-sitting…but I don’t for one second think those things qualify me to give advice to parents!  I’ve worked with youth for 7 years, but never have I had one of my very own.  While I love that age with all my heart, they also bring me to tears and send me to my knees almost daily. I’m not an expert!! In fact, more often than not any “wisdom” I have comes straight from Scripture and watching a lot of other parents that I love and admire raise some pretty great kids!

All that being said, the Lord has made it perfectly clear that when He reveals things to us and gives us wisdom, it is sinful to keep it to ourselves.  For that reason, from here on out, the goal of this blog will be to offer ideas and encouragement to single ladies as well as moms and people that work with children and teens.  I don’t know all the answers, but after years of experiences with children and teens, I have some ideas…and lots of encouragement…and I’m ALL FOR encouraging singles and moms!! While it makes me a bit sick at my stomach to share, I am excited about it because I know that I am being obedient to what the Lord wants me to do.