Good afternoon. Think back to when you met your spouse and you were dating and getting to know each other, then you decided that you were truly in love. You even had a song that you felt fit your relationship. You know...that special, mushy love song, that just made you think of your love every time you heard it. It may still remind you of those younger days when you hear it now. One of those songs for us was "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill.
Now we have been married nearly 20 years. We were blessed with 2 beautiful daughters, who are both now in their teenage years. Boy has life changed. It's funny how the cycles of life change things, change your perspectives and their's too! Once they were tiny little bundles of joy who you never knew you could love so much; then they get mobile on their own. They are into everything and you are chasing them around. It seems that beautiful and fitting name you chose for your child becomes changed to "No-No". Yet, no matter what they do, what they break, you still love them more than you could ever imagine. You would give your life for your child.
They grow into the school years and find a little independence from you. This is hard [harder I think on parents whose children go to public school because you send them into someone else's care]. They have to learn to deal with bullies, choosing friends wisely, and retaining the knowledge we have sent them to learn.
Sometimes they learn things we wish they didn't, but it is still our role as parent to teach them the way they should go. Our hearts break when their's get broken, but we keep moving on. We spend many hours on our knees praying for their protection and guidance. We are all too often reminded these kids are not like the electronics of today...they don't come with an owner's manual telling you the "right" way to raise them. Sure, there are many good books out there which help. My greatest resource has been the Bible. I try looking at the things the parents in Scripture did and endured and how each of them turned to God for their guidance. This is our road map to life, and our owner's manual for raising kids. Does that mean we get it all right all the time? No! Life is a journey and sometimes we make wrong turns. This doesn't mean that we will ruin our kids, just that we learn with them.
Nearly twenty years into this, and 2 teenage daughters later, I have learned that I have loved a lot, laughed hard, and cried longer and harder than ever...but I wouldn't trade it for one second! My children are blessings to me! We have grown from the mushy love songs, into this: "Teenage Daughters" by Martina McBride:
As we enter May, I come the realization that we are preparing for graduation for my own 17 year old. What do I see? A very independent young woman getting ready to enter the big bad world. She has been trained, and I believe she will be very successful in life. Does this mean she will monetarily be rich, not necessarily...that doesn't equal success. Her being able to stand on her own 2 feet, being free to live and love...that equals success! I don't know what the road holds for her, but I do know that I will be here to try and catch her when she falls, encourage her in whatever path she chooses, and learn that letting her leave the nest without clipping her wings isn't a bad thing....it is what God has been preparing us for in this journey called life!