I’m sharing my thoughts over at Petit Elefant on three easy things to do to help raise your kids to be world travelers, including the funny story of where my son wanted to go on his big trip when he turned thirteen. The world is his oyster!
My boy turned thirteen earlier this year. I never would have thought that turning another year would bring about so much change. Most days I feel totally inadequate. I navigate these waters with uncertainty as I’ve never tread them before. Parenting a teenager is no joke. I’ve learned that I can’t take anything personal, that loving unconditionally is my number one job, and that growing from a child to an adult is not an easy task. It’s just so different to be on this side of it.
Jeremy and I had parent teacher interviews yesterday with all of our kid’s teachers. I never know what to expect at these things, especially as my children have had to adapt to a new school in a foreign land. As I listened to Joshua’s teachers talk about how much he’s matured this year, how polite and well mannered he is, and how intelligent he is, I realized once again that home is the place to stretch his wings and see how far he can fly. It’s so very messy at times, but I have to be ok with that. Growing up is messy. No one has the perfect formula, because there isn’t one. Every child is different. Every parent is different. When I hear he’s getting it right at school, that he’s making good choices, then I realize that there is fruit from all this stretching. It just doesn’t always feel like it in the midst of teenage muck.
I tell myself this truth often, that our hard work as parents is paying off, but still, in the midst of the stretching and growing when emotions are flying, I forget, and I must remind myself all over again. Thank goodness Jesus is on my side. I need His help every.single.day.
I think parents need a little encouragement every now and then. I pray today that you get a little encouragement for all the hard work you are doing to raise children!
Differences are everywhere. It’s what makes us beautiful and unique. It’s also what can be difficult. Join me over at Tommy Nelson as I share three ways we can teach our kids to appreciate the differences in all of God’s creation!
Joshua was conceived 14 years ago next month in a little bamboo hut in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. TMI? Sorry, guys. That’s probably way too much information for a Wednesday. However, if you want to read all about the adventure and the food that turned my stomach for NINE years, then head on over to Petit Elefant. There’s even a curry recipe over there!
Last Friday Emma Grace had her Level 1 gymnastics competition. I’ve always loved watching the Winter Olympic gymnastics competitions on TV. While this was on a much smaller scale, the mats were all a buzz with activity…floor exercise, uneven bars, parallel bars, vault…it was great!
My kids were started a new school this year. It was hard. They, fortunately, made friends quickly, but the homework load and the adjustment was almost too much for Emma Grace. The first two months she begged me twice a week to let her quit gymnastics. I told her no, that we weren’t going to make any decisions like that for at least six months. She was adjusting, and I recognized that, but it was agonizing. Physically making your child go to something because you know it’s probably the best for them is not an easy task.
I’m glad I didn’t relent, though, because she’s in an entirely different place now. She loves going to practice. She did so well at competition that she came home with a gold medal! I’m so proud of her for sticking it out when it was hard. I hope she’s learned an important lesson about perseverance!