Releasing and Letting Go

Over the weekend, my eight-year-old son (whom we call Monkey) was helping me clean the house. He lifted up a doily off of the end table, held it up to the light and proclaimed it looked like a rabbit. I affirmed his declaration and cautioned him to be careful because the doily was my grandmother’s. Monkey gave me a quizzical look, put the doily back on the table and continued dusting the next item.

I associate many items in my home with their original owner. The green afghan is not mine but my mother-in-law’s since she’s the one who made it. I feel the same way about the black and white afghan my sister-in-law made. It’s Doris’ afghan. The doily’s are Grandma’s, the nightstand is Mom and Dad’s, the cake stand is from the unnamed person who hosted the garage sale where I purchased it. I don’t know why I ascribe ownership this way  but I do with almost everything.

Everything except my kids.

lightstock_131755_medium_user_4017414

I’ve been told over and over my children belong to God, but it’s easy to believe and live as they are completely and totally mine.

I carried them for 9 months.

I gave birth to them.

I potty trained them.

I drive them to school.

I take them to clothes shopping.

I took them to the doctor and held them on my lap when they were sick.

You get the idea. (I don’t want to negate my husband’s role. He was every bit as present in our sons lives as I am). I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended or understood that these three hooligans belong to God; at least not on a heart level until recently. Our oldest is turning 18 next month. He’ll be legally an adult. He’s in the car so much going out with friends, to school, and to work. College and scholarship applications are on the horizon. He’ll have to register for Selective Service.

I’m scared.

Soon it will be time to release him to the world and as much as I’m looking forward to the days of just the hubby and I alone in our house, I don’t want to start letting go. It feels safer to have my boys here with us. Nothing gives me more comfort than to know each brown haired boy is in their own bed every night. But I can’t keep them here forever. They have to start forging their own path.

 

I can’t protect them. I can’t prevent bad things from happening and I can’t stop them  from making bad, or contrary, decisions. I can’t stop hurt from entering their lives.

I hope I’ve done right by my son, and by God. I hope I did the best parenting job I was capable of doing.

It’s time to trust God and my son.

So…how do I do that?

Advertisements

Giveaway!-Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up!

If your child has been to church more than a couple of times, he has probably heard the story of Jonah and the Whale.

jonah giveaway 2

Author, Troy Schmidt, turns this tale around and gives us the whale’s point of view in his book”Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up!”   My six-year-old son is a new reader and wanted to contribute his thoughts to this review.

“It’s funny!”

Thanks, Ben. Short and to the point.

I adore stories when the old tried and true stories when told in a new way and this book does not disappoint. “Hey God!” stays true to the Bible story, incorporates humor for the kids, has colorful illustrations and a “Parent Connection” feature inside the book to help parents take the story further.

Jonah giveaway

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions, I am pleased to be able to give a copy of “Hey God!” away to a reader. To enter, do the following:

1. “Like” me on Facebook. I’m needy and need the validation.

2. Leave a comment below stating which book you loved when you were a kid.

A winner will be selected on Friday, April 26th.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Children and Faith

Do you know where your kids are on the faith journey?

Before you respond, take a moment and really think about that question.

I’m the mom to three boys, ages 15, 12 and 5. I was pretty confident that my boys were solid in their beliefs. They’ve been going to church since they were in diapers, went to church camp, rarely missed a service, my older two volunteer at church and they were baptized last summer. I’m raising strong Christian young men, right?

I’m not so sure.

Lately, my oldest is not enthused about going to church. He never complains, but a mom knows. He has college on his mind and it comes up in conversation at least once a week. He talks about majors, where he wants to go to school, even which DVDs he wants to pack, but he never mentions church. I’ve asked him if church will play a role in his life and I’m pretty sure he’s giving me the answers he thinks I want to hear. 

College is three years away. What am I going to do? How can I get my son to a place where faith is as important to him as the air he breathes?

The bottom line is I can’t do this for him. He will have to decide if he truly believes the faith we’ve raised him with and he’ll have to decide if he’s going to make it his own or not. But I don’t want to sit back, wring my hands and hope for the best.  I also don’t want to nag him. As I learned when I wanted my husband to quit smoking, nagging has the opposite effect.

I started reading “Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids” by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark.  The book is a wealth of information and backed up with years of scientific research that Powell and Clark conducted among church kids as they headed off to college, what their faith life was like in college and beyond.

There’s no way I can write a manageable review of this book in one blog post so I’ve talked to Kirk, a friend and children’s pastor at my church. He’s graciously offered for me to guest post on his blog about what I’m learning through “Sticky Faith”. In addition to Kirk’s blog and mine, I’ll also be posting at our Children’s Ministry blog, Go Kids.

I’d encourage you to buy the book and join me on this conversation. Let’s talk about what we’re learning and share ideas with each other.

Are you with me?