138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Summer is winding down and the routine and schedules of the school year are about to begin. Whether this means your kiddos climb on a bus or curl up on the couch to learn, the school year brings change. A new season.
Our road to parenthood was marked with challenge and loss as we walked through miscarriages, foster care, court appearances and loving kids who had endured trauma. But as with all things God was faithful through the hard times, and it left us with some reassuring truths that still carry us today. Through our tenure as parents of six we have had babies and toddlers, homeschooled and put them on a bus, experienced joys and trials, and now we are raising teens and middle schoolers. May the following truths point you back to our Savior as you enter this school year season with your own children.
We are not in control.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
As parents, we often have the illusion of control. We feel that we can manage the factors and exposures to keep everyone safe and on the 18-year plan to successful adulthood. We don’t see how limited our understanding truly is. As a foster mom going to court, pleading with God for the future of these beloved children, I realized how little control I had. Did I really think that God wanted to help my precious son, but couldn’t because the judge wouldn’t let him? Of course not! Then why was I so scared? Because we are not in control. It’s a scary realization. Maybe you are wrapped in fear as your kids leave for the day, or spend more time away and less time at home. Maybe there are friends or sports that you worry are negatively affecting their hearts. Your fear may be related to their physical safety or spiritual walk. Raising children is a constant reminder that we are not in control. We can pour in and love well, but we are raising individuals with free will and sin natures – all while living in a scary world! Our foster situation made me realize I am not in control, and I have had a multitude of control-related fears since. But when we realize that the God who holds the universe in place loves our children more than we can fathom, our response must be surrender. This verse has more to do with our heart than our children – and in parenthood, that is a recurring theme. It starts with us.
This is God’s will for you.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
In a season with a lot of questions, I vividly remember searching and looking for God’s will. What is life supposed to look like right now? Should we homeschool? Should I work full-time? Should we serve more or move? Are we doing anything right as parents? (Does any of this sound familiar?). And God revealed this amazing truth: his will. His will for you is to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. What I am learning along the way is that it has less to do with what and where and so much more to do with our response. So no matter what this school year entails, we can lead our children in how we respond. Is it God’s will to homeschool your children, or place them in public, cyber, or charter school? You are free to choose those, but what we do know is what our response should be. As the school year begins, may our hearts find rest in God’s will. May this be our heart’s goal and the anthem we sing to our children: no matter what is going on – we rejoice, we pray, and we thank God.
Parenting is Discipleship.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
My husband is the anchor that reminds me to chill when our kids have their hourly lapse in sanity. He reminds me that we are training them and molding them. That they are sinners just like us. Looking through this lens is a much better way to view our family. When school and schedules start, parenting can feel like all work-work-work. When schedules are full and all we do is run here and there, we are rarely our best selves. This holds true for our kids, too. But when we keep our eyes on the fact that parenting is discipleship it shifts our focus back to our faithful God. We cannot live a life honoring God without the Holy Spirit, yet sometimes we expect that of our children. This school year may we steer them back to Jesus, 100 times a day if needed, to help them grow in the Lord. Not exercising a superficial control of behavior, but creating disciples that long to honor their Jesus.