Tuesday, August 21, 2007


My children have been raised the same way that I was raised, in a Christian home. All of their lives we have gone to church for all the services and we've tried to teach them the biblical way of living. We made sure they were always able to attend the youth activities and trips, and we encouraged them to participate. Our first child took it all in and didn't miss anything if he could help it. Our second child got to a point in high school where she didn't want to participate and didn't even want to go on the trips. While she was always expected to be in the Sunday services, we didn't force her to do every single youth activity. It made me sad for her because I know that she missed out on so many things that would have left her with some wonderful memories for the rest of her life.

A year ago, Leah moved away to go to college. I wanted so much for her to get involved in one of the Christian organizations at the university, and I guess I made my wishes known to her too often. She got pretty tired of me trying to "force" her to get involved. I didn't feel like I was trying to force her, but that is how she took it. So, this school year, I have decided to stop mentioning it all the time and allow God to speak in his own way. I am still hoping for her to get involved in a Christian organization, but I am just going to have to step out of the way and let God step in.

Last night I checked my MySpace page and I saw one of the bulletins that was sent out from Leah to all her friends and even though I knew it was one of those silly surveys that young people seem to love, I decided to read it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised at one of her answers on the survey. The question was something like... if you could use one word to describe your life, what word would it be. Her answer was "blessed!" I was so amazed that this daughter of mine considered herself "blessed." And then this morning I found a personal message from her on my MySpace page. Her message said the nicest things and told me that we (her parents) mean so much to her and we make her want to be a better person and to glorify God. I was blown away by this message that she sent for no special reason except that she was thinking about us and wanted to let us know what we mean to her.

At times I have worried that I didn't do everything right in my parenting and that things didn't get through to my kids the way I hoped. But when you get little notes like this one from your children, you realize that maybe you did okay. You just do your best with the right heart attitude and lots of prayer, and God can take it and do great and wonderful things. I have been greatly blessed!


Amel's Realm said...

OHHHHHH that's such a WONDERFUL story!!!

Being a stubborn-headed girl myself, I also dislike being pushed around. I prefer doing things on my own term and pace. It makes me feel that it's I who want to do all those things and that I don't do all those things just because my parents encourage me to.

I'm HAPPY for you and your family!!! ;-D

matt said...

Don't let me forget about that concert. I'll have to check it out and make my roommate go. I'll tell him there are a ton of hot girls there. You coming to it?? or is your daughter coming to it? ha

Sindi said...

I loved the story! I often wonder if I am raising my son right. Like I have said before I have not been to church in a long while because of a bad experience, but I do believe in Our Lord and Savior and I have tried to live the best I know how. The thought still crosses my mind if what I have done was good enough. I am trying to find a church to belong to again but I have always said that I would let my child decide what he wants and let him pick his own way.

Strawberry said...

Our children want and need our direction in their lives. They may not act like it and we may think nothing is sinking in until you get a message like the one from your daughter. That is a blessing to you and her father. Thank you for a beautiful post from your heart!

Blessings! :)

Frasypoo said...

Thats wonderful!Kids do think a great deal about good parents even if they dont say much
We had that problem with our kids and since we sawthem every other weekend we could not get them to adjust to our church but after a while they started attending a church that their friends go to and now even their mom is taking active part.
Gods ways are wonderful !

Kathy said...

Amel, sounds like you might be a lot like my daughter! Maybe you can help me see things from her perspective.
Matt, if you do go, say hello to my boy. My daughter and I won't be able to make it this time. That's a long drive from Alabama!
Sindi, glad you're trying to find a church -- it's a good time for your son to have that as an option.
Strawberry, you're welcome! And you're so right that they need our direction even though they don't sometimes realize it.
Frasypoo, I'm glad to hear about the kids getting involved as well as their mom.

Amel's Realm said...

He he he...well, basically, the more I get pushed, the more I want to avoid going to that direction even though I KNOW it's the right one. Because it feels like it's a forced action, not really something I want to do, even though it IS right.

So one or two gentle reminders would be enough for a person like me.

I also have another friend who's as stubborn and rebellious as I do, and that's what she said to me, too. The more she's pushed, the more likely she'll go to the OTHER direction he he he...If your daughter's that stubborn, too, beware!

Just believe that whatever you've taught her is enough to separate right from wrong...If she needs guidance or advice from you, she'll ask.

Amel's Realm said...

One more thing...I know it may sound stupid, but for someone like me, I need to be allowed to make mistakes in order to learn from my mistakes. I know parents want to help their kids NOT to make mistakes (sometimes they foresee the problems or mistakes), but I need that breath of freedom to make mistakes if I need to. I hope that makes sense to you he he he...

In my own experiences, the more freedom my parents give me without telling me what to do, the closer I'll get to them...the more I want to share my life, my process of thinking, and how I make my decisions with them.

Kathy said...

Amel, you are right....she does come to me when she really needs advice. We have had some really deep late-night talks at times that have brought us so much closer. There is something about those late-night talks that make the floodgates open and she will really open up and talk about everything. Daughters are wonderful.

Amel's Realm said...

I think Moms are WONDERFUL. :-))))

I'm glad you and your daughter are MUCH closer now. ;-D

For me, if my parents give me "freedom", it's about trust as well...I need to be trusted to be able to make the right decisions for me. If my parents keep on "guiding" me in any way (through too many repetitions), then I'll feel that I'm not trusted enough, that I'm not good enough to make my own decisions.