In Minnesota it has been the longest winter. Ever. Period. Even hardy Minnesotans have been ready to despair. Snow, snow and more snow. We are sooo ready for a new season.
In our family we’ve also been navigating a new season of parenting for the last six months since our daughter got engaged and we entered the crazy dance of wedding planning and joining two families, and making what feels like 564,000 decisions a day.
As a mom or dad, you may be entering a new season of parenting too. Infant, toddler, grade-schooler, teenager, collegiate…each season comes with it’s own challenges.
Peggy Campolo, a mom, raising her kids at home while her famous husband, Tony, traveled the world, was asked by a woman in a condescending tone, “And, dear what is it that you do?”
She responded, “I am nurturing two Homo Sapiens into the dominant value of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they might become instruments of social transformation preparing them for the eschatological utopia which God has envisioned from the beginning of time. What do you do?”
Few of us would be able to think on our toes and get out a mouthful like that on the spur of the moment! It’s a wonderful description of our goal as parents, but we have to tweak the focus of our job in different seasons.
In my last post I cited two of the most important parts of our job description as protecting and preparing our kids. There are two more that I think become increasingly important as our kids age.
Be Present – As our kids age, especially moving into the teen years, we can’t schedule when they are going to be ready to talk, when they are going to feel vulnerable and need a listening ear. Availability is our most important quality as we cheer them on towards adulthood.
Pray – Of course we do this constantly, but as the parent of adult children I will say we never feel more dependent in prayer than when they leave home, first for college, and then for life. It was during the college years that I developed this breath prayer:
Breathe in: “Abba Father”
Breathe out: “Do what only You can do…”
“Protect, guide, encourage, convict, woo…”
With your spouse or a friend, consider identifying what season of parenting you’re in and what you see as your biggest challenge. Pray together for the coming season.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.