Friday, June 27, 2008

Precious Teenagers??...

How could something this absolutely precious be making my life so incredibly insane?

God knew what He was doing when He gave them to us as sweet babies we could fall in love with because had they dropped from heaven as teenagers we would have sent them back!

As I look at this picture everything in me wants to reach into it, pick them up and hold on to them. I want to pinch their chubby little cheeks & thighs and pat their diaper covered bottoms.
I want to envision their future as one in which they always make good choices that lead to prosperity and happiness.

Suddenly I realized~ this is exactly how God sees us! These are the things He wants for each and every one of His children.

Unfortunately these two darlings are not making such good choices right now. In fact, they have made some very poor ones recently that have led to discomfort and unhappiness for them and for the rest of our family.
Again, I realize this is exactly what happens when we make poor choices that result in sin. We have to endure consequences that are uncomfortable and difficult and sometimes painful. Often the results of those sins and their consequences effect others around us as well.

One of the most difficult lessons I have learned as a parent is that "it is their life". I can only provide, lead, love & encourage and when they make the wrong choices it is my job to discipline.

Being a disciplinarian is not my primary role and it is not one I enjoy but it is a necessary part of being a parent. I want my kids to make positive and healthy decisions because they want to, not because they are afraid or because "mom said so". But they are children and they need the guidance of adult parents who see the world from a more mature and experienced perspective.

It is so hard to be a parent. To watch the people we adore suffer and head down a destructive path. To have our hearts be broken over and over again by the people we love the most. And yet God is a parent to all mankind.

He doesn't give up and neither will I.

He is the perfect parent and it is in His strength, and with much prayer, that I will press on through the ups and downs of raising my kids. It isn't easy but then again, I haven't been an easy one either!

Meanwhile, our teenagers are spending much more "quality time" with the family.And as you can see, there are more teenagers headed our way!!


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Sista'... sista'... sista'!

Oh can I ever relate. Seriously. Why do you think it was a requirement that my teens go see the Panda this week.

But you know what- they wound up loving it.

I'll pray for you and yours if you'll please be praying for me and mine~

It was so nice to meet you last weekend.

tiggerdaisy said...

I don't have teenagers little one is just about 10 months old. My heart aches for you as you go through these "difficulties" with your teens. I am lifting each of you up at this very moment.

Joyful said...

Kelley....hang in there girlfriend! Continue to look to God for guidance and trust Him. So glad He holds ALL of you in the palm of His hand.

Praying for you,
Love ya,

Laurie Ann said...

Kelley, please know I am covering you with prayer on this.

We've walked that mile with Kristyn and it was tough. We felt the consequences of her behavior more than she did at the time.

God finally brought about the changes needed. The consequences of her issues have followed her to a degree but the lasting impact of them hasn't been too great. She's 23. I rejoice that at about age 19 she found the better road. I'm praying the same for your teens.

I know it's hard. Keep praying and keep looking up. Stay faithful in your praying for them. God surely does hear you. Your wisdom in viewing the situation is so encouraging.

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Hey Kelley - I can't give any advice since mine are still squeezable and kissable BUT I am praying! I love you!!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Kelley,
I am catching up on your blog! sighhhhhh.... I too know exactly what you are talking about... and "I understand." I JUST PRAYED for you... and your family. My boys are now... 23 and 21. The youngest has been married for 2 years already! One of these days, I will write you an email and tell you what God's been doing with thee oldest. JUST REMEMBER: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." PTL ITS TRUE!!! heehee REALLY!!! Okay, I am off to read your other posts.... I have a lot of catching up to do... and I am supposed to be weeding... shhhh don't tell anyone!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I don't have teenagers (yet), but I believe allowing your kids to make mistakes is one of the hardest parts of parenting.

Prayers for you, Kelley. God knows what He's doing.

Linda said...

You are a great mom. They're going to wake up and realize the real picture soon. Keep praying. You're an amazing woman and I'm so proud to be your friend.

Kim said...

I'm lifting you up in pray as your provide leadership and guidence to your teenagers.

Teenage years can be SO "rough"...hold on....God will always make a way!!

On my knees' for you!


Yolanda said...

Praying for ya Siesta.


Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Well, I am not there in the land of teenagers yet (and won't be for awhile!),but I can only imagine how hard it is to watch them go through this....and to have to let them learn on their own. You're a fantastic mama...hang in there!

Judy @ In His Grip said...

I don't think anyone can pass thru the valley of teenagehood without some bumps along the way for either the parents or the teenager. I can tell you that on the other side, that walk into adulthood, is a good one for us as parents, you suddenly become very wise once again and someone they run to instead of away from. Praying for you.

Feathering My Nest said...

Kelley, What a great post. I feel the same way you do, and I know so many of us moms do. It's so hard to be a mother, even though it brings us the greatest joy too. I like the way you are trusting the Lord through this. I am too. My friend Michelle at "Treasure the Moment" is going through this too. Bless you, and let me know if you want prayer, or have a private request via email. I will stand with ya in prayer. I could not make it without prayer. Hugs, Kathi

Pat said...

It was great to meet you at She Speaks. You are just as cute as your picture! Imagine that.
Any Mom who has walked through the teen years feels your pain!
Hang in there Mama, this too shall pass (don't ya hate that kind of talk!)
I am praying for you as I type this!

luvmy4sons said...

Oh sister...I can SO commiserate with you! I know exactly what you mean. This teen thing has taken me by the ears and with four of them...well my ears are hurting. Big hug to you. I try to reassure myself that he who is forgiven much loves much....I know I was forgiven of much and look where God landed me! I know that He is faithful to finish the good work He began in your children. One more hug to you!

LynnSC said...

Whew!! I am so there too. I continue to remind myself that they belong to God. I often wish that I could open their heads and hearts and pour in some of my experince and some of God's wisdom... it hurts to watch them make such poor choices. But... God is so patient with me... so I in turn try to be patient with them as they learn life the hard way.

Thanks so much for sharing this... what an comfort to know that I am not the only one.

Jamie said...

Oh Kelley, my heart goes out to you friend! It is so hard to watch our kids make choices that we know are not the best. I so know that it is not easy but it sounds like you are doing a great job at the whole mom thing. I'll be praying for you and your beautiful family.

Teri said...

Kel...don't you just think in your head sometimes, "Why wouldn't they want to hang out with me???" I mean...anyone can see that you are such a rockin cool mom.
I am just coming into the teen years with my oldest. I have always loved teens and have been serving in Youth Ministry since I was a teen...having my own teen is much different. I feel like I have never laid eye's on a teen. This is HARD!

So, I have no words of wisdom for you...just a knuckle bump...we mom's, we have to be all in it together!

Carol said...

Hey girl. I've been praying for you! Hang in there. I am so not looking forward to the teenage years!

Julie said...

Oh, I have my teenage stories....I hear ya...they are interesting years to say the least.

My oldest just turned 21. I still have 3 teenagers at home and one to go....

I often wonder what God was thinking giving me teenagers and menopause at the same time....

I've had to watch my teenagers make some hard choices. It really hurts to watch and walk through the mess with them.

Just wanted you to know that what Pat said is right, "anyone who has had teenagers, understands". I understand.


Kathy S. said...

Kelley, I am so with you. I look at pics of my kids when they were young and want to feel those cheeks again, and replay thier cute little performances...

I have said for the past 5 or so years (since #1 child was in about 8th grade) being a parent of teenagers keeps you on your knees and on your toes...

We had some rough years, God, despite me, kept us through them. Clinging to His promises-white knuckle style-and today is good.

I have learned some things lately I wished I would have had earlier in my parenting journey...One of which is the book entitled "Shepherding a Child's Heart" It should be required reading for all Christian parents. Wonderful book!!

The other is a favorite speaker I listen to, Susie Larson, at one time gathered her boys around (the family in a circle of prayer) she looked them in the eye and told them they were gatekeepers for their family. Anything they let in to their lives they were letting into the family...that was great advice and so true!!

Keep pressing on as you are!