Today I sent my oldest daughter off to her last first day of high school. Yes, my baby girl is a senior. It is funny; I thought there would be tears. I thought I would be a basket case. Am I in denial? Am I purposefully trying to down play the significance of this occasion?
No, I honestly believe that I am confident in the work God is doing in my little girl and I am excited to see what her future holds.
I couldn’t have said that a month or two ago. But as always, God’s timing is great. Here recently I began to do a study on Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa TerKeurst. I didn’t really want to read the book, for I tend to shy away from parenting books because they make me feel worthless, but seeing as Lysa is one of my favorite authors, I didn’t want to miss out on any of her teachings. Little did I know that this book would help to boost my confidence in the Lord’s protection for my children. In order to understand what this book did for me, you need to know where I was in the months before I read it.
With Emily about to start her senior year I had been terrified that I had not done enough to prepare her for college. We as a family haven’t done enough. There are vacations I wanted to take; memories I wanted to make; things I had yet to teach her. I couldn’t but help to feel as if I had let her down. I was a young mom. My husband had a past that was hard to overcome and we struggled for the better half of our marriage. We didn’t have the money for extravagant vacations. I was in college while my kids were growing up, so there was always homework that needed done on top of the daily grind. There were holiday traditions I meant to start but time and money always put them off. Everywhere I looked, all I saw was wasted time and my mistakes.
So what did Lysa say to ease my “mommy guilt?” What was the life changing advice? What did Lysa say that I had never heard before?
Honestly, Lysa just kept letting us readers know that it was okay to mess up as moms. We don’t have to be perfect to have great kids. The mistakes our kids make are not a reflection of our parenting, they’re our kids’ own life lessons from God.
The statement that stuck out to me the most was probably not even intended to be a “sticky statement”, but man on man did it speak to my heart:
“Overtime, I slowly realized that God has a plan for each of my kids. As long as I am depending on the Lord to guide me as a parent, nothing I do or don’t do will mess up their future.” (p. 207)
As I shared many, many moons ago, Jeremiah 29:11 changed me. I know that God has a plan with my life, so I can withstand all the storms and trials. What Lysa made me realize is the same goes for my children. God has a plan for each of my children. Yes, there are going to be bumps and trials, but, once again, these are life lessons my children need to make them into the people God has made them to be.
No, I didn’t do all the things I wanted to do. But we do have some awesome memories. In one chapter in the book Lysa points out that we might be surprised just what memories stand out to our kids. So last night I asked Emily what stood out to her the most. It blessed my heart to hear her share her memories. And while the big vacations stood out, there were also a lot of “lessor” moments in there. The little things I did, having a snack prepared when they got home from school, the Christmas flour fights, play dates, etc., mattered. My love mattered.
There will always be a part of me that doesn’t want to let her go, but now there is also a part of me, and it is getting bigger and bigger, that is ready to see God’s plan for her life.
One of my daughter’s favorite TV shows growing up was Hannah Montana (yuck I know). So, naturally we listened to a lot of Miley Cyrus songs. One song always stood out to me. It was a duet with her and her dad titled Ready, Set, Don’t Go, and even though she will be mortified, I thought I play it for you all.
I guess there will be a few tears after all.
Have a blessed day,