Monday, March 17, 2014


Nothing, and I mean nothing in my life, has been harder than being a parent. From when they are little and you feel your own heart beating outside your chest, you watch their every breath and meet their every need just waiting for a smile, a hug, a sloppy-wet as they grow and you want to go all Mamabear on the kids who dare hurt them, throw out every computer from your house to protect them, and tug out your hair because everything you say seems to meet an eye roll.

I long ago made up my mind that my first priority was not being my children's friend. I cannot be that and also parent them to become who God created them to be. I can be their biggest champion, their source of bottomless love, their protector here on earth, their imperfect role model and hopefully the beacon that points them to God...but I cannot be their friend.

Not going to lie, that not-a-friend-thing sounded good when I first reconciled myself to it, but at the front-end of these teenage years, it's proving to be the hardest thing in my life.

I don't like it. Not one bit. And that surprises me. See, while I knew parenting was going to be hard, I hadn't experienced it. Head knowledge and knowledge from the trenches is proving to be two different things entirely. It's enough to take a mom out!

Luckily, I serve a God who knows every emotion rolling through me before I even experience it. I serve a God who is my biggest champion, my source of bottomless love, my protector and perfect role model. A God who has equipped me and who only grows stronger in my weakness...because let me tell you, parenting has dragged out every single one of them for display.

So, today--because I know I'm not the only one in these trenches--I want to encourage you. Pray daily. It's a powerful weapon. Love. Laugh. Tuck into God when the going gets tough...I find my bedroom closet makes a perfect prayer closet:) You are not parenting alone. You are not parenting on your own strength. You will make mistakes. You will feel overwhelmed. You will get things wrong. But God's mercies are new with every breath of forgiveness. Your children want to see real, and--as much as it gets you eyerolls and heavy sighs--they need boundaries. Crave them. (even though they don't know it, lol).

Our goal is not to be friends with them right now--and I HATE that--but it's to raise young men and women of God who as adults will cherish a friendship with us. Parenting is the longest marathon of your life...but luckily we can run it with perseverance, setting our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. And what an amazing finish line it will be when we see our children walking in faith, passing it to our grandchildren, living in freedom, lifting their hands in praise and crazily in love with Jesus.


  1. Hang in there! I know it was an added difficulty to homeschool and thus be my daughter's teacher as well. There were times I had to be tough teacher and times I had to be tough mama. But, you'll get you time to be friends. I absolutely love the relationship we have now with her in the second semester of college. We did turn out to be good friends, and now we can be friends. Seasons for everything.

    1. Thank you for that encouragement, Paula! It's as much rewarding as it is tough, though not always in equal measures:) We WILL get there because I know God is faithful. Just hoping my sanity makes it too. LOL

  2. Hi Susan,
    God will preserve your sanity, and your hard work and loving will pay off. It pains me to see parents who are too tired/lazy/clueless/self-absorbed to discipline their children. I also see a lost generation of children being raised by their grandparents for various reasons. Your children are blessed to have you. Don't give up.
    A couple of weeks ago while my husband was out of town and we had the worst snow of the season, one son showed up to shovel my drive before I left for work. Coming home I had car trouble (tire blew out), and my other son came when I called him. He waited with me for the tow truck, drove me to Toyota, and after my car was fixed the same son and his girlfriend took me out to dinner. There will be sweet days ahead.
    Enjoy this time because it won't last forever and you'll want to go through your treasure chest of memories when you have an empty nest.
    God bless!

    1. THANK YOU for your encouragement, Jackie:) Those parents who are a little farther along are priceless to me!

  3. Awesome encouragement, Susan! I love everything you've said here. Parenting is definitely not for the faint of heart. So much to learn, right along with the kiddos.