Parenting in Freedom not Fear

We have five kids. And here’s what I know…not a thing more than I did with kid one.

Well, maybe I’ve learned a few things…
-They’ll survive off chips and apples if I don’t have time to fix lunch.
-It’s okay if they go to bed without a bath (for weeks).
-Food with a little dirt on it is fine.
-Clothes can double as pajamas if necessary.

The bottom line…I really (please take this humbly) don’t give a rat’s behind what you think of my parenting.

I’m not kidding.

We fretted with Stephen. Always wondering if we were doing this or that right. Always scared of what you might be thinking. Always playing by the rules and re-reading the books.

But somewhere between grace crashing my life and kid number 5, we found freedom.

Freedom to love these kids so big. Freedom to do outlandish things for the sake of fun. Freedom to care more about what He says than what you are thinking.

I can’t control their futures. It scares the mess out of me. We have limited time.

And I don’t want to waste it worrying if I’m doing everything right.

I can’t. I won’t.

He loves them more than me. I see it in the cross.

They’re really His.

I’ll do the best I can. I’ll try to fix healthy meals. I’ll try to make sure their clothes match. Really, I will. I do.

But at the end of the day, you know Who’s approval we’re really looking for? God’s. Just His. Our Father.

And that gives us freedom to parent. Not for you. But for them. For Him.

Breathe deeply. You don’t have this parenting thing under control. Never will.

But He doesn’t make mistakes. And He loves these arrows more than we ever could!

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

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My Prayer for Summer Camp

It was just me and him on our way to the church for summer camp drop-off. I can hardly believe he’s old enough. Hardly believe he’s got one more year after this then it’s middle school camp.

He had given me a little attitude that morning. I held my tongue as best I could. The thought of sending him off after an argument seemed dreadful.

As we rode we prayed together. For safety. For the other kids. For God to speak.

And I silently continued praying in my heart…”God, please speak to him. Please don’t let the week be about do this and don’t do that. Let it be about grace. Let it be about God’s love. Let Your salvation be what forms every thing that enters his tender heart.”

Yes, I want people to challenge him to get in the Word. Yes, I want him to learn how to pray. But he’s a first-born. He’s a rule follower. And without grace, we are all so quick to fall into routine. We are quick to take on the description of a Pharisee.

I’m learning with each child-shaped arrow that enters our home that only God can do the saving. Only He can do the changing. And He does it with love. Maybe love in the form of correction. But love. Holy love. Godly love.

And so, so much grace.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)

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We are all loving watching the house being built!