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growing pains

We are entering a new phase of parenting. With it comes great joy as we watch our kids grow in to their own personalities, develop their individual talents, become independent and responsible.

But it also comes with new challenges, heartaches and fear.

When Ryan and I first started this new thing called parenthood we had all sorts of questions that kept us up at night {ha!} : what schedule should he be on? When was the last time she nursed? What brand of diapers don’t leak? How long should he ‘cry it out’?

Once we made it through that first year, we moved on to new worries : is the baby gate secure? Are the outlets covered? How do we deal with tantrums? When should he move to a big boy bed?

Our main goals for the early years of parenting have been to provide a loving and safe environment and present opportunities to grow their little minds through experiencing new things.  We’ve been in this stage for the past few years and while it is never completely easy, I’d say we’ve made it through pretty well.  And we have some pretty great kids to show for it.

But now, we enter the school years. Our older ones are no longer just concerned about their wants, they are now aware of this great big world around them and allow what others think to become part of their decision making.

Things like wanting to be cool start entering their minds. They see the stories on the news and are worried {Is Mt. Rainier going to erupt? Are bad guys going to come into our house?}.  At the same time they want the freedom to to ride their bikes to the park  or have a play date with a friend whose parents we don’t know and can’t understand our concerns when we say no.

My mama instinct wants to shelter and protect my babes from the troubles of the world.  I don’t want them to know about things like the devastation of tornadoes and the murder of a beloved teacher. I don’t want to answer questions like what are drugs? and see their broken hearts when their used-to-be-best-friend no longer wants to sit by them.

I liked it better when Little Bear was entertaining and peek-a-boo could make them laugh.

The other day while we were in the car, No. 2 asked out of the blue “why can boys only marry girls?”  Ryan and I looked at each other and tried to answer the best we could – knowing full well that this was just the beginning of many answers we would give that wouldn’t always line up with the society they live in.

Just then, a song of the cd we were listening to came on and this is what I heard:

I love what this scripture-song spoke to me :

I don’t need to fear {in fact, I am told NOT to fear} because I am not doing this on my own. If I was, surely I would fail. But because I have a God who is not only RIGHTEOUS, but also willing to STRENGTHEN and HELP me, I can have peace even through the troubling parts of life.

I know there is so much to look forward to in this next stage of parenting. I know there is nothing better than watching that baby you adored turn into a boy that you like and a teenager that you respect. I am so excited to see our kids find their own strengths, their own likes, their own faiths : and yet it is terrifying and slightly grieving to think of all of the new struggles, troubles and pain that go along with it.

Sorry to be such a downer. I really don’t mean to be. It is actually great news that we don’t have to struggle through on our own. For that I am so thankful.

One of my favorite blogs is Simple Thoughts. Paige is also the mom of four {although they are a bit older than mine} and I am always so encouraged by the way she writes about her girls. It makes me remember that there is still so much to look forward to as I get to be the mommy to teenagers someday. I get to send them off on mission trips and throw special graduation parties for them and cry when they leave for college, but not so much out of sadness as out of overwhelming pride.  I leave her blog feeling encouraged and excited {and I usually cry a little too}. Thanks Paige for being a mentor to moms like me who are a little bit scared of the growing pains of parenthood.

And one more thank you to the amazing talent at Seeds Family Worship who have created great cd’s full of scripture to encourage us as well.  I’ll leave you with one more song:

seeds family worship

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

69 thoughts on “growing pains”

  1. Hi Emily, This week, suddenly, it seems I’ve been gripped with fear. Raising my two year old and thinking that the world is not the same as it was when I was growing up. I’m sure my mother had the same thoughts when raising me! I’ve been quite paralyzed by it for a few days, unable to eat and sleep. I remembered this post from June in the back of my mind and had to go search for it. Thank you for sharing what was on your heart as God is using it months later to send His comforting words to me! God Bless!

  2. emily~ thanks for sharing your heart. it is good to know you as well as enjoy your creativity. i saw the movie “tree of life” the other day, and it reminded me of you, i think because the “mom”, jessica chastain, looks like you. anyway, consider this fair warning, unless you like sadness and intensity, do not see it- it will tear you/ any mom up!

  3. I’ve been so busy I haven’t read your blog in a couple week so I’m going through and catching up. I always mean to leave you a comment but never do! I just have to tell you tears welled up in my eyes as I read your post. Your honesty, your heart and the raw transparency of your fears and struggles as a mom. My daughter starts pre-school in the fall and my husband and I continuely have conversations of how we raise her to have a “kingdom world view” in a society that teaches the complete opposite of what we believe. THANK YOU for standing and being a voice of truth. God has truley poured into you and I love that you pour out into all of us! xoxo

  4. beautiful post! we are on the very front end of parenting (have a 5 month old) but I can already feel the fear of all you mentioned above (and more) trying to creep in. I’m reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp and can tell it will be immensely helpful. so far it’s more about discipline, but the chapter on authority – that it is ordained from the Lord – has already brought me so much peace. it is so not our burden to bear. THANK GOODNESS!

  5. EXCELLENT post!!!!! So very true from another momma of an almost 20yr old. thx for “paige” he will be going on his 1st mission trip in July! isnt it cool how the Lord just leads to what and who we need when we need it… just while wedding thru my event inspiration feeds :)
    our God is soooo “legit” As I tell my son… He’s got your back! xoxoxox THANK YOU!!!!! xoxox

  6. Emily! My 13 year old dear daughter, Lucy, has been struggling with fear lately. So I have been texting her scripture. (I know doesn’t that sound funny… texting… who knew..) Isaiah 41:10 was the first one the Lord laid on my heart to text her. It’s a great way as a mom to be connecting with my teen on her level. She actually is an amazing young lady who typically is full of confidence. Did you place that scripture into a print? I’d love to get it for her bedroom. Thanks!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR5mbJSqTwk (I know you probably don’t have time, but here is a link to my daughter giving her ASB presidential speech last week – she won- the puppets we created were definitely inspired by you and your craftiness… the boutonniere for example) :)

  7. Dear Emily, may the Lord bless and guide you gently as you seek to direct and lead the priceless lives that have been entrusted to your care. Thank you for your seeming dedication to ‘shelter’ your children from what the world has to offer – even if it seems ‘harmless’ – and even when your wise decisions cause you to be criticized by others.
    Each child that is born – and each one that dies – is a gift from God. I think so many people do not realize that He does not give them unless He wants you to have them. But when He does give them, He provides what you need to raise them for Him.

    Really encouraging post!

    Soli Deo Gloria!


  8. oh gosh emily, what an honor…

    i know i’ve told you before but this is a wonderful wonderful stage in life. i feel it can be an emotional zinger ( only occasionally) but it is so rewarding to watch these babies that you have poured your soul into start to become their own person with their own convictions making their own decisions.

    i think you’re an awesome mama
    & i have much respect for you

    thank you for making my day :)

  9. I’m up in the middle of the night nursing as I write this….ha! Love this post. And also love seeds of worship. It’s for the kids but I think I learn more scripture than they do.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this!!! I am grateful for your “Christ-driven” inspirations and this was in my email inbox at the exact time that God knew I needed to hear this encouragement!!!! THANKS AGAIN AND GOD BLESS!!!

  11. This article was so sweet. It brought tears in my eyes (my prego hormones could partially be to blame :) ) But I think about stuff like this often. I am happy to have a year and half old right now that is just so amazingly smart, that I know one day soon he will be that teen boy and I already have those worries. So thank you for the reminder that we are not alone in this long, sometimes bumpy, road of parenting!

  12. Emily, I receive your posts via e-mail,
    so don’t usually comment, but wanted
    to say YES, there is so much to look
    forward to! Paige is also one of my faves.
    xx Suzanne

  13. I am with Elisa, I think teaching is better than shielding. I was a little confused by your post, Emily – as I do not understand the word fear in relation to your son’s question. I hope I’m wrong but.. Are you afraid of him being gay..? Is that what it is? Or is the fear you speak of a general one? The fear of letting go, and them growing up?

    1. Totally valid question … my fear in parenting lies in the fact that:
      1. it is a huge responsibility that is often beyond my ability
      2. many of the values that we as Christians hold to are often much different than what our society values. To raise my kids to know the truth when they will be bombarded with so many points of view on the contrary is challenging. I am not advocating bigotry or intolerance but rather knowing the Truth, loving those around them and offering the freedom that Christ offers.
      3. there is sin in our world that I’d love to keep my kids from – the potential for them being hurt is everywhere. Falling off monkey bars, having their heart broken by their first love, or worse – drowning, being molested or kidnapped. I can’t dwell on these fears, but I have to recognize that they are possibilities. My job as their mommy is to protect them as best I can all the while allowing them to make their own decisions and become autonomous. It is a challenge, but one I am thankful that I am not required to do without the assistance of a loving husband, lots of supportive friends and family and God.

      I know this is slightly ‘controversial’, so thanks for taking the time to write and ask your question. I hope I answered …

  14. As they say upon discovering that we are blessed with a new baby, that it is the first day where we worry for the rest of our lives. Last week our toddler changed from calling me Mommy to Mom. It is a sign that he is not a baby anymore. So sad. With all that is scary in our world, it really shows us that we need the hope that God promises us to make it through. Please send more pictures of Seattle. I miss living in Washington now that I am in Texas.

  15. Emily, this is Jason from the Seeds Family Worship ministry…thanks for your encouragement both to us and to all of the parents that need to be continually lifted up as they seek to love and teach their children well. We are thankful that the Lord is with His followers every step of the way…

  16. I appreciate the honesty, fear and encouragement of this post. I have a 1 year old and 3 year old baby girls and definitely worry about their future. What a sweet reminder that we are told not to fear…He has gone before us, and with grace and perfection will continue to. Taking advantange of teachable moments and praying over our sweet babies is a responsibility and priviledge. :o)

  17. I had a nightmare a few nights ago. I awoke crying and in a cold sweat. I dreamed that my youngest son, Isaiah, had drowned. It was so real. So.So.Real.
    I laid awake shivering and trying to go back to sleep and escape the images that were flooding my mind. The more I laid there, the more I cried and the more fearful I became. I couldn’t shake that dreaded feeling. I started to pray and the Lord brought to my mind a Scripture that I looked at earlier that day. Romans 12:2…”but be transformed by the renewal of you mind.” I realized that my heart and mind were consumed with fear and I needed His renewal. His Word has power. When our hearts are focused and centered on His living Word, we walk away changed… transformed. I needed to be transformed in those dark moments. I was not successful with fighting my fear by myself… I needed Jesus and His Word. He brought to my mind the Seeds song you mentioned in your post. I have been singing that to my frightened babies for years as they pad into my room in the wee hours of the night. It might be my favorite Seeds song. As I laid there wrestling with my fear, I started to sing those words softly to myself. His Word brought me comfort and peace, and soon, sleep.

    Thank you for being a strong supporter of Seeds. We at Seeds really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words! Do you have our new Character CD? I would love to send it to you if you don’t already own it.
    I agree with the others… a print would be lovely! We own several of your prints and I would love to add that to our collection!
    Grace and Peace,
    Jessica Morlan

  18. There is a wonderful book called “Free Range Parenting” that helps with so many of our fears as parents. Whatever your values, it is important to teach you kids how to cope with a society that will continually challenge them. I have found that teaching rather than shielding my kids has helped them maintain their integrity in the face of bigotry and intolerance. From your post I gather we have very different view points. That’s OK. That’s the great thing about America, we can tolerate other opinions while maintaining our values. The most important thing is to make sure our kids can come to us to keep those lines of communication open. If we don’t they will surely get their information elsewhere.

  19. Emily, I so remember the day my eldest started Kindergarten. I cried…just a little. The day he started 6th grade was worse. But, I have to say, I’ve been so proud of him and the way he has held off the culture. He has a formed conscience, and applies it. While letting go is the hardest part, there is nothing more gratifying than to let go, and watch them fly! And I firmly believe that, if I create a home they love, they will want to replicate it in full when they are older, and will hopefully find that it was values that built this house.

    Indeed, as you’ve seen, the toughest part about moving in and out of today’s culture is teaching my kids (and learning myself) is how to express compassion while maintaining standards. Not sure how to elaborate on that, but I hope it makes a little sense.

  20. I remember the same revelation. It was when the kids started school and the outside world came to our dining table and Griswold mobile. Emily, kids speak best riding in the car and at the table.
    If you are the carpool parents…you are involved in their social awareness. Believe it or not, we had a mini van filled with kids going here and there (mostly sporting events) all the way through high school. BE THERE! Volunteering in the classroom, coaching, driving, breaking up the freak dancing at the high school dances…I once had a young adult that I had known since kindergarten say…”Mrs T, you followed us to high school!’ …and I said…”Yes, I’m here to cheer you on to a great life! Keep up the good work.” Last year, she asked to be my friend on FB! I’ll always be cheering!

  21. Such a great reminder! I LOVE that passage. It’s one of my favorites. There’s a song we sing at our chuch that is based off of those words, and we seem to sing it everytime I need to hear it. It’s funny how those things happen :). Thanks for your encouraging words!

  22. It’s 4:45AM and I have been up since 2:30 with a migraine. While checking my email I fell upon your post. How ironic that at this time of such pain I find something so soothing, so peaceful and so warm. I can’t tell you how much that post and scripture meant to me. Not just at this time of a headache, but at this time of being a parent, working mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend and all the other titles I hold each and every day.
    Thank you.
    On another note, are you considering making this a print?
    Love your blog, Love your heart and your strength in God.
    God Bless

  23. Could you make an art print based on the Isaiah scripture? I need that hanging up!! Great post- it’s hard to shift seasons of life… Mine are still young but I find myself grieving the time gone by already.

  24. Hi Emily,

    I am a little ahead of you in whole parenting adventure and I remember feeling EXACTLY as you do right this moment, just a few years ago. However, I am here to tell you what you already know, good parents raise GOOD kids! I have a almost teenager and I LOVE her, and she still LOVES me….I am enjoying the point of life where I am in awe of the people I am raising and YOU will be too.

    Oh, and I love me some Paige – happy to call her a blog-friend. She inspires me in parenthood too.

    PS – While I LOVE those fab moving cards you did for me, I still have yet to print and send them out – ugh! LIFE is crazy busy…..but soon, soon. Can’t thank you enough!!!
    Be well.

  25. You dont know how much I needed to read this. Just another testament to the outreach of an internet community of friends. I have always had irrational fears of losing loved ones. I guess they aren’t irrational since I lost my dad before I was born – but more importantly irrational fears of losing children. Not so much that I dwell on it every day – no way. But it’s just “there” looming it seems like. I’m a Christian – and a strong Christian at that. I KNOW that even if something happens I will see them again but it’s the fear of the pain, heartache, the future without them. I’m babbling.

    Just – thank you. A perfect reminder that My God is in control and no matter what happens I have the hope and assurance of life now and forever. And PEACE. Is there anything better?!

  26. Had to chuckle. Just finished VBS at our church. The kiddos memory verse was Isiah 41.10a. Our youth minister wrote a song about this verse. You would love it. Wish I had it to send it to you. The chorus gets stuck in your head!

  27. My favorite quote of all time….by “unknown”….is this:

    They are God’s children, you are just their earthly parent.

    This became my mantra when raising my children. He ultimately will take care of them…we are just there for guidance and to administer daily needs. Our love for them is nothing compared to His love for them.

    xoxo, Julia

  28. This is such a great post Emily. Thank you! It was a timely reminder for me. What an amazing gift to have scripture on hand speaking to you right in the time of need. We LOVE the seeds CDs. I actually bought our first one because of one of yours posts awhile back. I love hearing even my 2 year old lisp out her praises to God. I think my four kids are right around the same ages as yours. Can’t wait to check out Simple Thoughts too.

  29. This is not a downer post :). This is a great post. Thanks for sharing your faith. We were the parents who would not allow our daughters to have sleepovers with families we didn’t know, or go to a movie that was rated beyond their age or reading the latest book series on wizards or something we deemed inappropriate. I’m sure we protected them from some bad environments, nightmares and more. Parenting is even tougher today with commercials that give us too much information and support current social lifestyles. Keep praying and doing what is right in God’s eyes.

  30. My husband and I have been talking a lot about how fear can cripple you as a parent. Fear of worldly influence, fear of not teaching them “the right way,” like we will miss the boat even when we are being intentional. But we have a Father who loves these precious gifts (our kids) more than we could imagine. And I am confident that he will do what he says he will do. It often feels like David and Goliath, that is guiding our kids in this world. But unlike all the other Isrealites, David believed that God would keep his covenant. That is how he was able to have victory. He put foot to what God promised. I pray that I can be a bold enough parent, to contend for God’s promises for my kids in the same way. It is so encouraging to hear Your heart for your kids! It sounds like you are doing a great job!

  31. I thought that this was really great! I do not have any children of my own (Yet) but I already think about all of these things. I love your blog and consider you to be a mentor mom in a way to me. =)

  32. Thank you so much for that – I have three (so far) rapidy growing boys – first is about to complete kindergarten. He’s in public school and the experience has been great, but of course, has hurried along his growing up. I have never applied that particular verse to the fears and apprehensions inherent in raising our sons in this very polluted world (yet no more polluted than their own hearts and the hearts of their mom and dad!) What a blessing to meditate on this verse – thank you!

  33. seeds cds are an integral part of our family too! i like to say they are for my boys, but i’ve memorized quite a few … whatever it takes to get the Word in! :)

  34. Thank you for this post and for your blog. I absolutely love it.

    My babies are 5 and 2 and I was just thinking today that the struggles I feel today will seem so small in the future. It’s important to keep it all in perspective, and I lose track of that sometimes. Thank you for reminding me.

  35. It may seem as though the stakes get higher as they get older, but they just get different. Remember that you are learning through all this, just as your children are. Believe it or not, your experiences do count for something, but faith counts for more…faith in God as well as faith in yourself and your children. It’s soooo hard sometimes to give a little freedom, but to see confidence in your children is its own reward. Having said that, I also really believe in listening to my own inner voice. If it feels wrong, it probably is for your family (even if everyone else thinks otherwise). If you run across the Love and Logic series, I would recommend it highly. I went to a class at my oldest child’s school, but I strangely found most of the advice helpful with my youngest. You never know where the nuggets of truth will come from, but just be open to them. Parenting is an amazing journey!

  36. I am really happy that you share your faith on your blog. We are called to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations and I believe that in this day and age you are doing exactly that through these posts. You may be planting the seed or watering one but I believe that you are making a difference just talking about your faith and how we are different from the world. Also, I wanted to say that “sheltering” your children from what is normal is Godly. Sheltering has such a negative connotation but I believe that is what God wants us to do, at least until our childrens roots are planted firmly in their faith and your family identity. We are called to be different from this world and broad is the path (which is where “normality” is found) which leads to destruction. I am on the brink of my baby turning into a little boy and I am begining to consider home schooling (something I never ever would have considered before becoming a follower of Christ, I made fun of those kids! ha) but “sheltering” our children I believe is the right thing to do and I don’t want to see my sweet innocent little boy spend the majority of his day being influenced by people that don’t have the same values we do until he is firmly rooted in Christ. Anyways, I just want to encourage you to continue to share your faith on your blog and maybe you could even extend an invitation to those who might want to know more about your faith by asking you questions via email. How amazing would it be to witness what God is doing through your blog. Hope you are having a great day!

  37. What a fitting post to all the emotions I feel this time of year. My only child, my son, will turn 11 tomorrow and the whole range of emotions I’ve now come to expect are in full swing. From the longing to hold my baby to my chest again to the pride I feel as I watch him interact with the boys he’s chosen for his closest friends to the thankfulness that overwhelms me as he matures in Christ, it is a gift. I’ve made my share of mistakes but my son knows he is loved and in the end all I can do is my best and trust that God will make up the difference.

  38. Thank you so very much for this post it is so encouraging! We also have four kids ages 7 to 1 month and often worry about those same issues, how to find a balance between protecting them from this world and letting them make mistakes. As I read your post tears of relief and thankfulness filled my eyes. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone, that God is on my side.

  39. I don’t know that I’ve ever commented but I’ve been reading you for a while and now have lots of friends who do as well! I read this post as my 10 year old is leaving to ride her bike to meet a friend and I’m struggling with letting her go. Is she too young? Is it too far? I love that my children are getting older (10, 8, and 4) and with it does come lots of new challenges. I think it’s neat that your son’s question came when you all were in the car. My family also has some of our deepest, most important talks in the car. I don’t know why that is but it seems to be when my kids happen to open about things and it’s why I’m so glad that I don’t put them in front of a DVD or portable game so that we can have these great talks! Thanks for the post!

  40. This comes at a very important day. A friend at our previous church just lost her little boy yesterday to a tragic accident. He was only 3. We have prayed for their sweet family today and will continue for the long days ahead. John 16:33 is a verse that will comfort them and hopefully bring this sweet family peace. Prayers would be appreciated for the Jones family. (no relation just ironic) Thank you and God Bless!

  41. Emily,
    Thank you for this post. It’s what I needed to hear today. My three littles (11.5,9.5 and 8)and I just watched some of the SEEDS videos on youtube. Love ’em! Excited to check out Simple thoughts. Thanks for being real and for encouraging words. So thankful that the Lord knows our struggles and we can trust HIM to guide us in this thing called parenthood.

  42. Thank you so much for this post! I haven’t been following your blog for very long (and to think of it, I’m not sure exactly how I got here), but I was inspired as much by this post as by your other amazing posts! I am raising two very strong-willed and big hearted little boys, and the oldest is about to enter kindergarten. You’re right — things like “oh my gosh, I have to teach him to to read?!?? And ride his bike??!?!” seem much more daunting than the early stages of walking and talking. And I know this is still the “easy” part. Geesh. You are also right, that we are not raising these little ones alone, but by prayers sent up to heaven for direction, and His blessings washing over us each and every day!

  43. Thank you so much for this post! You are not being a downer- you are encouraging us moms who are right there with you or almost to that stage! Right now I am knee-deep in the toddler/preschool years and some days it seems so exhausting. But I know that there other different, exciting, scary challenges ahead and I just want to trust the Lord and seek His guidance for every season of my life!

  44. I love your heart, Emily. I am an engaged-to-be-married 25 yr old who is looking forward to raising children, but not looking forward to raising almost-adults. How does one do it the right way? I know that God has a huge plan in all of the awkward and scary things, I just want to do the best I can to not screw them up when they get here. I am grateful for your honesty. I know that the only thing you can control is your reaction to their stages, being there when it’s painful. I remember being a freshman in high school and being dumped by my date 2 days before homecoming. My mom listened and held me as I sobbed. That was what mattered. I wish my dad had been there and had pulled out the shotgun and tracked him down, or at least threatened to (lol). BUT mom was the comfort. Love you, you’ll do smashingly well.

  45. Thank you for posting this. I really needed to be encouraged today. My kids are 13 months apart (my oldest will be 3 in August) and I’m pregnant with my third (due at the end of July). It’s been “one of those days”. Right before I sat down to check my google reader I was praying about parenting and the things I need to change. I’m realizing I’m trying to do things on my own strength and I’m failing. That scripture is exactly what I needed to hear.

  46. Hi Emily, loved this post. I cried when I read this post, because I am in thed midst of raising a 2 year old and 4 week old, and know I can’t do it all. And I don’t have to because I am not alone! I have been wanting to buy an art print of yours, and have been waiting for a verse or quote to speak to me, and this one did! I really think you should create a print for your shop with this print. I know I’d buy it! Thanks again, LOVE your blog. :)

  47. This post was such an encouragement! We have those same thoughts as we raise our babies in a society where the Lord seems to have been forgotten. Thanks so much for sharing… this song goes along with your thoughts and mine. It has been such a huge enouragment to listen to ,knowing it to be so true! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAxBUqohqfo

  48. Thank you for this. It is just what I needed today. My baby girl is 9 months old and I have to leave her for a whole 6 days during church teen camp this month. I know it’s not a “real” trial but I’m still having a hard time with this first separation. Why do I forget that the source of all strength is God?……. thank you for reminding me!

  49. Emily, bless you for your strong faith…I have 3 children, the oldest being 22 and the youngest 11, so you think I would be somewhat of a pro by now…heck no! I am still praying for wisdom and challenged by my kids daily because they are each so different.

    Oh and just wait until you get the question about what is the name of each gender part and what exactly they do…gahhh!

  50. While my husband and I are just in the process of trying to have kids, this is incredibly encouraging as we know we’re stepping into very unfamiliar territory. Thank you for sharing so much with us!

  51. It is alarming to consider that these early years I’m in now that feel so crazy are actually the Easy years – at least the simpler ones. Things are going to get more complicated…but sweet and exciting too, I know. Yikes – we need so much grace at every stage.

  52. emily, we love Seeds. It has planted verses in my heart over and over again. I nearly cried when I read this. Caleb’s favorite verse is this one, and because of Seeds, he has had it memorized since he was 3. I am SO thankful that we have tools like this to hide HIM in their hearts for the times {the many times} when we cannot keep things simple and safe.
    I am also thankful for the network of Christian moms, just like you, who share their heart.
    just prayed for you this minute!
    – {darlene}

  53. Thanks for sharing! I can totally relate. We are sending our oldest off to kindergarten (full-day) in the fall and I’m having a bit of anxiety about it all.

  54. It is so strengthening to know there are other mothers out there who are raising their children to be the sort of people God hopes them to be, rather than the sort of people society would make them. It isn’t easy, especially when the world’s voice is so loudly pushing them the opposite way. Thank you. It gives me the strength to stick to my guns!

  55. you cannot parent without the Lord. we have raised our 2 children and we are so proud of them and the choices they have made. we were strict but allowed them to make mistakes and learn from them. it is a joy to raise children unto the Lord!

  56. Thanks so much for sharing this. We are still in the early stages of parenthood…but I worry. This was a great reminder that God hasn’t “given us the spirit of fear…but of power and of love and a sound mind”. This also helped me remember that He wants us to succeed! :)

  57. What a great word and a reminder of where we need to keep our heart and eyes focused! I don’t think you’re a downer at all…I think the challenges of raising our kids in the ways of the Lord (counter to our culture) is a demanding task! I have three kids and my oldest is starting to ask big questions…..it is hard, but oh so rewarding when you see them step out and start making decisions and choices all on their own that make you proud!

    On a lighter note, I hope to see that great verse from Isaiah added to your “art prints” collection in your shop. *smile*

  58. Thanks for this post! We are in the early years of parenting {my first is 9 months} and I am already feeling the pressures/struggles/concerns/fears of attempting to raise a godly child! I know we have a lot ahead of us, but its encouraging to hear from seasoned moms who are one step ahead of you in it all!

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