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Raising Kids to Leave

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Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetWhile running last week, I heard a podcast with Stasi Eldridge. During the interview, she talked about how as moms we are raising our kids to leave us. A tearful but piercingly true reality. I am not raising my girls to know their ABCs or to be able to color in the lines or even to know their Bible verses. I am raising my girls to speak life into the hurting around them, to leap over latitudes and longitudes in order to love the outcast and abandoned and to carry the penetrating gospel of redemption into a broken world. My mission is not changing diapers and quelling temper tantrums. My mission is molding hearts that love God and love people with reckless abandon.

Last night I was weary and discouraged. It was a tough day, lots of crying and whiny questions, one of those that comes with being the mom of little ones. The time came to tuck Lydia into bed. Matt layed on one side of her and me on the other. I stared up at the green stars sprayed across her ceiling, her little hand right next to my cheek. Matt prayed over her, the prayers we echo every night. That she would dance upon injustice, that she would love God with all her heart, soul and strength, that she would be brave and courageous.  And at the end of his prayer, Matt prayed she and her sister would grow up to be women just like their mom. My eyes filled with tears and I grabbed his hand in the dark, certain he didn’t even know the power of those specific words at that specific time. It was a humbling prayer, especially on a day when I felt so unworthy. As we left her room, my spirits buoyed by his timely encouragement, I thought of a quote I once heard.

You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are. ~ John Maxwell

I’m learning it’s less about what I’m teaching my girls, and more about the person I am. It’s less about what I’m doing and more about who I’m becoming. Because who I’m becoming paves the way for who they are becoming. One day our girls will leave our home, at the age of 45 according to their daddy.  And when they do, it won’t be the lessons on grammar or table etiquette that sustain them. It will be the lessons on forgiveness and grace, loyalty and devotion, love and learning the hard way. These are the lessons I pray they will carry in tiny pockets stitched to their hearts. And these are the lessons I pray they will learn from their daddy and me.

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