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Parenting Through The Phases - Intentional Parenting 101. Yikes!

I left our class last Wednesday night throwing off all inclination of what my tomorrow looked like. I was feeling like I had attended Parent Pep Rally 2k19 and my determination to “intentional parent” was real! I mean after all, I learned that my 16 year old daughter’s “936 marbles” jar only contained 71 marbles, representing 71 weeks of parenting before graduation, and my 13 year old son’s jar only had 279 weeks of parenting left before graduation. ACK!

I wiped my calendar for the next day of all the things that were important before class and determined myself to have a good time with Cole. Yep..... at Little Ponderosa the rain…where a goat chased me and ate my clothes for the first 45 minutes of our visit. No matter, Cole loves animals and got to pet a camel, feed baby goats, a capybara, an ostrich, llamas or alpacas (I cannot tell the difference) and some donkeys, laugh until he couldn’t breathe, and eat trash food for lunch (McDonalds). He had himself a great day WITH HIS MOM! Can I get a witness?! I was feeling pretty good about my intentional parenting skills, not bragging or anything.

But then, the other days of the week came, like they always do. My days filled up with school projects, grocery store runs, dinner and clean up, prep for our college Sunday school class, our parenting class, a health class I am teaching, dog vet stuff, life, life, life, and my other children’s life stuff.

While Derrick and I have a plan for dating for our children, I never truly expected to have to enforce the plan on my last 2 of the 4 children. I guess I just assumed they would never be hormonal and show interest in someone until they went to college or moved out….because you know…realistic expectations and all. For days I have been dealing with my child wanting to spend time with a male other than those in our house. While outwardly I’m cool, cause that’s what I hear is the best way to be, inwardly my mind is full of chaos and uncertainty.

I knew my oldest daughter was planning to move out at some point, but not really, she’s just talking and saying grown up things. So I am not going to worry about this presently. Except, Monday we looked at houses and she got pre-approved for a loan “in case she finds one.”

I know my oldest son is ok, he’s spiritually solid; at least I‘m good on this front. Wrong. He’s searching for a church home and finding connections difficult. Difficult to the point of confusion, which we know confusion is not of God but of Satan. Wisdom! I need you!!

Reverse now, back to the church last Wednesday night. Upon driving out of the church parking lot, Skylar and Cole’s marble jars spilled inside my car, jumbling around all the way home making a ruckus. Once in my garage, they managed to spill some more, rolling here and there and 6 days later I am still finding blue marbles. It’s a metaphor for my coming week and I failed to see it, or either just didn’t want to see it.

We discussed in session 1 that parenting is the hardest job any of us have ever had. It’s always changing and even when we have a plan for life situations that are sticky, it’s not always one size fits all. I like to think that I am “spiritually mature” and that “I can handle all things through Christ who strengthens me.” However, lately I have been taking God for granted. Like….I don’t need to pray about this or that because God knows my heart and I trust Him. He’s got me. Well, yeah He does! BUT if I am neglecting my time with him in laziness how can He prepare me for the intentional parenting that needed to happen this week? The past couple months or so I have chosen to pray for all sorts of other people and things over my own family and needs in haphazard hope that “God knows my heart, it’s all good.” God reminded me today that my intentional parenting begins first in time spent with Him, voicing the needs of my husband and me to have wisdom and grace abounding. I need to go back to earlier times I spent in prayer over my children’s lives so that I am equipped for whatever arises in full confidence, not uncertain chaos.

Hard truth I learned: Being present in our children’s lives is a must, making time for conversations with them is imperative, but honestly….Intentional parenting….starts first with me on my knees asking God to walk alongside me so that I might be the parent He wants me to be.

……..Thinking that “God knows my heart, it’s all good” isn’t going to cut it.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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