I taught her.
From the time she was born, I taught her.
I taught her how to walk. She toddled around and stumbled a few times. There were a few scrapes and bumps, but she learned. Then I taught her of the importance of choosing the right paths.
I taught her to talk. Small sounds turned to giggles that turned to mumbles that turned to words. Before long, she was making full sentences and conversations. I taught her the power of her words, to build or to destroy, to honor self or to glorify God.
I taught her to read. Letter by letter, word by word. Sentences and Bible verses, paragraphs, chapters, and books. Then I taught her to guard her mind from the world's rubbish. At first I sheltered her, then little by little, as I saw her grow, I pulled back the shelter. She spread her tiny wings. I taught her to fly.
I taught her math and science and history and Bible and literature. I taught her about the Creator and His beautiful design of the world around her. I taught her how to see Him and His perfect order in math and science. I taught her how to see His sovereignty and grace in history. I taught her how to see the heart of man revealed in literature. I taught her that all of it can only be understood in the light of God's Word.
I taught her to cook. I taught her to clean. I taught her to serve. I taught her to lead. I taught her to think and to walk circumspectly.
My face blushed, but I pressed forward. I taught her to shave. I taught her how to put on make-up. I taught her modesty and true beauty. I taught her about her body changes. I taught her about her period. I taught her how to put on a pad. We giggled nervously like silly girls do, but she learned. And I was the one who taught her. I taught her about boys and babies and the beauty and joy of following God's plan. I taught her the purity of intimacy in marriage and the tragedy and pain of giving her heart away before it was ready, and the heartbreak and baggage of sharing her body outside of God's design.
I taught her.
Not a teacher or a cousin or a movie.
The one who loves her more than anyone but God...
I taught her.
And truth be told... she taught me, too.
So why did my boy join the Army?
Was it because he wasn't smart enough for college?
Ha! Hardly. The boy was scoring college level on his national tests at 6th grade. He almost won the geography bee when he was a 4th grader going against 8th graders. He dominated the first and second rounds. He defeated everyone, but they had to have a competitor to hold a third round. The kid is brilliant.
Was it because he had nothing better to do?
He has been dreaming of this his whole life. Always in camo. Always collecting the gear. Always reading books, memorizing history and weaponry, and studying Christian military heroes. He told his grandmother, "I just want to do something that makes a difference."
Maybe he is doing what we have always taught him. We drug him to the other side of the world to make a difference. We taught him to run toward danger instead of away from it to rescue people from the fire physically and spiritually. He didn't hesitate to help dig people out of the rubble when a disaster hit the week of his 16th birthday. When most kids are celebrating their licenses, he was helping distribute emergency food. When most kids were cruising the roads of the USA wasting time, he was building emergency shelters and loving it.
Did it surprise me that he chose combat medic as his MOS? No, actually... somehow it seemed to fit just perfectly.
Does it make me sad that we are on the other side of the world and will not get to be there for his graduation in March? Yes, a little. But we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, and he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. Somehow God has used that to bring comfort, knowing we are all where we are supposed to be.
Jude 1:22 "And of some have compassion, making a difference:"
They are amazing kids.
Some days I just watch them and think how blessed I am to be their Mom.
And I want to do it right. There is a deep longing in my heart to be the kind of mom God wants me to be.
That kind of parenting doesn't come naturally.
That kind of parenting comes from being trained... changed... shaped by the Lord.
It comes through much labor and submission.
It comes through study and inspection and growth and conviction and learning.
It's work and it's tough.
I love resources that help me in this journey of motherhood.
Recently I came across a resource that I invested in. Someone had recommended a book to me.
The book? Passionate Parenting by Cary Schmidt.
I read it... well, actually I DEVOURED it!
It was that good!
The book is often directed toward parents of preteens and teens, but covers the whole spectrum of parenting in some fashion. It even covers parenting adult children, too.
My favorite things about the book?
Practical. The book isn't just happy fluff, but it gets down to business of how to put into practice bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This book isn't about changing our children. It's about training parents to be what God has called them to be.
Cary Schmidt did a wonderful job in helping me to understand my children better... my ten year old... my almost teenage girl... and my college kid.
Not only that, but he presented ways to help me improve parenting each of the ages of children who call me Mom.
The book helped me understand myself, too.
All of this from biblical perspective.
It isn't too much longer and I will be having a Mommy/Daughter getaway to talk about "growing up" things with my girl.
This book had a whole section covering those discussions. Like I said-- practical.
Usually when I do a book review, I like to give the good side and the bad side. But honestly, this book impacted me as a parent greatly.
I really cannot think of a negative. I will be reading it again...
Best parenting book I have ever read by far.
Is it ok for a wife and mom to have a job outside the home?
Wow. That's a hot button topic.
But let me suggest that tackling that question from a Biblical standpoint actually starts at a different point. Let me explain.
Happy MK Spirit Week!
It's Change Your Species Day!
Michalea chose to be a Bush Baby! Haha!
Gabriel decided to be a chipmunk. He did his own costume all by himself. He didn't have time to make the ears, so I helped him out a little with some computer magic. Hehehe!