The Hard Truth about Do Hard Things
As soon as one of the girls from my small group sang the praises of Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, I knew I had to read it. After all, how could I go wrong with something that inspired so much enthusiasm in a teen? However, once I started reading it, I ended up getting much more than I bargained for.
Though Do Hard Things was originally written by teens to teens, I was struck by how much parents can benefit from the wisdom and insight offered in the book. In fact, I have to admit that I was really convicted by much of what I read. In particular, the following quote pulled me right up out of my seat, placed me squarely in front of my mirror, and challenged me to take a long, hard look.
“For all of us, expectations are a self-fulfilling prophecy.” –Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, Pg.41
Mother’s Day Reflections
Mother’s Day is always a time for celebration around our house, but it also brings out a very introspective side of me. I want to stay present in the moment and enjoy every minute with my family, but I also try to take time to pull back and reflect on my larger motherhood journey.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Let me start by asking you a really personal question.
Do you have a will?
If you have children, there is a good chance you have at least done some basic estate planning. This usually involves answering the following questions:
- Who will gain custody of your children in the event that something happens to both you and your spouse?
- How will your children be provided for once you are gone?
- Who will make important decisions regarding your estate?
- What will happen to any possessions you own?
Though none of us really likes to plan for our death, the truth is that it will happen to all of us one day. Therefore, it is to our advantage to plan well.
If you live in the Texas Hill Country right now, you’re aware of the fact that we’re in the heart of bluebonnet season. This time of year it’s not uncommon to see families taking pictures in the bluebonnets along the side of the road or to encounter random patches of bluebonnets growing on otherwise perfectly manicured lawns. People have even been known to travel great distances just for the chance to catch a glimpse of this blue beauty.
Do you ever feel like you work hard to give your kids everything they could ever want or need, but somehow they don’t seem to appreciate it?
If we’re honest, I would venture to guess that a majority of us have felt like this at one point or another. We sacrifice our time, our health, and sometimes even our families themselves, yet it never seems to be enough. We run ourselves ragged and come away with nothing to show for it. This leaves us frustrated and unfulfilled and also leads to discord in our families.
I recently was blessed with the opportunity to interview my friend Patty Scott about her new book Parenting Your Teen Through Chaos & Crisis. Here Patty opens up about what propelled her to write on such an important topic, and she also shares some of her best parenting advice. Enjoy!
Q: I know that you recently wrote the book Parenting Your Teen Through Chaos & Crisis. Would you mind providing a short synopsis of what the book is about?
A: Yes, thank you. The book grew out of a desire to bless moms of teens. I realized, as a mother of my own teen, that we can fall into various patterns of thinking and reacting. I wanted to help women release the guilt we sometimes feel as moms and to replace that with healthy ways of seeing ourselves and interacting with our family. In the book I show parents how to move into a role of effective influence in their adolescent’s life. I talk about how to allow and choose consequences that will make a difference. The book also covers how to have a healthy relationship by remaining appropriately connected to your teenager while simultaneously letting them go so they can grow. I close the book by emphasizing the importance of having systems of support in our lives as moms and give examples of good places to find that support. I share a number of simple and practical approaches throughout the book. The book is written with a spirit of hope, encouraging moms that they can survive and even thrive through this stage of motherhood. I wish I could sit face to face with each of the readers, hearing their story of motherhood. Short of that, this book is my way of sitting down and sharing friend to friend.
The Truth About Technology
Though the great majority of this post will be about how to set healthy technology boundaries for your family, I want to start by stating the fact that I believe technology gets a bad rap. In fact, most people would argue that technology has greatly improved the world in which we live. However, because we live in a fallen world, technology is a tool people use to commit sinful acts. This misuse of technology has the ability to affect us as an individual, as a family, and as a society. As a result, we can embrace all that technology allows us to accomplish, but we must also be aware of the pitfalls it can provide.
The Axis Gen Z Faith Summit is an incredible opportunity to hear from “over 40 of the most influential authors & Christian thought leaders to help you know your teen’s culture, develop their heart, and lead them into lifelong faith in Jesus Christ.” (genzfaith.com) The best part about the summit is that it’s free. Four pre-recorded session are released each day, and you have 72 hours to watch them before they go behind a paywall. You can also purchase an All-Access Pass if you want to be able to watch the sessions at your leisure. The summit runs through Saturday, March 3rd, so it’s not too late to sign up for a free pass and catch the remainder of the summit. I promise you will be blessed!
Here are my top 5 takeaways from the summit so far:
As I have been listening to all of the sessions, I’ve been looking for some common themes. The summit itself covers the general topics of sexuality, technology, and growing up. However, the following advice seems to permeate each session regardless of the topic:
Guest Post by Deanne Welsh
One of the greatest lessons God has taught me over the past several months is the power of community. None of us have all of the solutions to the issues we face in our lives, nor do we possess all of the knowledge about topics that have the ability to change and enrich our lives, but when we work together in community, we can make great strides towards growing into the people God would have us to be. I am blessed to say that Deanne Welsh is an integral part of both my writing and parenting communities. She is a tremendous source of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration. I want to personally thank her for sharing this powerful post. Enjoy!
I call it his dictator power.
He knows what he wants and declares it loudly and boldly. If he is met with opposition, he digs in and demands, cries and forces his way forward. He is an unstoppable force.
I do my best to stand strong, reminding myself that I am the mother and thus in charge. Reminding myself to be gentle, he is little even though his willpower is not.
At night I fall into bed, exhausted by the constant battery of demands having repeated the mantra in my mind, “stay strong, stay consistent” hundreds of times along with, “it’s not personal, take a deep breath.”
I hope my attempts at consistency are enough to raise my child.
A Chance Encounter
I barreled through the parking lot with a shopping cart full of groceries and my three children in tow. Though I was glad to escape the huddled masses inside our local Wal-Mart, I was eager to get everything loaded up so I could get back home. I hurriedly opened the back of my SUV, only to find it filled with backpacks and book bags. I sighed and quickly tried to devise a plan for getting all of my groceries into my vehicle.
As I frantically began stashing bags here and there, I suddenly noticed an older lady sitting in the van facing us. She sat quietly watching all of the commotion. There really was no expression on her face, but as she sat almost transfixed, I began to see a little twinkle in her eyes. She never spoke nor acknowledged that she was staring, but I felt like those sparkling eyes of hers were telling a story all their own.