The Laundry …Tackling Tough Transitions.

Folding teeny tiny t-shirts filled my heart to the brim with joy for many years. I never would have dreamed of sharing laundry duty, or even calling it a duty to begin with. Silently changing padding through the house to switch loads while first daughter napped felt like heaven on earth. 

Time is tricky. 

Somehow, over the years, laundry became a burden. You guys …laundry DOES NOT fill my heart to the brim with joy now! It’s fills my laundry room to capacity and completely overwhelms me. The sheer amount of the whole family’s laundry causes me to DREAD IT all the way to Target to buy more underwear instead of separating ALL OF THE LOADS. I’d love to tell you that was the first time I’ve done that …but it absolutely wasn’t.

Time tends to turn the gift of socks laying on the floor into annoyances that set us fuming. What was once a joyful reminder of people filling my life and my home is now one more thing I can’t figure out how to squeeze into a limited amount of time. The older my kids get, the faster time slips by. I can’t stop it, and I can’t seem to figure out how to train my people to pick there socks up off the floor so that I can re-allocate the 3.5 seconds it takes me to pick them up and walk them to the laundry room. 

As I prayed and prepared to start “book-fasting” to ready my life and soul for book baby #2, I knew something had to be done about the overwhelming amount of laundry I caught myself dragging down stairs and dumping. It was time to turn it over. When what once brought us joy begins to wear on us, it may be time to turn it over. I was delaying the complete laundry turnover, partly because I didn’t trust them to do it right, and partly because I think deep down this momma was dealing with …change. 

Transitions are tough. All change requires adjustment. I prefer proven processes. Turning over requires letting go. Every time my children are able to accomplish something without me, I’m reminded they aren’t mine to hold onto. They are God’s, and I have to let go, piece by piece, and let them flourish and learn and create their own processes, trusting good seeds have been planted and firm roots are being watered. 

It was hard to let go of the laundry. 

The left the piles accumulate and it took days fold and put it all away. The wet loads left in the washer had to be re-washed. I let them do it. I let all of the lessons be learned. The empty space I feel when I finish my laundry and no one else’s is a catch 22. 

My kids don’t need me to do laundry their anymore. I thought I needed to reallocate my time to push a book baby out. God was making room for new conversations my daughters need me to be fully present in.

He goes before us so efficiently, asking us to set things down so we are able to pick up new things. Raising kids produces a lot of laundry. It has to be washed, but it’s not the most important thing. Let it pile up while He clears room for important conversations. Let them do it, and feel the full weight of their laundry. All of the clean stuff they shove into those hampers …let them carry it all down and wash it, and fold it and put it away again. Maybe they’ll start wearing some of that stuff more than once. Maybe they’ll learn some new things. 

Everyday older we get the closer we are to the next transition. Let’s not fear it, but embrace them all, knowing God will faithfully keep us busy with new things …new changes …new conversations. 

Happy Transitioning,

Megs



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“Growing With,” by Kara Powell & Steven Argue, Book Review

“Currently in academic, philanthropic, and for-profit fields, there is a fresh awakening to the power of empathy. By empathy, we mean ‘feeling with’ young people.” -Growing With

“Growing With” is an invaluable resource to parents currently raising or preparing to raise teens and young adults. The research is diligent and applicable in equipping parents to come alongside their children during the tricky growth spurts they go through. 

As a parent of two tween girls, I drank in every spiritual sentiment and educated formula presented in this work. It will be a resource I go back to as they grow, and I am able to reapply the authors’ insights as my children enter different stages of young adulthood. I am appreciative of the warm and relatable tone which this book is written in, despite all of the research packed into it’s pages. 

The book is broken up into four sections, “Growing With Parenting,” “Thriving in Family: Withing,” “Thriving in Faith: Faithing,” and “Thriving in Future: Adulting.” It’s easy to read. Those that are raising or working with teens and young adults …even those in the preparatory tween stages …will get through the content quickly. 

It can be difficult to figure out how to talk about all of the awkward and hard topics with our teens and young adults. Powell and Argue take the guesswork out of “if” we can come alongside and parent young adults well, and faithfully guide parents in a relatable “how to” we can all employ in our everyday lives. 

I highly recommend this book to parents raising teens and young adults, and those that work with or volunteer their time in youth groups for kids these ages.

“Often, young people’s questions about God and current topics are their attempts to keep their spirituality relevant, not rebel against it.” -Growing With

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF “GROWING WITH”

5 Bible Stories to Help Your Kids Gain Courage in Tough Times

Life can be tough on kids but leading them to the feet of Jesus ushers in a hope that surpasses all their hard moments.

I felt the first sting of letting go when I dropped mine off for school. It was my first real sense of giving them back to God. Lock down drills, conflict, and bullying crept onto our radar as elementary school continued. With every nuance about the world they learn, questions arise. When they brush up against serious illness, loss, or tragedy, it can be especially hard for them to get through the pain. But God is bigger. And we must help them fight to find the good, even amidst hard times.

Guiding children though the harsh realities of life requires us to acknowledge their feelings and guide them to His feet. God will ready our hearts with the encouragement our children need, as we are faithful to meet Him in His Word. Here are five Bible stories that can help kids gain courage in tough times.

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A Prayer for Pre-Teen Parents

I fumed about my older daughter’s lack of timeliness, as I thrust the car door open and lunged in. Her little sister sat alone in the backseat, and worried tears streamed down her face. Stunned from watching her best friend run out of her sight, her seven year old voice was as panicked as her eyes were.

“I don’t know where she went!”

The engine hummed and the door hung wide open, as I tore around the yard. We called out her name and searched the hiding places. Flashes of missing kids paraded through my mind as I ran along the edge of our property. Stopped cold, I reached into my pocket to execute every parent’s worst nightmare. 

“My daughter is …missing,” I managed to verbalize, as I ached in prayer for God to protect her.

How had we gotten here?

That morning, I allowed the one thing that my daughter struggled with to snap my patience and leverage a war on her pre-teen emotional state. As she explained herself to the three police men parked at the end of our driveway that day, a guilt that I had failed her washed over me.

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10 Things Parents Might Not Realize they are Doing Right

Parenting is no joke. There are few people we simultaneously love and loathe more than our children. They push us to the brink of our mental capacity. It’s a lifetime commitment to foster faith in another human being. A decade into motherhood, myself, and I’m amazed at how the responsibility for another’s life has caused me to take the direction of mine more seriously.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s a hard job, but all too often, we parents are too hard on ourselves. I can only pray that my children will choose to adopt a “forgive forward” philosophy. Parents, take heart, for in our weakness, we are strong. As Paul spoke of a thorn in his side, it is often our failures and mistakes that allow us to teach our children the most valuable lessons.

Here are 10 beautiful things you probably do for your children everyday without realizing it.

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