I am so excited to announce my next online bible study series beginning September 14th on my blog! If you’re visiting today from my Proverbs 31 Devotion and have an interest in participating, just subscribe to my blog here or fill in the subscribe box on the right hand side bar on my home page. If you’re already a blog subscriber, I pray the devotions and challenges in the study will speak to your heart (because seriously – who doesn’t struggle with stress from time to time?!).
To say I’m excited to see how God will be working in the hearts of stressed-out women from all around the world through this message is an understatement! I am confident that many of us will feel less stressed, and more peace-full in just a few weeks as we seek permanent peace in Christ despite our circumstances.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SIGN UP FOR THE STUDY, PLEASE CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC BELOW
On another note, my Proverbs 31 devotion today, How to Trust God With Your Children, touched on one of the top 5 stressors in today’s society – PARENTING! Can I get an Amen? 🙂 The devotion shares something a little embarrassing though ….. that time when my first born child went to college three years ago this month, and I became an emotionally unstable crazy person.
I was so excited for Morgan, but I knew I would desperately miss her presence in our home. I couldn’t help but worry for her safety and well-being, and started doubting if I’d raised her right and prepared her for this new season of life. Basically, I let my fears overshadow my faith and lost sight of the fact that God would watch over her. I had to dry my tears and start praying more than fretting and He slowly replaced my craziness with peacefulness.
If you’re sending a child off to college, below are 6 tips on what-not-to-do – take it from me. 🙂
I didn’t mean to, but after I dropped Morgan off at college, I let my emotions get the better of me. As if sending my daughter to college meant never ever seeing her again. Ever. I finally realized my emotional instability was affecting my entire family, not just me, and that I needed to get it together! Ask God to fill your heart with peace and comfort, and for the courage and faith to entrust your child into God’s hands knowing that He will be looking after them until you see them again. No matter how old your child gets, they will always need their mom – and you can always dangle some home cooking and an offer to wash their clothes to lure them home.
2. Don’t assume your child is going to make the same mistakes you did in college -0r that they won’t make any mistakes at all.
As moms, we want to protect our children and prevent them from getting into situations or making decisions that will negatively impact their faith, their lives or their futures. Since we probably all have some things we did in college or adolescent years that we regret, we want to make sure our kids don’t. I do want to protect my kids from making the same mistakes I did and tried to teach them and mold them over the years through what I’ve learned. But as much as we want to protect them, we have to let them make their own choices and sometimes their own mistakes. What we can do is pray for the Holy Spirit to be their guide and convict their hearts if they start heading down a wrong path.
3. Don’t let their drama, become your drama.
It’s all too easy to get pulled into teenage drama, simply because we care about our children. When people are mean to them, we hurt for them (and might want to roll some heads – just saying). When professors are unfair or uncaring, we want to make a few phone calls. When situations occur, we want to get involved, seeking resolution. When our child is hurt, we want to mend their hearts. When they say they’re sick, we want to run to their dorm room and tend to their needs. (yes I did that once or twice, have mercy) But the good news is that any type of drama somehow always works itself out and our kids typically get over it and move on – usually before us moms are able to! It’s crucial for mom to be a safe sounding board and be available for positive encouragement and support, but try to avoid becoming drama mama.
4. Don’t assume your college kid won’t act like a college kid.
I would like to think that my children would be the perfect college kids, focusing only on studies and preparing for their future. Spending hours in the library, getting A’s in every class, never staying out past midnight, or hanging out with people or in places that I may not approve of. But let’s face it, that’s not normally reality!
Although my husband and I do expect our children to study hard, make good grades, give it their best and live with high morals and integrity, we can’t expect them to never have fun, never stay out too late, or always make the best decisions. It’s important to be careful about not expecting perfection or setting expectations that can’t be met, because communication barriers evolve and relationships may suffer. The best thing we can do as parents is to make sure our kids know they can call on us – for anything and everything, anytime night or day – and that no matter what, we will love them and support them unconditionally, even if we don’t support their choices.
5. Don’t stalk your child on social media.
I’m not saying I stalked my daughter online when she first started college (that would be weird, right?), but I admit I liked the fact that I could get an idea of her whereabouts and activities by looking at her social media. While at times that was good, other times it made me anxious and thoughts of going to pick her up crossed my mind. So I realized that instead of trying to watch her behind the scenes, I needed to ask God to help me let go of the control I once had over her safety and well being, and pray that she will follow her instincts and be guided by her faith in all that she does.
6. Don’t forget God cares about your child as much as you do.
Sending a child off to college, or any new phase of life, is never easy on a mom’s heart. But since we all have to go through it, it’s always in our best interest to commit to managing our stress and dealing with our emotions before they start affecting us and everyone around us. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” That ‘you’ refers to us AND our kids. If we pray daily for our children’s hearts and lives and never forget God is looking out for them, we will all be able to sleep through the night a little easier knowing that their heavenly Father never slumbers.
If you have experienced sending a child off to college, what helpful tips and encouragement might you have to share with moms who are embarking on this new transition of life? Share your thoughts here.