process began. At first, their dad and I let the safety tether out
the slightest bit, with the ability to pull it back in if necessary.
Before long, there were daily opportunities for greater release
- from clothing to friends to how to spend time and out into
ever widening circles of choice. Sometimes this process felt
natural and at other times it was heart wrenching.
I quickly learned that the whether or not to wear a
jacket discussion is small potatoes compared to some of the
stuff coming down the road. My children are gifts and
individual souls that do not belong to me. I am entrusted with
their care and teaching for a season, but it is healthy and right
for them to head toward a life of making their own choices and
decisions. This eventually included what to consume, lifestyle
decisions, faith expression, political views, relationships, and
the list goes on and on and on. They dream dreams and pursue
paths. Some align with my wishes as a mom, and some don’t.
One critical distinction that I had to learn as a parent is
that my children are not an extension of me. Each one of them
will make their own mistakes, forge their own pathways, and
discover joy in their own places. It is my job to be a coach,
teacher, and encourager along the way, but I must untangle my
own ego and expectations from their journey. We are separate
It is painful to watch my children struggle, suffer, or
seemingly veer off course. During such times, my desire is to
respond in love and with genuine heart and head attunement.
Yet I am so easily gripped with fear. Throughout motherhood,
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