Category Archives: Parenting

If The Boo-Boo Bunny Still Worked

Not too long ago I remember putting bandaids on my children’s fingers and handing them the “boo-boo bunny” to miraculously make everything better. Back then I always knew where they were, who they were with, what they were doing, and that they were safe. Every night I tucked them into bed tight.

But slowly, very quickly actually, things changed.

No longer can I make everything better. I don’t always know where they are, who they are with, what they are doing, or if they are safe. And with one in college, I can’t even always be present to take care of things.

This of course is a normal, natural reality. As kids grow up they become less dependent. It is meant to be this way. But as any parent with grown up (or semi-grown up) kids will attest, they will never not still be our babies, which means our hearts will always, forever still long to protect, rescue and care for. Knowing we can’t is hard. Some days – some seasons – harder than others.

It’s not that I want to roll back time to when boo-boo bunny saved the day; I love having older kids. But being able to heal their hurt with a bandaid and bunny sounds really nice right now.

Instead my only option is to trust God as the ultimate and perfect parent to my kids. Interesting isn’t that as our kids become less dependent on us, we have to become more dependent on him. But when he doesn’t do what this parent thinks he should, my struggle is with him.

He promises to be our rock, our fortress and deliverer. Our shield and our stronghold. To lead us beside still waters and to restore our souls. We need this since his word also tells us to not be surprised by trials that come our way.  But how long we sometimes endure without seeing him be all these things for our child is excruciating.

Congnitively still, I know God is always there in the boat, steering. But visibly when waters are rising, my heart yells out for God to hurry. I know he can, so why isn’t he?

If the boo-boo bunny still worked I wouldn’t have to wrestle with these tough questions that are hard to ask. But thankfully King David shows us in the Psalms that we can.  So I will keep crying out to him to “give ear to my prayer.” In this tension of calling to him and out against him, I trust he’s using the very same circumstances of my child to show me too his “grace abounds in deepest waters.”

And isn’t this what we need to know with utmost certainty when we can’t protect, rescue or care for our child ourselves?

Parents, Don’t Hurry the Hurt

I don’t know a parent out there who doesn’t hurt bad when their child hurts. That’s part of being a parent. But as badly as I want to take the hurt from my child and wish it could be only all on me, we must not rush in to fix; to hurry the hurt. To see what I mean and why, follow me today over to Rooted Ministry where I share a revamped past article from here…. click for article.

The One Area We Need To Raise The Bar For Our Teens

My older son took the ACT for the first time in December. He’s a sophomore. It seemed early, but to assess where he needs to improve in order to consider certain schools it made sense to take it now. Many of your kids have done, or will do, the same. But most of us adults were probably juniors (or even seniors) before we took college entrance exams. Of course, we didn’t take AP or dual credit classes either.

Certainly, the bar has been raised.

What we also didn’t have were travel/competitive club sports’ teams or the pressure to specialize in just one sport (at least prior to high school). When I made the varsity soccer team as a freshman at my large public high school I was ecstatic. I hadn’t played in two years since it wasn’t offered at the middle school level and back then you only did what sport was in season. We weren’t thinking about college scholarships or staying competitive to secure future spots on high school varsity teams. Obviously, it is way different now. The hours our kids dedicate to their sport (or passion) has become a full-time job on top of their school.

The bar has been raised.

As if rigorous academic course loads and high performing athletics (music, debate, whatever) were not enough, look at most any high school seniors’ resumes and it’s quite amazing to see what else they’ve managed to accomplish. How they have time for school clubs, leadership positions, and hours of philanthropic work is beyond me. But many kids today (including mine) even serve on teen boards. When I was in high school, I didn’t even know what a non-profit was!

Again, the bar has been raised.

The bar having been raised for our kids comes with pros and cons. But in every realm the bar has been raised — except one. One that matters more than everything else. And that is, our kids’ spiritual life.

With all the other taking so much time, church, Bible studies, discipleship, family devotions, and time spent in the Word often happens only if one of the other obligations doesn’t conflict. But even then, instead of raising the bar as we have with everything else, we’ve lowered it.

As I heard author and speaker Jen Wilkin say in a talk at Rooted Ministry’s fall conference, why do we expect our kids to master chemistry, trig and other AP classes, but then think the Bible needs to be spoon-fed to them?

Why do we not include them in “big church?” Do we think they can’t sit still? Understand the message? That they will be bored?

We need to raise the bar!

If we’ve reduced the Bible talks they sit under to quick nuggets and the rest of the hour is spent on fun and games, we are not training them to think deeply about the scriptures.

If we think a 1-minute devotional book will lead them to treasure and seek God’s Word, when they spend hours on their phones, I’m afraid what the world says will hold more weight.

If we want kids who see their need for Jesus and cling to him and the church, they have to know who he is in light of who we are, otherwise it won’t be “life” for them. Plenty of other things can fill the need for community.

We need to raise the bar!

But maybe, we need to raise the bar for ourselves first.  What do we treasure? Our kids see, and for good or ill what we value will influence them. Evident by the high success of kids today, wherever the bar is set, they do tend to rise to the occasion.

It’s still a brand new year — a great time to evaluate where we’ve set what bars and what might need to be tweaked. My family included.

**The “Raise the bar” idea was taken from Jen Wilkin’s talk. You can read more in a similar article of hers here.