There is nothing I love more than breaks.
Spring break. Vacation break. Christmas break. Any excuse to get away from normal for awhile. It’s as if it gives us permission to reset our hearts and minds; get back to what is really important.
One break my youngest girl loved was summer camp. I so looked forward to the afterglow of camp in my girl’s eyes. To get away from cell phones, tv, draining friends and social media is just what she needed! (We do too for that matter!) Yet in the afterglow, it only took a day or two before I would see the pull returning. The tug-of-war in my girl between being the radical Jesus-lover that she is and the girl who doesn’t miss what is going on. FOMO is what they call it: the fear of missing out. The pull can become more than a gentle tug. Like the whipping of the Tilt-A-Whirl at the amusement park, the velocity at which the world makes it play can be stronger than a person, at any age, can take.
I’ll be honest … some days my mind, heart and body are not up for the battle for my girl’s heart. This battle can involve setting boundaries and rules that are not always embraced. They can be met with crying and yelling as frustration gives way to fear. The easy thing is to just let them go. They’ll get over it. Outbursts are part of the drama of the teen years, right?
Yet the truth is my girl needs me.
She needs me.
Over and over again as my children grew up, they needed me to set and reset loving boundaries again and again. Even as my youngest is a college student now, she needs me to help her define what is wise and unwise. Point her in the direction that will take her where she wants to end up … even if she can’t see it quite it.
She needs me to cup her face and explain that the reason for the rules and the boundaries are because she is my greatest treasure. I am going to do all I can to protect that treasure. She needs me to remind her that I am going to fight the enemy of her behalf every day to help her to be victorious.
These talks are not always easy and gentle. No … sometimes they are the crying, snotty nose, wear-me-flat-out, last-for-hours type of talk. But my girl is worth it. Though I get tired, though I would rather join hubby relaxing in the room next door; she is worth it. And you know, she usually thanks me at the end. She wants to be wise; go the best way. It’s just really hard sometimes.
My girl is worth fighting for. She knows I love her. She knows that her mama is praying for her to be uncommon though at times she has desperately wanted to be both – uncommon and a part of all that is going on. But today … she is winning the battle. We’re winning together.
For years I have prayed, that though the world pulls, tugs, and tries to whip my girl around and around the cycle of popularity, position and power, my girl will honor Him. Most days, she wins. Some days, she doesn’t. But most importantly, she gets up and tries again.
If you would like to learn some of the boundaries we set for our kids when they were growing up, you can find them at www.LynnCowell.com. Just click on “freebies” and look for Family Purity Code and Ready to Date.