Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Next Generation

Raising Homemakers This is the link for reading other women's posts on raising daughters.

Some of grammy's girls. Each one a unique individual. Each made in the image of her creator. They are each made in the image of their Heavenly Father. They are as different as night and day. No two are alike and for that I am thankful.

Now that I am officially part of an empty nest I want to look back and offer some perspective. Perhaps it will be helpful for you as well as me. Top 10 things I learned.

1. Parenting is always a marathon and never a sprint. We are in this thing for the long haul. You think all you have to do is get them to age 18 then think again. That little life that was created inside of you is with you forever. The circumstances change as they get older but you are still a valuable and influential part of their lives.

2. Their little personalities are shaped at birth. Dr. Dobson was fond of saying when a baby comes out of the womb they come out one of two ways. The first is the little bundle of joy that comes out and says, "oh Mommy, how may I please you". The second and always the most challenging one is the little baby that comes out of the womb and,"shakes her first while shouting, where is my dinner". I have found that to be so true. They are each uniquely made by God. The trick is to shape and mold that little one without breaking the spirit.

3. Little girls need their Mommies to show them how to be little ladies. I came into this parenting job without a mentor. My mother died before I ever remembered a blessed thing about her. So I was clueless. It was my job to learn how to raise my children. What better place then to read God's word. The blueprint for parents. All of that learning takes time, which brings me to the next thing I learned.

4. Every day is a brand new, empty slate. We wake up refreshed every day. I love the line in Anne of Green Gables when Anne's mentor says to her, "Each day is brand new, with no mistakes in it" Our children need their Mama's time. I can now look back and say I embraced the time I had. Don't let anything and I mean anything get in the way of the time you spend with those precious little charges. I told my children growing up that I was a working Mom.. I worked everyday in the home to raise godly children. When they grew up and left home, I was going to be a brain surgeon but until that time I was with them.

5. Time flies so do not and I repeat, do not pine for tomorrow. I know you have heard it said a million times but it is so true. Do not wish for tomorrow. Embrace every day as they come, a gift from the LORD. Embrace each season your child is in. Before you know it that little girl will be walking down the aisle on her daddy's arm so embrace each and every season.

6. Teach your daughters to love creating a home and not a house. A home is filled with love and grace and mercy. A well run home creates peace and not chaos. Teach her the skills she needs to succeed.  Teach her that it is not about "stuff" but about creating an atmosphere for the family to be loved and cherished.

7. Teach your daughters to be creative. I have always said I had zero creativity and the itty bitty bit I do have is found at the end of my little pinky. What I learned is that I really can be creative. I can take a recipe and make it my own, it just takes time. Some girls are naturally creative but others take more time and effort. Embrace both.

8. Read and read and read. One of my daughters favorite memories from her childhood is the summer we spent reading on the couch while her little brother was recovering from a traumatic brain injury. We read the coolest books that summer. Give her a love of reading. Teach her to be a discerning reader. To each the value of chosing wisely what she chooses to put in her brain. Give her the best kind of books.

9. Teach your daughters that their value and their value alone comes from her creator and no human being. She is beautiful not because she has a perfect body or a pretty smile but because her heart was created in the image of God. Teach her what real beauty is. Teach her to tune out the world's definition of beauty. Teach her that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Purity comes from a clean heart, teach her that God's opinion is the one that really matters.

10. Every day needs to start on our knees. I begged the LORD over and over again to please grant me grace and step into the huge gap between my parenting skills and God's parenting skills. I failed miserably over and over again but Jesus was the bridge to my Father who will make all things new in his time.

Parenting is not for cowards. We have to be intentional. Living intentional and parenting intentional. I am so thankful that my grandchildren are being raised to live intentional for their Savior. Only God can stand in the gap. For that I am truly thankful because if parenting had been all about me it would have been a miserable failure. God can take our weak efforts and create beautiful things.

Be blessed today. Praying that your journey is one sprinkled with lots of grace.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".


  1. Jill, you bless me so much with your blog. I am praying for the parents of girls out there- the girls that will one day be my daughters-in-law. May these parents raise those precious girls in the way you describe, and may God grant me miracles to raise my sons to be worthy of those daughters.