I am always in awe of my children, how they’ve grown up to love and serve the Lord. And I am always so thrilled (never taking for granted) that we’ve never experienced the teenage rebellion that is considered “normal” in our culture today.
I really don’t take credit for this. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes in raising my children. I’ve responded in anger, in fear, in a desire to please men rather than God. I’ve said things I vowed never to say. I’ve lashed out when I felt my children’s character flaws were an inconvenience to my life rather than an opportunity to train them up in the Lord.
We have 8 children, 4 of whom are adults. Our eldest graduated from college last Saturday, our 2nd worked at a grunt job to pay off a college loan and buy some equipment and now is working full time at home in game design (he has 1 year to try and make a go of it). Our 3rd child is who I am centering on today. She is currently traveling with an evangelistic drama ministry (she is one of three of our children to travel with them) and serving in homes, churches, camps, prisons all over the country.
She recently sent home a letter and I’d like to share part of that here.
Mom and Dad, thank you for always being there for me. I can’t think of any time (save a few bad mood Megill days) when I have felt that I couldn’t approach you or talk to you. I have always known that, with anything important to me, I could go to both of your with it. I have always known that you cared, always known that you loved me, always had complete faith in your being understanding and wise in your counsel and care. And by “know” I don’t just mean a head knowledge. I mean that I had faith and believed in what I knew and felt it and was shown it. I’ve never felt neglected, hurt, abandoned, unsafe, insecure, unworthy or unloved by anything that you guys have done.
You’ve trained me up in the way I should go. 😀 You have laid a firm foundation for me, and have demonstrated for me how to love and pursue Christ with all of my heart. You have taught me how to discern and think for myself and given me such godly counsel on so many occasions.
You have encouraged me and enjoyed me as I’ve become my own person. You have helped me to become who I am, and to embrace who God has made me to be. You have never shown any favoritism among any of us kids. You have called me out and corrected me and disciplined me in love and godliness. You two (other than, you know, Jesus) are my absolute heroes. I am so utterly blessed to have you as my parents!
I don’t share this to boast. On the contrary, I am very humbled by her letter (weeping, actually). We have worked so hard to create an atmosphere in our home that encouraged our children to talk to us. We are a talking family but we generally talk about ideas, theology, philosophy and not always feelings. And our 4 oldest children are very private and introverted while our 4 younger ones are more gregarious and expressive.
When this daughter was young, she found it very difficult to talk about what was bothering her. I encouraged her to write me letters. For 7 or 8 years, several times a week I’d find a letter on my bed at night. She’d pour out her heart, her concerns, her sorrows and I’d come into her room and begin the conversation. The ice was broken and we’d have a good talk together.
If I’ve learned anything it is that I need to really get to KNOW my children;
- to see what touches them
- what frightens them
- what is easy for them
- where they freeze in panic
I don’t treat them all the same but I love them all the same. I still blow it so often, but God continues to faithfully teach me as I try and teach them.
It has been a wonderful journey with most of my trepidation coming from MY faults rather than my children’s failures. Most importantly I have come to ENJOY my children very very much! And enjoy them for who they are, not for who I’m wanting them to be.
I just wanted to share my joy and delight in my children. Not boasting about their accomplishments (none of them have really accomplished much of anything) – but rejoicing in their love for God, their love for others and their delight in being part of the family God placed them in.
How do your children delight YOUR life? I’d love to hear about it.
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Wonderful post and a proud mamma you should be!
Thanks, Tesha…I am very delighted!
Kate, that has me crying too! What a wonderful and sweet letter. You should be proud. You and Kevin have done a terrific job with your children! (((HUGS)))!!!! Love you, Terri
Aw, Terri, thanks…but so much of it is the grace of God and my children’s personalities! I am so very blessed.
what a wonderful letter!!! 🙂
thanks for sharing that today!
what a wonderful letter!!! 🙂
thanks for sharing that today!
Thanks, Paula. It was a delight for me, that’s for sure!
I think a letter like that is a goal that any Christian mom would be thrilled to have accomplished…good job! 🙂
Mrs. Sarah Coller
Boy you are so right, Sarah. What a joy. Thanks for coming by today!
What a precious letter!!!
Thanks, Kasey…I still tear up when I think of it! Her mother’s day card was VERY funny — she wrote me a poem with things I say all the time. What a hoot!
What a wonderful daughter and great job you did with her..I know it’s not easy but she showed you in her letter just what it meant to her…Now she will pass it on down to her family one day
Thanks so much, Desiray. I look forward to seeing the next generation and pray they will walk as faithfully as their parents!
Makes it all worthwhile, Kate! So happy you’ve been so blessed.
Boy, you are so right, Melanie!!
Kate – this letter was so touching! I can only imagine how blessed you were by your daughter’s words!
I’m going to link up a “letter” my 9 year old gave me the other day!
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Sarah…I was so glad you linked up your own love letter! It was so sweet…great job, you!!
My children bless my life everyday. They are so appreciative of their upbringing and brag on us more than we deserve. Now its THEIR kids that we are striving to be a positive influence on! I heartily agree with your comment that we should “enjoy them for who they are, not for who I’m wanting them to be!”
Isn’t it wonderful when our children “rise up and call us blessed” — and then turn and train their own children? I’m still looking forward to that one!
Wow- what a tribute- and I can imagine if I received this letter how my tears would be flowing. You have trained your children in the right way and they will not depart from it- bless you!!!!!
Connie, thank you so much. She is such a darling girl.
This is just what I needed to hear tonight.
Thank you for sharing your story and for the encouragement you offer — just to LISTEN — even to “prime the pump” on those who find it difficult to open up. (My current situation.)
So blessed to meet you! (Stopped here from WLWW)
Kelli, I’m so very glad you came by and found encouragement. Hope to get to know you more. Yes, learning how to communicate with those who find it hard to open up is a challenge…but GOD always knows the way! And boy am I glad for that!
So sweet of your daughter, Kate. I want us to be a communicating family, too, and I’ve achieved that with my daughter (still working on with hubby :)). Sometimes, when I need to emphasize a very important lesson that she needs to learn, I write to her. Your mistakes as a mother – sadly, I am well acquainted with them, too. But by God’s grace we’ll never give up on our ministry of Christian motherhood.
Rina, I hear you! Resting in God’s grace is such a joy and gives confidence, even when I blow it, that’s for sure!!
I just linked up with you- thanks! I love this post!! I want to be able to share a letter like that someday. I need help/mentoring on how to improve my relationship with my kids.
You provided a great list:
to see what touches them
what frightens them
what is easy for them
where they freeze in panic
Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Sue, and for linking up. I’m glad you found encouragement here, and hope I can continue to be so.
A lovely letter! AND such lovely comments from her mom, “rejoicing in their love for God, their love for others and their delight in being part of the family God placed them in.” Amen and AMEN!
Thanks, Kaye. You are always such an encouragement!
Kate…What a precious letter she wrote! A sweet reminder that you done good, even if you think you failed at times. She got it! God is faithful! Thank you for sharing this at WJIM.