Okay, seriously? Where did this school year go? It's been a busy and full nine months. Two kids in school. Five kids in homeschool. Deadlines. Activities. Games. Projects. Successes. Disappointments. Failures. Frustrations. Firsts. Transparency. Breakthroughs. Laughter. Secrets. Togetherness. Tension. Hugs. Life.
There is not one word that could sum all that I've learned this school year. Yes, I did finally master all of the states and capitals and can now diagram about any sentence you put in front of me. (Even homeschool moms have a lot to learn.) My real growth, however, has been in realizing that being a mom isn't all about me.
I've spent many hours on my knees these past months just begging the Lord for wisdom. Where do we set the boundaries? How can I respond in love, yet with the truth? What do I do with my own fears of failure? How do I face of the reality of the fragility of our teens?
In a few short years, they will be out on their own. What will our relationship be when that day comes?
I believe that the answer to that questions has to do with my responses, words and actions towards them today. They aren't young children to be micromanaged, dressed up in matching clothes, scolded and set aside for bad behavior, expected to silently nod or perform for others at a moment's notice.
No, they are young women. Thinking, growing, ever changing young women who are formulating their beliefs about who they are, what they believe and who the will ultimately love and serve. Their journey is their own.
Though, their struggles and triumphs really aren't a reflection of me as a mom, I've come to realize that I still play an important role. I'm neither in the center of it, nor am I a just on the sidelines. My position is precarious and confusing. I have learned (by default, I might add) that my slightest reactions, words, or actions speak volumes into their lives. My availability to listen empathetically when I'm tired or frustrated, my willingness to engage them through conversation when I would rather lecture, my commitment to follow through with discipline with a heart of discipleship.... these will cultivate the young women emerging before my eyes.
God, give me the grace to realize every day that it's not about me.