Before I get immersed in turkey, cranberries, and my favorite sweet potatoes, I want to take a minute and let you know how grateful I am for you. Thank you for following along. For caring about what I have to say. For believing in me, even when I sometimes struggle to believe in myself.
You are the reason I keep writing, even when the words are difficult to find. When I sit behind a computer screen, fingers willingly perched on the keys, I think of you. Even though I may not know you personally, I imagine your struggles, your challenges, and your joys. I wonder how I can help – what words of inspiration or wisdom I can send from my heart to yours.
While my message has evolved, my desire to help others find joy and purpose in family life has remained constant because I have been on both sides of the parenting fence.
I have been the young mother who felt lost and hopeless and alone.
I have been the mother of a highly anxious child whose anxiety manifested as constant anger towards me. I have been the punching bag – the safe place to fall apart.
I have been the mother of a child who could not imagine settling for anything less than perfect – who fell apart at the seams when that self-imposed standard was not reachable.
I have been the mother of an anxiety-ridden teenager who needed counseling to help him learn to manage the broken record of unhealthy thoughts that was constantly playing in his mind.
I have been the mother of a child who would spit in my face and tell me that he would rather be dead than to have me as his mother when I wouldn’t let him have his way.
I have been the mother of a teenage drama queen who threw herself on the floor, flailing like a toddler, when I told her I would no longer help her with her hair (because my work never met her standards).
Oh, I have been there.
But I have also been the mother who watched with amazement as my anxious child grew into a (mostly) calm and confident leader.
I have been the mother who witnessed my impossibly strong-willed children learn to put their persistence to good use.
I have been the mother who eventually realized that love does not always look like tolerance. Sometimes, it looks like, “I love you too much to put up with that behavior for one more second.”
I have been the mother who consciously stepped back to allow my child to step up to the plate, both of us realizing in the process that he was stronger and more capable than we imagined.
I have been the mother who sent two young adult children into the world, happy that they could fly on their own, even when my heart was breaking just a little as I watched them go.
I have been there, too.
Because I have been on both sides of the parenting fence, I know what it is like to struggle. To feel like an utter failure. To wonder why the Lord trusted me with particular children who seem too difficult to manage.
I also know what it is like to watch a beautiful transformation within those same children as they learned, grew, and became more respectful and refined.
I am far from perfect. My kids are not perfect. We make mistakes every single day. Your journey will look different from mine, which is all part of God’s plan.
But my perspective, gained in the trenches of (often difficult) experience, coupled with countless spiritual calls to action, is what compels me to write. To share. To walk a vulnerable path in hopes of helping those who are looking for encouragement, inspiration, and direction for their families.
Thank you, again, for walking this path with me. I hope you find something valuable along the way.