I’m freaking out.
Not had too much coffee before breakfast, freaking out. More like box of Miss Clairol in one hand with a handy dandy brown paper baggie in the other.
I’m sending my 15 year old to Mexico on a mission trip. With responsible, god loving adults who are not me.
I’m sending my 7 year old to church camp. For a week. With responsible, god loving adults who are not me.
I’ve always allowed myself to believe that I am a laid back momma. My goal has always been to raise my kids well balanced in the tension of this world. I work hard to make my home a safe place for them to land. A place for them to take comfort. A place of unconditional love and acceptance.
My kids know Jesus. They have had first hand experience of his peace and presence in their lives. They know how to serve others in their community and they enjoy doing so. They are learning how to construct healthy boundaries.
But one day, they will leave.
It might be to go down the street to play with a friend, or an overnight trip to grandma’s. It might be to summer camp or a mission trip. It might be in a car with a driver license that just came hot off the press or off to college to pursue the hopes and dreams of their heart. It might be to serve our country in the military.
But one day, they will leave.
It’s irrational, but I often times trust my kids more than I trust other people. I just don’t ever want them to stray too far away. I mean, what if they come across negative influences. What if they are exposed to drugs, alcohol or pornography?
What if they find themselves in a position needing my protection and I am not there?
What if they think little Annie’s mom is more fun than me? It might be true, but I don’t want my kids to know that!
What if my teenager makes a choice that goes against what we have taught her in faith?
One day, my kids will leave my cocoon of protection. Whatever is a mom to do?
Helicopter momma, here’s the thing. My kids are only mine for a little while. But, they belong to God forever. At some point, I have to let them leave my influence so they can grow to fulfill the purpose that God handcrafted them for.
In the meantime:
I can build them up in his word.
I can teach them how to live their faith in a broken world with broken people.
I can help them build a community of like minded people that they can fall back on.
I can allow them the possibility of exposure- in small doses.
I can let God work in their lives without getting in the way.
I can pray, everyday, for my kids to know a personal relationship with their savior. No matter what.
I can’t raise my kids in a “what if” mentality.
I know they will make bad choices. I know that they will crash and burn. I know that God, and I, will love them unconditionally. I know that I will always be their safe place to land. Their safe place to receive coaching, instruction, and preparation to get back into the game of life.
But I also know that they will make good, God honoring choices. They will experience success. And then? I will be their place to celebrate and praise God for the amazing work he is doing in their lives.
For now, I will catch and release. I will make the commitment to let go in small doses. Allow them to make choices, good & bad. Draw them back in. Coach them. Teach them. Love them. Point them to God and release once more.
Helicopter momma, I don’t believe raising kids is the hardest part of being a parent. I truly believe it is the fine art of letting go and knowing that God is in control.
I’m praying for you. Pray for me, will you?
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