Here are 10 Things we wanted to share with you as your kids prepare to leave home. Some of you have college bound kids this year others have children who are preparing to launch and explore the world, it’s never too early to start sharing these truths with your kids.
Featured Writer: Katie Tassy
This summer, a dear friend gave me some money that she told me was “only to spend on yourself.” I had my eye on a darling necklace all summer and immediately went to purchase it. The necklace has a silver wire-mesh nest with three little blue eggs in it, one for each of my three kids. It symbolizes to me what I hope to give our three children–a place of security, growth, nurture, and home.
The other day, as I fingered my necklace and looked down at those three little robin’s eggs, I thought to myself,
Is it really possible that one of these eggs will soon be leaving the nest?
What will I do when I wear this same necklace in a couple of years and realize that really only two eggs are still “in the nest?”
As I look at this young man who lives in my house, who has exchanged teething, learning to ride a bike, and the awkward moments of middle school for varsity sports, AP classes, and late-night social engagements, I realize that it won’t be long before that’s exactly where we will find ourselves.
Maybe some of you are with me in this life-stage, wondering how a teenager got into your home when it seems like just months ago you gave birth to a squalling, squirmy mess who was totally dependent on you.
Do you find yourself wondering how to gracefully transition to this next stage of when they leave the nest? I do! I mean, there’s the practical stuff like, will he remember to eat vegetables once in a while, or can I be sure that he will separate his darks from his lights?
But there are deeper things at stake as well.
Things in my heart and things in his.
For me, this stage is a continual reminder that our kids are not our own. My husband frequently talks about our children being “on loan” to us by God. It’s so true! None of us, as much as we plan and feed and care and nurture, can take credit for the incredible gift that God has given us in the life of a child. My son, with all of his abilities, talents, struggles, and challenges, was uniquely crafted by God and placed in our family! What a gift!
I often tell my kids, “You are my favorite 16-year-old (or 13-year-old, or 10-year-old) in the whole world. If I could have chosen anyone, it would have been you!” But my husband and I didn’t choose; this was simply God’s goodness to us.
And as with any gift that God gives us, He expects our stewardship of that gift. Gifts are not to be wasted or hoarded. When Jesus told his disciples the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), He made it quite clear that He’s serious about the gifts with which we have been entrusted. He expects us to work, to invest, to do the things necessary to produce a harvest. How this lesson should apply with our children, one of God’s most precious gifts! Of course I have to keep in mind that our kids (just like us) are changed only by knowing Jesus for themselves, but am I taking the time and energy to make our home an atmosphere where Christ is known? To me, that is a big part of stewardship in parenting.
So what do I want the “harvest” to look like, by God’s grace, before this bird flies off?
I want him to know that he is loved fiercely by his Heavenly Father, who loved him so much he would sacrifice Jesus in order to pursue him.
I want him to know that I believe God has given him dreams, abilities, and knowledge not just to serve himself but to serve the world in a way that others will know God better.
And of course, I want him to know that even though he has stretched his wings and flown away, this mama’s heart will never be happier than when all three of my kids will reunite in the nest for moments of fellowship with our family.
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