I don’t know how to explain it, but I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach 2016 was going to be a long haul.
Some things I knew were happening—a wedding in the same time frame as a graduation. A child’s genetic testing. Another child transitioning from high school to college.
But, as the year unfolded, there were plenty of surprises.
- I felt a stirring I attribute to God that I was to my own ministry/business as an author and speaker. By February, I was moving forward with Surrendered Scribe Media. By March, ENTRUSTED was re released and ENTANGLED was released.
- My husband changed his job. I had a feeling this was coming, but what I didn’t anticipate was his working from home much of the time.
- My father-in-law passed away in July. The kindest man, talk about a huge void.
- Grief from loved one’s choices I couldn’t control (and still can’t!)
- A complete flip in health that was hormone/menopause related. It hit me HARD.
It was rough, and I honestly wanted to define the year that way. However, the word for my year is perspective, and I’ve really tried to apply that. I see why it is the word for me, because I learned a lot.
The absolute fear and anger I had over my husband being home on “my” schedule also offered a lunch partner at times, and help when I wasn’t able to get our child from school.
Watching God grow our loved ones closer through as they listened to us share with transparency regarding choices. Had I stayed grief-stricken, I don’t think God could have used us. Seeing it in time as an opportunity instead of devastation changed everything.
I’m sure there is more I’m not seeing yet, but perspective definitely helps me move forward and not dwell on the negative. As we wind the year down, we also had a very thankful Thanksgiving. Not only are we surviving all these things, but we learned Tom’s oldest daughter is expecting. It’s the first grandchild for us, and we are thrilled for her and her husband.
What are you thankful for this year? Do you think of perspective at all? How?
Feelings of failure loomed late night as the large ice cream cake I bought didn’t fit in our freezer. I didn’t think the fridge would work. I threw an ice sleeve and ice in a freezer bag with the cake and hoped for the best.
When I presented the cake, it took a gasp of air and collapsed into a pile of peanut butter goo.
My husband asked why didn’t I cut the cake up and put that in the freezer?
I almost graded my parenting based on that melted cake.
But I looked over and watched him share with his friends and girlfriend.
Recalling moments in NYC where they served with the NYC Dream Center.
His second year.
Then I realized he’s filling out a job application.
Making plans for his senior year
When did that happen?
Wasn’t he the kid that tried to make his entry at 32 weeks?
Then decided to stay put until surgeons intervened?
Wasn’t he the one banging his head as a toddler when he was mad?
Or luring his aunt into his room to play and keeping her there for hours?
Asking for kinne and fries, agpa and his dog, kissiwa?
Wasn’t he just in first grade drawing a picture of a little boy crying with a U-Haul because we’d moved to Ohio hours before?
When did it happen that he got braces?
Then another set of braces?
And many more pairs of glasses?
Didn’t he just pick percussion as his choice for elementary band?
Wasn’t he the kid that nearly passed out in a spelling bee?
When did that happen that he was in middle school?
Weren’t we just whining that we hate science fairs?
Wasn’t she just introduced to us as his friend that we knew he liked?
Didn’t he just attend high school orientation?
How can it be he’s going to be in his brother’s wedding when he was just in his sister’s?
Melted cake, you can’t kill my joy.
Even though I keep asking when did that happen?
Key strategies for parents of teens in the crucial window before that “launch” into the real world. Learn how to set them up for success through effective communication, valuing and cultivating their unique strengths, and empowering versus control. Help your teens build a strong personal leadership foundation that will enable them to live successful, independent lives of purpose, integrity, and impact.
PART ONE – Destination Preparation
Chapter One Give Them Wings, Not Strings
Chapter Two Keep Your Eyes on the Goal
Chapter Three Build a Solid Leadership Foundation
Chapter Four Prepare Them for Key Life Decisions
PART TWO – Relationship Preparation
Chapter Five Value Your Teen’s Uniqueness
Chapter Six Affirm Your Teen’s Immeasurable Worth
Chapter Seven Communicate and Relate!
Chapter Eight Know Their Third Party Voices
PART THREE – Transition Preparation
Chapter Nine Moving From Driver to Passenger
Chapter Ten Launch Time!
With graduation not too far away for our oldest, I was curious what Parenting for Launch would be about and if I’d be encouraged or feeling like I missed out as a parent. Turns out Parenting for Launch is a comprehensive look at preparing your child for success. There are principles that cover every aspect of the transition from teen to young adult. I love what chapter one covers—giving our children wings, not strings. That’s just one area the book covers.
There are also “Take 5” activities for you to work through and the appendices include checklists, charts and other resources. I walked away feeling empowered. There’s a lot of room for us to improve and now we have the tools to help us get there.
No matter whether your child is in kindergarten or ready to start their senior year, I recommend Parenting for Launch:Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The mailbox contains one of two invites.
Wedding or Graduation.
Or if your wallet is really light, both.
This week at Christians Read I share 3 suggestions for graduates.
Julie’s note: My monthly marriage article is live over at the Internet Cafe. I’d love for you to check it out!
Guest post by: Jennifer Slattery
Do you remember those dances held during junior high and high school? How you and your friends would spend hours pre-dance talking about what you’d wear, how you’d do your hair, and…giggle, blush, giggle…who might ask you to dance? Only those dances never quite ended up how we envisioned, at least not in my school. Inevitably, the guys huddled near the far, heavily-shadowed wall while the girls spent their time crying in the bathroom or trying to comfort their near hysterical friend hiding in the stall.
At least in Junior High. High School got a little better and people actually danced, and the bathrooms were far less crowded with splotchy-faced, sniffling girls.
But reading this week’s excerpts actually brought me back even further…to sixth grade.
We didn’t have dances–instead, our school hosted skating parties. Do you remember those? “Elvirah” blaring from those gigantic speakers while a disco ball lit up the room, making that feather pinned in your hair really stand out. (Those have come back, btw. Seriously.) We’d do the hokey-pokey, skate on one foot, then backward…but what the girls waited for, holding their breath and scanning the glittering room for their short, waif-thin and equally shy hero, was when the DJ announced, “Find a partner!”
Now here’s where it gets really fun, and extremely embarrassing, but remember I was a stupid kid with absolutely no life….
Who knew come skating party time, a boy–maybe even the boy–might hold my hand. Oh, the very thought made my stomach twirl.
In preparation, I slathered lotion on my hands the week leading up the event–and I mean slathered. Then, I’d rub it in and hold my hand out to my mom. “Are my hands soft? Feel them.”
Be sure to come meet our competing authors this week on COTT
It’s been a crazy week filled with jury duty and following God’s lead no matter where it may take me. One of the places He took me was to the couch. I had a day off from jury duty and spent the day resting and catching up on Netflix. One of the movies I watched was You Again. This released last year and featured Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White.
I thought it would be a great movie to relax with and it was cute. I didn’t plan on seeing such a great object lesson on the consequences of not being able to let go of the past. On the right sidebar is a box where I can play a video so I included the trailer to this movie. I invite you to check it out.
I realized last year I was struggling with the stuck in the past issue. I realized anytime anything remotely connected to that period in time took me back and I stiffened, my eyes narrowed and most likely steam came out of my ears. It was something I couldn’t solve on my own and once I surrendered it, the past didn’t consume me anymore.
You Again does a great job setting up the past, how easy it is to stay there, and the consequences of not being able to let go.
Have you watched it? What did you think?