Friday, February 19, 2010 really is worth it!

The other day I was at the gym and heard two moms talking. I could hear them in the locker room but they didn't know I was listening. They were talking about children growing up and becoming teenagers. One of the women sounded very depressed and discouraged. She kept saying that it just wasn't worth it and that she might as well of not even had children. She said that her teens were horrible and disrespectful and even if she made it through these years that were just going to leave anyway. The other woman gave very little encouragement she just kept saying that maybe they would give her grandchildren. I wish I had had the boldness to interrupt and say something encouraging but not knowing either one of them, I did not. I wanted to tell them, that yes, it is worth it! They grow up to be your friends and fellow soldiers in God's army. Yes, they will leave, but they will marry and hopefully give you lots of grandbabies to love on. I know the teenage years can be hard and somewhat scary to look forward to for those with young children. But I just wanted to encourage you that with the Lord it is a wonderful journey!

My first child is William, 19 years old now and doing great. Really, for all of you with toddlers, it does pay off. He is cute, smart, grounded but most of all loves God and is very passionate about his beliefs. He attends UNC Chapel Hill and at the moment is a pre-med major. He got his EMT certification this summer and just got hired at a Durham EMS station. He plays bass guitar for our church's campus ministry and is also involved with Campus Crusade on the UNC campus. He was homeschooled through 8th grade, and I'm so glad I got to spend that time with him, because it all goes by so very fast. I cried a lot the first week he moved into the dorm, even though he is only 25 min. away. I'm so glad we get to see him weekly!

My second child is Benjamin, 17 years old and won't stop growing! He was a big, fiery child from the start but is turning into a great young man of God. We had to be tough with him as a toddler, but it has paid off. He loves God and has such a servant heart. He is planning on going into the ministry and has 1 more year of high school after this year. I am homeschooling him presently, which basically is just making sure he gets to his classes he is taking out of the home and watches his computer classes. I'm so glad he is around a lot right now because he plans on attending a Christian college out of state.

My third child, and first girl, is Anna who is now 15. She is such a jewel! She loves God with all her heart and is so passionate about reaching those who don't know the Lord. She will invite basically anyone to youth group, even the "starbucks" girl that she just met. She has tried a few sports, but is basically an "artsy" girl. She is great at ballet, singing, drama and piano (anything having to do with the stage). Even though she is the oldest girl, I have tried hard not to have her work too hard around here helping with her younger siblings. She loves children though and has had a lot of practice. She really wants to go full-time on the mission field after high school, but we are encouraging her to get some practical training first in either nursing (I'm biased) or education. I'm praying she stays close by for a few years after high school.

I guess I wrote this article just to brag on my teens and to encourage those with little ones, that yes, it is worth it. My husband and I have a long way to go with all our other younger ones, and even with these older 3 we are not out of the woods yet, but it is so fun seeing them grow and morph into their individual bent. I would highly recommend four books on parenting teens.......these are "How to Really Love Your Teenager", "Raising a Modern Day Night", "Raising Daughters of Virtue", and "The Power of a Praying Parent." Prayer is such a huge piece of the parenting puzzle that is not talked about enough. Pray for your kids everday. Speak blessings over them. Pray over their will pay off. Happy parenting!

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