Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

How We've Helped Our Kids Become Their Own Person

I'm not going to get deep with this post, but I just wanted to share what's on my mind.

Many days, I am blessed to speak, or text with all of our kids.  I think that its from the family culture we built.  Spending so much time together due to home education, and helping our kids build friendships with each other has contributed to this, but mainly we were intentional in our building relationship in the family.

Don't think that our kids are tied to my apron strings, though I do have some cute aprons!  No, Tim and I wanted to raise adults who would go out into the world and bring friendship and hope to those God brought into their lives.

I learned to not hold on to them too tightly as they grew and began to spread their wings.  I stayed interested in their lives, and encouraged them (mostly) on their way.  I learned to stop parenting them and to be their friend, a listener and encourager, not a teacher as they became young adults and then adults.  

Each one has had their own way of becoming their own person.  A few took very independent paths.  Making their way, finding out where they fit in the world.  Some needed to spread their wings early, and we learned to release them.

For me, it was a slow stepping out to find what God wanted me to do with my life, and who He made me to be. We are each different, and that's exactly how God designed it to be. I believe that none of us can truly be ourselves, our own person, until we recognize that God has placed us here for a reason.

 Each person, at each stage of life has value and a reason for being.  My job at this point in my life, is to partner with Tim in the business and in raising up the last of our kids.  My job includes lots of conversations, encouraging, speaking affirming words, pointing to our loving God, walking alongside them.

What it looks like in person is lots of minecraft talk, reminders to a teenage boy to clean his room, Marco Polo with a sweet daughter who is mothering two full of life kids many hours away.  It looks like plant talk and lunch dates; phone calls, texting, SnapChat and Facetime with one who is trying to balance her desire to be home with being where she knows God wants her to be and finding contentment in the challenge.  Its babysitting the local grands, and encouraging their parents.  Providing rides to work, swing dancing, and tea and conversation.

We've learned a lot through trial and error, but we've also read books, and we've prayed and asked God to teach us wisdom and how to guide these amazing people He placed into our family.

None of our kids have arrived at perfection, and neither have we.  All people are flawed, and have some areas of life that need grace.  But we are delighted in each 'kid.'  They work hard, love their families, are good friends, good neighbors.  They each are growing and will continue to grow, as we all do, into who God wants them to be.

We are happy to walk alongside them as equals, crying and laughing with them in their joys and sorrows, helping bear burdens, and praying for each one.

Each of our kids knows that we are here for them, for help, for encouragement, but mostly for friendship. 

So that's what was on my mind today.  I hope that it encourages you in someway.  

Have a lovely day!


  1. There is a lot of wisdom and encouragement in this post. My husband and I are empty nesters and our three sons each live less than an hour's drive away from us. We are able to see them regularly, but they are definitely independent with their own lives. We, too, parented with the end goal in mind of our children becoming mature adults. It seems like that is not the focus as much as it was when my parents were raising children. It's wonderful to be an adult friend to your kids.

  2. I think it takes a good deal of wisdom to know when each child is ready for more freedom . . . and it can be different for different children. But I agree that it is a necessary process! I often think about your and Tim's philosophy of "We are raising adults." If we don't allow our children to be adults, then we are preventing them, as you say, from being who God has created them to be. Good thoughts here!

    I loved hearing about "what it looks like." I can relate to much of that! Never the same . . . always changing . . . learning to be available . . . doing the next thing . . . lofty conversations and ideas . . . everyday conversations and ideas . . .

  3. From Kim (because I accidentally rejected her comment)

    What a wonderful heartfelt post, Deanna. I would like to think that we're raising our children in much the same way, the way my mom raised us. We talk a lot, we spend a lot of time together and we've developed a wonderful bond and friendship. I hope as they head into adulthood, it continues to be the same type of relationship I had with my own mom.

  4. Good for you! You've obviously done a great job! ❤️


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