Armed with passwords and last year’s tax forms, we gathered at the dining room table with my youngest son and his new wife.
They had asked for help in the annual ritual of completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which college students must submit in order to qualify for scholarships of any type. Within minutes, however, the newlyweds were in the driver’s seat at the keyboard, clicking, scrolling, and entering data. I was happy to quietly excuse myself and move on to preparing snacks to fortify them for this blessed foray into independence.
Some parenting ties are easier to snip than others, and I’ll admit that this one was welcome. But the journey from dependent child to independent adult is never without its pulling and stretching on both sides. As young adult children relinquish their need for hands-on parenting and take up responsibility for their own lives, there is a mirrored relinquishment for which we, as their loving parents, usually need plenty of grace.
I’ve written an article about this process for Desiring God in which I talk about how it happened in our home, how good theology can help you to hold your children loosely, and how God intends for us to keep right on growing and sowing strong throughout our empty nest years.
CLICK HERE to read the article, and when you’re finished, I hope you’ll circle back around to share your thoughts on preparing children to leave the nest–and letting go once they do!
Moms of adult kids need to embrace a biblical vision of motherhood that will enable us to work ourselves out of a job like missionaries, with gratitude for the gift of parenting and with joy in the launching and the letting go.Tweet
And Now Let’s Talk Books…
Begin with a Question
In my role as a substitute teacher, I’ve become accustomed to nagging students to answer their assigned questions using a complete sentence. “You can use part of the question in your answer!” I chirp, enthusiastically. So, instead of simply “Yellow,” they learn to answer, “George’s car is yellow.”
In her poems, Marjorie Maddox demonstrates her own unique ability to fold her questions into the answers she has received—and the ones she’s still waiting for. Begin with a Question is the trail of breadcrumbs she has left for her readers. It does not, however, lead to pat answers or tired clichés but, rather, to a welcoming pause in which, together, poet and reader take a hard look at some of life’s tougher questions.
Don’t be surprised if, as you hold your questions up to the True Light, they become prayers.
If we find grace to “walk out into [our] morning of Yes/and breathe what [we] need of silence,” we have lived a long way into reconciling the ever-present questions with the bright power of God’s yes.
May we have wisdom, in that moment, to kick off our sandals.
Holding You in the Light,
Don’t be surprised if, as you hold your questions up to the True Light, they become prayers. #BeginWithAQuestion by @marjoriemaddox via @paracletepress #poetry #IronPenTweet
And One Last Thing…
Right now I’m offering two free gifts to NEW newsletter subscribers.
First, I’ve developed a free guided meditation to encourage you in a deep dive into the truth of Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” I’ve found that the surest antidote for the poison of the lies we tell ourselves is LARGE doses of truth, and I’m committed to the process of helping women to become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word.
Second, if you are a bookish individual, perhaps you’d appreciate some help in writing book reviews? I’ve created a resource sharing some tried and true tips that have come from writing hundreds of book reviews for Living Our Days and other sites. I have loved pointing my readers toward the good stuff that’s out there, and if that’s your goal, too, I want to help you.
Simply click on the button below to receive one or both of these free gifts…
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Many thanks to Paraclete Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.