Parenting Adult Children

“Hanging out with your grown-up kids is like visiting the best parts of yourself.” I saw this on Facebook recently, and couldn’t agree more!

We just spent five days with our twenty-something year old children, and it was a blast! We celebrated my son’s golden birthday with extended family, got to know my daughter’s boyfriend, and ate great food. We played games, including our unique guessing-Christmas gifts (new) tradition. We watched movies and shows, read books, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

I’m proud of my kids. They’re both hard workers, committed to giving their best to their jobs. They’re kind, respectful, and witty. They don’t just love each other as siblings – they actually like each other a lot, which warms this momma’s heart. While they no longer live in the same state, they communicate regularly, even if it’s just via text. My daughter probably hears from my son more often than I do!

I have known for a long time about letting go, but this visit solidified my desire to see my kids successfully fly. While I’m still adjusting to an empty nest (how many years is it going to take?), I’m delighted to watch them grow in maturity and independence. That was my job as their mother – to teach them Jesus, right from wrong, decision making, and responsibility. They’re good people, and God helped me do my job as best I could.

This morning as I woke up, I heard a voice in my head telling me that I had failed as a Christian mom; both of my kids have made choices that I would have made differently. But they only learn from making their own decisions – they have to figure life out for themselves. They must develop their own relationships with their Savior. My job now is to pray for them, and ask others to pray with me. I especially love the ministry of Moms In Prayer (MIP), and my prayer call with my best friend each week. I’ve prayed with MIP for years, and I know God has heard each prayer spoken (and unspoken) on their behalf, all the way back to their Kindergarten days. Nothing is wasted. Nor is anything in my timing. So I release them to their Heavenly Father’s hands, which is where they belong anyway.

And in the meantime, I watch them with thanksgiving and joy as they become my adult friends, not just my kids.

Bible study

Yay! I found a daytime Women’s Bible study!

I’ve been looking since we moved to Virginia seven months ago. I expect it to be a place to meet with like-minded women, hopefully make new friends, maybe even find a church home.

It was important to me that it meet during the day. My evenings with my husband are already short; by the time we eat dinner, it’s almost bedtime! And so I like to be home with him in the evenings. Besides, I have lots of free time during my weekdays, so I’d prefer to spend a couple of hours for a group study during the daytime.

Yesterday was our second week, and the women were just as friendly as at our first meeting. There was coffee (whew!) and several round tables with comfy chairs. The study is a video format by a popular Bible study leader – Believing God by Beth Moore. The table discussion was good and the video thought-provoking.

In fact, the Holy Spirit has already pricked my conscience, and I’m finding God’s Word quite convicting, as it should be. I realized through last week’s study that I’ve been “resting on my spiritual laurels,” and then wondering why my faith didn’t feel strong. I’ve looked back at my life before our relocations, and compared my present-day faith to what it looked like then. I’ve been longing for a vibrant faith like I had before, but see now that my faith needs to be active to grow.

While I’m not currently in any kind of church leadership, that’s no excuse for a lazy faith. God has given me time to spend with Him, time to grow in His Word, and I’ve wasted it. My lack of spiritual friendships is also no excuse for my “stuck” faith. I can grow in my faith by studying God’s Word, spending time in prayer, and cultivating our relationship. It shouldn’t be dependent on others.

At the same time that these things are true, I do need other believers in my life. I need a regular weekly dose of God’s people, which means regular church going. It’s been easy to not go to church since we haven’t found one yet where we’re comfortable worshiping and serving. But that lack of attendance has been to my detriment, and I’ve missed out on hearing God’s Word on a consistent basis.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  Romans 10:17, NIV
So back to church. Regularly attending Bible Study and doing the daily homework. Continuing my bi-monthly prayer group (even though it meets in the evenings, Moms In Prayer is important to me). Time in God’s Word, getting to know Him more. Watch out as my faith grows!