Purchasing hanging planters to put flowers in can be risky at my house. I confess, I often kill living green things.
See I have this love-hate relationship with living greens. I love the way they look, but I often can’t remember whether I’ve watered them or not, or if they have had enough sun or not. This California born chic now lives in the south. Spring comes early, last only a few days and morphs straight into hot, long summer days that stick beyond their welcome. With the heat, my interest in all things outdoors wanes fast, unless I’m at the beach or swimming in a pool. Let’s just say plants are not my natural gifting in life and humid, hot weather is not my forte.
You can imagine my excitement when plants not only survive me but experience growth in spite of me. When they thrive, I can usually count on the fact that I have stumbled upon a hardy perennial. Plants that have “tough skin”, are not temperamental, and are persistent in living. Even when they appear to be dead through the winter months, they shoot up strong come spring. Those are my kind of plants and maybe, my kind of people too.
I feel like I have never needed these skills more than in my parenting – to be hardy, persistent, and always growing. Just as you figure out how to handle the age and stage of your children, they change. Parenthood can feel like you’re always playing catch-up, yet striving to stay one step ahead all at the same time. Children are made hardy, kind of like a perennial and thank God they often turn out amazing in spite of our best efforts that fall short.
I want to be more intentional and consistent as a living example of the morals and values I hope to share and shape the lives of my children with.
Just as I am so not a green thumb, there are days I feel like I’m so not the mom that I desire to be.
I led a mom’s group a few years back and we read the book, Desperate: Hope for the mom who needs to breathe. Oh, how I needed this book at that time. Each chapter had both the perspective of a younger mom and a mom further down the road and that mom was Sally Clarkson. She is a Christ follower, mom of four, wife, speaker, blogger, author, and influencer of moms and women. As an imperfect mama that longs to be the best and put the best in my children, I’m thankful for other moms who share how God has used their imperfection to shape the lives of their children all for the glory of God.
Sally and I have not met or connected in real life, yet, her words have come face to face with my reality, meeting me there with encouraging, impactful, and life-giving wisdom. She shares honestly and has a way of loving you and challenging you to higher ideals all at the same time.
Sally has revised a previous book that I can’t wait to receive in the mail and read, 10 Gifts of Heart: What your child needs to take to heart before leaving home. Don’t you love people who have raised their kids well without sedating them for long periods of time or losing their own sanity in the process? Yea, me too. Maybe you’ll join me for this summer read?
Summer and life have a mind of their own and a speed that often feels out of control. This summer my first born will turn 16 years old. I clearly remember holding him as a baby and dreaming about the young man he would become. What he would look like, where his interest would lie, and all the life he would live. He is that young man now and I’m so thankful I am still able to plant seed in his life.
My second born is turning 12 in the fall, and I am watching her grow into such a beautiful young lady. Oh, to pour into her all that I know and don’t know to grow her strong and confident. The emotions and weight can be heavy, yet it’s such a gift to raise these humans that we love.
My heart’s desire is for my children to learn how they can abound in all the good works that God has created them to do as they grow in God, persevere and be persistent in their faith and values, and stand strong (be hardy) no matter their environment, all by the power of God. You and I cannot accomplish this task on our own. We all need the spirit of God, His Word, and encouragement from others, as we do this hard thing – raise children.
So, whether you’re a green thumb or not or you have got this parenting thing down or not, let’s encourage each other. I’d love to know if you’ll be reading 10 Gifts of Heart this summer. Leave a comment and let’s connect.
Join me on the journey,
P.S. Here are links to some of my favorite Sally Clarkson Books and the one I look forward to reading, 10 Gifts of Heart. If you get a chance check them out.