Thursday, October 22, 2009


I believe the two most challenging phases of parenting occur during the toddler years & then again in adolescence. in both phases our child is gaining Independence. remember erikson's stages? in the ole' stage two, our toddler age child is bidding for autonomy. they are realizing that they are separate from mommy.
then you sort of cruise merrily through those middle years. seriously, has anyone ever said, "boy, once you get through the 9 year old stage, you're home free"
sure nuf, the tween & teen years can sorta hit you out of nowhere. that once placid, sweet child now can seem withdrawn, angry and moody.

whenever i decide to write about parenting, let me assure you, its coming from a mom that is desperately trying to get it right. not someone who has mastered this. i want to share a little bit of what the lord is currently working on in my heart.

i find it very easy to parent the daughter who is much like me. i understand the 'why' when she reacts the way she does. i know how she rolls. i get her.
but the child , or maybe 2 of mine whose make-up is much different than mine are much more of a challenge for me. when you factor in personality traits, birth order, love languages, & temperaments ( just to name a few) parenting my child effectively can seem like a very daunting task.

one area i feel the lord is really working on my heart is the area of grace.
i am by nature not a patient person. type A, first born, perfectionist, busy, & did i mention impatient. having a home that is full of grace is my ultimate & what most days feels like an impossible goal.

Grace Based Parenting by tim kimmel is an excellent book. much of what i'm writing today was gleaned from his writings or are his direct quotes.

back to adolescence~
"the real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race."

"parents who embrace grace make their homes a safe place for average kids to develop into extraordinary people. weakness & inadequacy aren't a big deal" says kimmel.

children are going to need to know how to:
work hard
get along with difficult people
solve confusing problems
handle $
fear God alot
fear their fellowman very little
laugh at the right time
cry at the better time
& be able to bring out the best in the people closest to them.

these characteristics won't just happen on their own. childhood should provide ample time as a parent to build assurances in my girls that they have been given all they need to take out into their world as an adult.

one conviction for me is the area of control. i don't want to try to control my girls environment so that its so structured with tight boundaries that when they leave the nest all i have exposed them to is children whose parents believe the same thing i do, who are in the same tax bracket , and even the same culture. the real world is nothing like that. i want to guide them~~ YES! but i want to equip them so that they have security in their hearts, signifigance in their lives & strength for their future . & they can fully rely on God's presence in their life...not the safety nets i've tried to place around them.

my prayer is that our home is a place where my girls are free to be "different, vulnerable & candid, and to make mistakes yet learn what the genuine love of God looks like".
that's a tough one for me, i'll be honest.
i want my girls to be well liked, well rounded, & spiritually grounded.
different? not really.
make mistakes? i'd prefer minor ones, the ones everyone doesn't have to hear about.
i'm pretty much all for the 'everything is just great kinda family'. but i must daily laydown what i want them to be, "who" i want them to be.
& i need to give them a little freedom too.
especially in this phase of development....personally i don't feel i need to be everyones room mom, team mom, be at each dance, offer to drive every carpool, attend every field trip.
they can spread their wings & honest to goodness, even be discipled or taught by another adult. i don't have to be the everything mom just to show them i love them. i can allow them their space & show them that they are trusted and that i have confidence in them...the 'them' away from me.

"grace will keep me from clamping down on their spirits while they move through awkward transitions and walk through the valley of the shadow of adolescence".

i want to dan & i to be parents that forgive.

i want my marriage to be a lighthouse, permanently established to show my girls the way home

i want my girls to feel loved...especially on the days when they are hardest to love

when they screw up....i don't want to act surprised

showing them sensitivity towards the battles that they face. especially the ones that i don't understand

"realizing that christ didn't die for me because i had good qualities that were worth saving
but because i had bad qualities that left me without a prayer"

i'll leave you with one more word from tim
"you'll probably never know the profound impact that the giving of grace will have on your children's vulnerabilities but its obvious how much devastation can be wrought if you don't"


Tracey said...

I'm a type A personality with a lack of patience too Paige, so clearly I should read this book as well! I pray every night that I will be a good mom and for patience with my children...seriously! You are not alone in what you struggle with as a parent.

Little miss cutie pants is rockin those adorable red boots!!!

:) T

Donna said...

Paige, I am right there with you. Thanks for these lovely words. You have encouraged me greatly!! It sounds like you have laid a great foundation. God is good. Giving our kiddos over to Him is hard but the best thing to do! I am going to check out that book.
Keep on doing what you're doing. You are on the right track.
Many blessings your way :)

Jboo said...

Ahhh Paige - you are so wise. Parenting is truly a balancing act sometimes and the teen years are challenging. You are making such a strong foundation for your girls! Am definitely going to check out that book. And love Little Bit's red boots!


melissa said...

Such an insspriring post, Paige ... as always!
I am going to check out the book and try my best with my last boy here at home :) ... not always easy with adolesent boys who do not like to communicate (at least with their mother!). Still, all 3 are wonderful boys and I am tremendously blessed. I can only hope & pray they continue to make wise, Godly choices.
Continued Blessings to you, Paige!

PS~Erin said...

What a wonderful post full of so much good info. I aspire much to what you said, and I fail miserably on a regular basis. I have this book on my wish list (and I just sent the link to my hubby in preparation for bday week :-), so I'm excited to see your perspective on it. Thanks for taking the time to share this... Going to go reread for more insight!

Kasey said...

I had to wait to comment...needed to re-read this a few times.
I struggle daily...with two completely different children and two completely different ways.
One child struggles for independance and is defiant and the other is independant almost to a fault.
I want my children to know they are loved...know that they have a home that they can discuss anything, and most of all see for themselves the love that envelopes them in all of their needs.
I love this post paige and you are a wonderful mother.

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful post. I hope to be the type of mom you are someday. Your girls are just as lucky to have you for a mom as you are to have them for daughters. :)

Kristin said...

If I had a child I would place this on my refrigerator so could read it every day. You stated it perfectly. This is beautiful Paige!

Heather H said...

wow.i just don't even know what to say. it hits me pretty hard today.

realizing that's it's easy for me to have 'grace' with the child who rarely does anything wrong ... but to the one who DAILY tests me ... i'm definitely lacking.

thank you.
P.S. my mom PRIDES herself that she was NEVER a room mom ... and honestly, i never felt less loved by her.

LuLu said...

I have to read this book. I'm learning as I go in this parenting journey... i'm constantly praying for wisdom and strength, understanding, patience...

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

What a precious reminder.

And just FYI. After your comment about my rocks/burdens, I was so touched and inspired by what you shared, I actually used it in a way, to teach a lesson to my son... I blogged about it a couple of days ago. It came straight from your comment, and has blessed many. Thank you for sharing that with me!

Much love,

Jodee Leader said...

I enjoyed this post! I completely get it too! I am Type A, first born, impatient and a control freak! I hope to parent with grace too! Thanks for always speaking from your heart! You are such a great mom!

Michelle said...

your profound,heartfelt message is one that I needed to hear today. My daughter is only 4 but oh is she pushing on the independence, strong willed angle. I pray each day that God gives me the grace and wisdom to be the mom that she needs. I love the statement at the end of your post by Tim. I'm going to get the book!

Thanks for sharing your heart.

Jerri said...

Always love your posts and so many thoughts that we share in common...none of us are perfect parents but the efforts we make through God's grace will pay heart SOARS when my grown ones still come to home with their joys and sorrows and I hope that's how it will always be! PS I too have had to learn NOT be be my controlling perfectionistic self...not always easy but again its the intent that matters.
Little Bit is adorable in the pics!!!

Jen Kershner said...

Hi sweet girl! I can feel you struggling this past year. Mothering is so hard and we hold ourselves to impossible standards. I know your girls feel your love. We aren't perfect and neither are our children. I think you are a wonderful, caring mom. Hugs to you.

the wild raspberry said...


may god bless you with the grace that you are looking for.

The Flying Bee said...

Paige...I am running so short on time right now, actually running late for my women's conference, but I just had to stop and read this and take the time to say thank you. I needed to hear this. I struggle in these areas so much. I have to come back later and read it again. Thank you for sharing this!


Nancy said...

wow... so convicting... so enlightening. Thank you. I am going to check for that book. It sounds great. I too am a Type A personality and parenting is a struggle that we need to bring before God everyday. grace.what a great word. something i need, for sure.

Lissa said...

christ didn't die for me because I have qualities worth saving but because I have bad qualities that left me without a prayer.

That's the best thing I've read all day

There's nothing I want out of life more than being a Christ centered home where I'm the wife and mother that God has called me to be!

Angelica Bays, said...

I am so glad I popped over from Sasha's LMM blog. So much lovely stuff to look at and read about over here. You just touched my heart in so many ways
1.Your girls are lovely (I don't have any)
2. I have a Savannah too-(she's my niece)
3. I'm supposed to be reading Crazy Love right now too (Still need to borrow it from my cousin)
4. LOVE your not-too-shabby chic decor! (Mine's only shabby so far-lol)
Thanks for sharing- I'll be back to read more of your adventures

Martha said...

Just beautiful are very inspiring...and with 2 young ones I have so much to continue to learn and re-learn (I'm the same type A)...I think we all do...and I always pray that I have a home where the girls feel loved, safe, free to be themselves, and always able to talk with me ~ although I know that will come with much continued growth and grace just like you said from myself:) Truly enjoyed your words:)

Martha said...

Of course I meant grace from God and growth from myself...shouldn't have combined that

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Type A's unite. I agree it's not easy when you want to control everything. Take heart, my dear.

And I loved this quote. "realizing that christ didn't die for me because i had good qualities that were worth saving
but because i had bad qualities that left me without a prayer"

Made me think.


Farmgirl Paints said...

The Lord knows I need Grace. So glad he has alot to hand out. Now if I can in return extend it to those around me... such a great reminder Paige. Have a great weekend friend:)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a wonderful post!! I would love to read that book....sounds like a good one!! I think we all face the same challenges that you are facing.....parenting is not an easy job and it seems we are always being thrown curve balls that we need to be prepared to deal with......good and bad!

You are a wonderful Mom....I always enjoy my visits here......I wish you were my neighbor so we could chat over coffee and a nice southern decadent dessert:)



Southern Sugar said...

Can I move in your house and pretend I'm one of your girls? You are an awesome mom Paige! Thanks for sharing this. I have 3 girls 21,18 and 16. I have found their teen years to be the most challenging years of my life. The encouragement and inspiration are such a blessing :)

Julie said...

You are such a great mom. Thank you so much for sharing this. I find sometimes I'm so caught up in the nitty gritty I forget the big picture.'s so powerful.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

mimi charmante said...

you are truly one of the best. mothers. ever. I love how much thought you put into parenting your girlies four. they are such incredibly lucky lovelies and you inspire me daily with your wisdom, and your own grace~

Jeanneoli said...

Grace...the most gorgeous word and a word that I need to show more often. This is such a wonderful post. I am going to look into this book. I always appreciate your look into parenting...especially because you are ahead of me in ages and I really love your insight.

Ashley Eiler said...

i am thrilled to have a new daily read..thanks for your recent comment or i never would have gotten to read yours...what a have a wonderful family, you are a great writer and you can bet i will read often...thanks again for sharing....
ashley from bbtn

3 Peanuts said...

SO beautiful. I am going to get that book. We are facing the tween/teen years. You are so wise , Paige.

julie said...

wow! thanks for the info! i am alot like you! i guess i need to back off alittle! and my cuties are only 7 and 4! i need to get used to this "grace"! love it! thanks! xo

Jen the mother of toddlers and teens said...

Great post, nice to see I am not alone in this:)

cammy said...

You are such an inspiration to me, Paige. I'm finding the teen years to be difficult and I so love reading your insight to parenting.

Hugs to you.

Mommabelle said...

I have been thinking about these very things. Such a great post!
I'm not type A really, but I do have very high expectations and trend towards perfectionist. I'm learning as I go! We are starting to open the doors a bit on some more mature conversations, so that that home and family can always be a safe place to discuss what's on our mind. Praying for grace!

Erin Butson said...

Sigh............... what a greatpost. i need to read it again and again....escpecially the part where I don't act surprised when hemesses up. love these thoughts! thank you ofr tsharing them. your girls are beautiful.