Today, please welcome my guest, Tracie Miles, author of the new book: Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World. When I got my copy today, I just wanted to jump into the cover. It looked so peaceful!
I asked Tracie to stop by and talk about stressing and parenting. Not only did she agree, but she’s giving away a copy of her book too!
I’d always heard that parenting was the most difficult, stressful job in the universe. And I believe it.
After Lynn and I talked about my posting on her blog, I began thinking about what to write with regards to the stress of raising teens in today’s society. Trust me when I say, that with 2 teenage daughters and a teenage son, it didn’t take but a millisecond for about three dozen things to come mind.
Just recently, I was blessed with a tiny glimpse of what makes all that stress worthwhile.
I thought I had become pretty accustomed to handling the stress of parenting and all the challenges that come with raising children…until my first born started college a couple months ago.
Stress threatened my heart for weeks before the big day arrived. Each time the thought of her leaving crossed my mind, my heart would race and tears would threaten. But as soon as I officially moved her in and left her dorm room, all those tears I held back come with a vengeance.
The next day, and into the next week, tears flowed. Tears of excitement for her. Tears of acceptance that our life was changing, and tears because I missed my baby girl! But also, tears of stress. I just couldn’t help but worry and stress about all the “what-ifs”, knowing college life and all the negative pressures and situations she would be face.
But one day recently when talking to my daughter about some difficult situations, my heart was lifted, my stress was lessened, and my faith re-energized.
She simply expressed that although she didn’t always agree with the rules and discipline that my husband and I stuck to over the years, she was now thankful that we loved her enough to have them.
She shared how she was thankful we didn’t take the easy road of parenting, even when it was stressful. She was glad we always tried to keep up with what she did, where she was, who she was with, and where she was going. She was grateful we took her to church, and made faith a priority. She was glad we didn’t allow her to dress immodestly, even though that was and is the popular trend with young girls today. She was glad she was disciplined for wrong doing, even though she didn’t like it at the time.
Although we have certainly made our share of parenting mistakes, and she has made her own, she was glad we had raised her the way we did – because otherwise she might be going down the wrong path like so many teens around her were doing. She saw the benefit of being raised up in the ways of the Lord, even if by imperfect parents.
Although she didn’t exactly put it this way, she was thankful that we cared enough to stress over her, and for her.
My heart swelled. And I tried to hold back the tears. That one conversation, only one minute long, suddenly made 18 years of parenting stress worth every minute.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
All that “directing” brings on a lot of stress – from the first time a child says “no!”, to the millionth time they say “but everybody else….” Yet that stress becomes a distant memory, when your child says thank you for loving them enough to be stressed over their well being.
Although God would prefer that we trust Him wholeheartedly and not stress over our teens, He also knows that we are human. Our love for our children is going to bring on some stress, but when we see God working in their hearts and in their lives, and we see the fruits of our efforts, it makes every minute of parenting stress completely worthwhile.
Tip: Make a list of the top 3 parenting stressors you have been experiencing lately. Take some time to talk about your concerns, fears and emotions about those stressors with God, and pray Proverbs 22:6 out loud.
Get a copy of Tracie’s new book, Stressed-Less Living today and get 7 free gift! Just click here for more information:
Thanks so much, Tracie! And thank you for today’s give away.
Have you been secretly longing to take a mini-vacation from parenting? How can embracing God’s promise that our parenting perseverance will pay off, help you get through those stressful parenting days?
I’ll announced the winner on Monday during my series on peace!