When I was little if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would respond, “a mom”. As I mentioned in The Story of Us, there was a time in my life when I thought that being a mom wasn’t part of God’s plan for me. Then along came a bright, blue-eyed little girl who changed my life forever.

Being a mom is the hardest job that I have ever had and it is also the most rewarding. Watching my daughter navigate the challenges of school, friendships, athletics, peer pressure, boys and adolescent life is difficult. There has never been a day that I stood back and thought, “yep, nailed parenting today.” No, not one.

My dad reminded me last year when we were going through a particularly challenging time as parents that our job is not necessarily to raise “good” children. Rather, we are to train up our daughter in the ways that she should go. We should direct her heart and steps towards God. And realize the same free will that God gives us, He also gives to her.

Our best effort as parents is placing her feet on the solid foundation only Christ can provide, not us. It is relationship with Christ that gives my daughter a fighting chance in this world that tries to entice, distract and often devour her.

It is Christ who gives her an audacious spirit to stand up against the unfairness of teen life. It is Christ who gives her kindness to give when mean girls try and knock her down. It is Christ who gives her the athletic ability she uses on the field. It is her responsibility to honor Him and no one else when she is on that field. It is Christ who watches when she takes a test and who she pleases when she studies and prepares for that test accordingly.

And it is my job as her parent to remind her of Christ each and every day. He is the only One that can give her what she needs to get through her day and life.

He is the only one that can give me exactly what I need to be her mom. He entrusted her to me and chose me to be her mom. Right here. Right now. And it is my responsibility to honor God in how I navigate my role as her mom.

If you, too, find yourself grappling with this thing called parenthood, take heart! Remember that God has not forsaken you. He will give you the words, wisdom, patience and love that you need to get through it. He is cheering for you, loving you and holding you up even on the toughest of days.

You see, He knows the sacrifice parenting requires. He sacrificed His own Son for us.

He sees you. He knows you. He loves you. He equips you. Now, roll up your sleeves and get back to work! We can do all things through Christ!

Be joyful!

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 NLT