I had a great talk with my sister this afternoon.  What would I do without my sis in my life?

We were talking about being moms and the challenge of not trying to control everyone and everything.  It’s more obvious to me than ever before that I can’t control life and everything that happens to my family.  I also can’t control their choices.

In love and wanting to help, I fight the urge to give advice when I see them about to make decisions that from my life experience I know will bring them heartache or problems.

There’s a time and place for advice and we all need it sometimes.  My mom and dad have shared lots of good advice with me throughout my lifetime.

However, the things and events in my life that have truly taught me to change my ways, to learn new habits, to stop doing some things and start doing others are the hard times.  Experience, consequence and reality are the best teachers.

Growth and change have come from the times I was so desperate I had to fall on my face and cry out to my Papa, my God, and plea for answers.  It has come from the times when I felt I had no one else to turn to for help.  It comes from the times of heart-breaking disappointment, from asking questions and facing fears.  It comes from asking God to put things back together after I made a poor choice, then dust me off and get me moving again in a better direction.

As a mom, especially at this stage of my daughters’ lives, the best thing I can do most of the time is shut up.  Pray, try to consistently live out my faith, trust God and keep my mouth closed.  If I were even able to keep them from having to face the inevitable hard times or consequences from mistakes, I would actually be keeping them from the endurance, faith, hope, perspective and closeness to God that only hard times bring.  That’s what I have always prayed and hoped they would find – I sure don’t want to get in the way of that!

I’m in your corner, girls, and I love you.

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