Several years ago, as a Human Resource Manager for a large engineering firm, one of my jobs was to interview employees who decided to leave the company. At the time, I was pregnant with my first, so I didn’t fully grasp the concept of total commitment to parenting. As this employee told me that she was choosing to stay home with her children, I asked, “Aren’t your children in their teens?”
She shook her head affirming my question.
“You are such a valued employee and could actually retire in a few years. If your children are almost grown, then why would you decide to stay home NOW?” I naively inquired.
The look on her face said it all. She was trying hard not to share the story with a “too young to possibly understand and never been a mother” co-worker.
“My children need me and tomorrow will be my last day,” she stated in a matter of fact tone.
I later asked her manager if he knew why she was choosing to leave. My immaturity left me totally baffled and I wanted to fully understand. “Her son is in trouble. She thinks if she is home, she can help turn things around.”
“What an awful situation to be in,” I pondered as I now had at least a little insight into what this woman was facing and why she was leaving a job she obviously enjoyed.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
As I ponder this story now, I know exactly what this woman was feeling. She treasured her children. As a mother, she was willing to give up a job she loved to get her son the help he needed.
Unfortunately, it usually takes a time of crisis before we really remember the treasure that is living under our roof.
It’s easy to remember that children are a gift from the Lord when they fit in the crook of our arm, nurse at our breast, or bring those weed/flowers from the backyard as a tender gesture of love. But then they get to the size where they can wear our shoes, our clothes, and are almost as tall as we are, and they start exercising their independence in ways that are foreign to us. We forget that we need to be doing everything in our power to maintain relationship with these tweens and teens even though they are pushing our buttons.
Sometimes we also forget that our children have to learn life lessons. They will make mistakes, but through them they will grow to be mature adults. My dare to you today is to remember that even when your tweens and teens are making life difficult for you and pushing the limits, they are still your treasure. You are at a time in your life when they do still need you.
Dare you to give up something today to spend time with those you treasure and encourage them in the process. After all, “whatever we pay attention to grows”.
“Let go…and let God,”