How Do You Want to be Remembered as a Parent?

This has been a contemplative time for me as a parent.  Dealing with my own daughter’s death and thinking through her life, God has brought to mind many of my parenting interactions — the good, the bad, and the ugly.  There are many of those thoughts where I got it right in my parenting interactions, yet there are other times where I wish I could have had a “do-over”.  Grieving is hard work as it takes me down memory lane.

It occurred to me that the process of grief makes us look backward — what was, but could have been different.

As I contemplate that thought I’ve been reminded of my years as a corporate human resource manager.  Every year employees were asked to set goals for personal growth.  Each person was to write down not only what they wanted to achieve in sales, technical expertise, and other things to accomplish for the year, but they were also asked to assess what would make them more valuable in their job as a person.  These were what were sometimes seen as soft skills.  Leadership, influence, communication, and personal awareness were identified as opportunities for improvement.

As I compare the business world to family life, I wonder how many of us as parents take the time to set goals for ourselves — specifically in the soft skills.  As moms we sometimes set goals for running our homes such as making sure the kitchen is clean before we go to bed or cleaning the toilets at least once a week, but do we think about setting goals for how we interact with our kids?  Do we envision the person we truly want to be?

Thinking about our role as a parent is two-fold — yes, we need to think about the skills and goals for our children so they can become successful adults, but we also need to also think about the legacy of relationship that we will pass on to the next generation.

As we look forward to who we want to be or what we want to accomplish, it is sometimes easier to fast forward to a time in the future.  I’m going to ask you to look at who you are as a parent and consider what you would like your children to write for your eulogy.  What words do you want on your tombstone?  How do you want to be remembered?

  • She was a good listener.
  • I could tell Mom anything without condemnation or reaction.
  • Mom was gentle.
  • She was fair in serving consequences.
  • There was never a doubt that she loved me.
  • I knew I could always count on her.
  • She was calm and never raised her voice.
  • Mom didn’t stand over me always telling me what to do.
  • Mom let me make mistakes and taught me how to resolve them.
  • She asked me if she could share her thoughts when she knew I was about to make a poor decision.
  • Mom didn’t bail me out when I messed up.
  • She let me own what was mine to own.
  • Her laughter filled out home.
  • She was great at encouraging me.
  • She loved God and wanted me to know Him like she did.
  • Her words and actions were in sync.  I always knew where she stood on any subject.
  • I could always count on her to be there to support me.
  • She taught me to keep my commitments.
  • When mom made a mistake, she always apologized.
  • Mom worked on her own personal growth and encouraged me to do the same.
  • Even though Mom had lots to do, she would always stop whatever she was doing to focus on what I needed from her.
  • She always validated my feelings letting me know she truly understood.
  • Grace was more important to her than coming up with another rule that I would have to follow.

How did you stack up?

If there are things on this list or even your own list where you feel like you might be falling short, I would encourage you to take time to contemplate and set goals for personal growth.  While none of us is a perfect parent, if our kids are still alive we have opportunity for a “do-over”.   We have time to override what our future holds as we overlay our new behaviors on our old self.

Ephesians 4:22-24

 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness

If you remember a situation that you didn’t handle appropriately yesterday, last week, last month, or a decade ago — go back and apologize.

If you keep adding rules for your teens to follow rather than offering grace and connection — tell your kids that you’ve decided to dispense with some of the rules because you’ve seen progress in their behavior and want to give them more freedom.

If you find yourself raising your voice to the level of your kids’ outbursts — pause and speak with a gentle, controlled voice or let your children know that you will talk about the situation later when your emotions are under control.

Ask God to help you see and grieve your parenting mistakes from the past so that you can press on to be the parent He desires you to be for the future.

What changes need to be made in you as you move forward in becoming the parent God wants you to be?  What is one small step you can start making toward a better eulogy from your kids?

Dare you  to post one thing that you are going to work on as you parent.  Just by posting you are interjecting a level of accountability in making the change.  Then be intentional in asking God to help you reach that goal.

Praying God will infuse your heart and mind with the goodness of His grace.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you want to have influence in your family and desire to become a Titus 2 Woman leading other’s to grow in their walk with God, we have an opportunity to you.  Our Titus 2 Boot Camp will give you opportunity to learn the skills that will transform your life into one that honors Him.  We give you the tools as well as an opportunity to practice them in a safe environment.  It’s fun!  It’s a growth opportunity in the soft skills I mention in this post. And, it will be a time of refreshment as you spend time with God in a beautiful retreat setting.  Meet other women who love the Lord and want to serve Him in their marriages, in their families, and in whatever He calls them to do.  You’ll have time to interact with both Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock personally as we lead you in an exciting weekend of personal growth.  If God is calling you, we hope you will join us!  If you can gather a group to attend, contact us for a discount.  We promise, it will be a growth opportunity like you’ve never experienced before.





How Do You Measure Up As a Parent?

Over the years it has been interesting to interact with parents who have kids that are just moving into the middle school years.  I see many confident in their parenting.  Whatever they have been doing so far seems to be working and they feel like they will glide through the junior high and high school years with little more than a hiccup.

Other parents at the same place are already holding on for dear life trying to figure out what hit them and who has replaced their child with this alien that is now living under their roof.  These are the parents who most likely live in fear for what tomorrow might bring and feel clueless as to what to do next to move their child in a positive direction.

Whatever parenting situation you find yourself in at the moment, and what stage of parenting you are in, I encourage you to stay on your knees regardless of today.   Tomorrow might bring about a totally different outcome.

  • I’ve seen a compliant teen make unbelievably poor choices in college that brought pain to the entire family.
  • I’ve seen a troubled pregnant teenager mature and find a Godly husband to not only love her but be a father to her child.
  • I’ve seen a teenager on fire for God fall into the trap of alcoholism later in life.
  • I’ve seen a teenager growing up in a Godly home choose a same-sex partner.
  • I’ve seen kids make good choices through junior high only to make a dumb decision in high school that landed them in Juvenal Detention.
  • I’ve also seen Godly parents raise Godly children who are also walking with God.

Regardless of where we find ourselves in our parenting, the thing we need to realize as parents is that we are only part of the equation when it comes to our kids.  There are so many other things to consider.

  1. God created our kids with a particular bent (Proverbs 22:6).  As parents we don’t get to choose that bent and we can’t control it.  Sometimes our job is to love them in spite of who they are or the choices they make even when they go against everything we believe as truth (Mark 12:31).
  2. Sin did enter the world (Romans 5:12).  Scripture talks about generational sin and we in our culture we often hear it said that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.  As we see behaviors in our kids lives, we need to recognize that the sin might have roots from a previous generation (Deuteronomy 5:9). Our job as parents is to teach our kids about the potential outcome of their choices knowing that even in the midst of their particular sin we can only try to influence.  Our children have to choose.
  3. God is weaving His story (The Holy Bible).  At some point we need to understand that our children are part of a bigger story and we are not necessarily the author.  Yes, we have a significant role to play as the scene unfolds, yet God has purpose for each and every one of us.  Our child’s testimony might have unbelievable impact in the future even though it is bringing pain to us in the present.

As I read through scripture I am reminded that some of the parenting stories don’t always end the way we want.  King David’s son, Absalom (2 Samuel 13-19) nursed hatred toward his half-brother and had Amnon killed, slept with his father’s concubines, and proclaimed himself as king in David’s place. The Bible says that David “longed to go out to Absalom” (2 Samuel 13:39) and later David mourned deeply over his son.  Yet, David was considered a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

At some point we need to come to grips with the fact that our parenting isn’t about how our kids turn out but rather how we respond in the critical moments with our kids. Our job isn’t to try to be the best parent on the planet, but to be the best son or daughter of a living God in the midst of our parenting.

Parenting is really about us and our relationship with Jesus Christ as well as our relationship with our kids.


Mark 12:28-31

 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

As a parent of a challenging child who seemed to make a lot of wrong choices, I often found myself longing to know what decisions were the “right” ones as I parented.  Then I began to realize that even a perfect God didn’t have perfect kids that made the right choices.  David, a man after God’s own heart, didn’t always “get it right”.  As I searched through scripture trying to grasp what God was trying to teach me in the midst of the pain, I began to realize that parenting was as much about me as it was about this child.

I realized that maybe parenting was more about changing me than it was about trying to control my child’s behaviors.

That’s where With All Due Respect begins.  Who do I need to become as I parent these children?  Where do I need to focus in my own sinful desires and behaviors?  And what do I need to do to love God and love my children the way He desires of me?

Take the assessment and see what God wants from you.  Whether your kids are making good choices or not, God wants to refine us through our parenting.

Dare you to take the assessment and respond below on what you discovered.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If God is speaking to you through the assessment, we’d love to have you join our With All Due Respect eCourse.  You’ll be joining women from across the country as we learn to depend on God in our parenting.  Dare to be changed–in your relationship with Him and your kids–as you work through the book.  I’ll be there to join you in the closed community where you’ll find encouragement and insight.

Another option might be to grab a few of your friends and go through the book together.  We’ve created a small group leader’s guide that will add insight and fun as you lead women to a closer relationship with God and their kids.  You can purchase the leader’s guide here.




Teaching Teens To Recognize God in Their Day-To-Day

Beautiful wild colorful butterfly resting on plant. Insect macro.

Gently taking the bottom off the two-liter, it was easy to explain God to my then six year old son.  With anticipation and a little sadness, we released his butterfly into our flower garden hoping it would stay close at least for a few days.  Matt had watched this creature grow and mature through each stage of metamorphosis with the expectation of a beautiful butterfly.  We weren’t disappointed.  As wings unfurled, we recognized with excitement, it was all we had hoped it would be. Read more