Dare 4 – The Respect Dare – The Vision

Now that I’m officially established in my role as a mother of 20-somethings, I’m finding myself listening more intently to other parents’ comments about interactions with their adult children. As I process what they are saying, it makes me think about how I might be coming across to my own kids.

I thought I’d share a couple of dialogues as we talk about visioning because we can learn a lot from others’ success and failure. If it works for them, it might work for us. If it “ain’t workin” for them, why try it?

Here’s one that I had to laugh about!
Obviously, names have been changed to protect those who were complaining.

“He knew I wanted the grandkids this weekend!” Kelly responded, obviously miffed.

“What happened?”

“He’s mad and won’t let me have them this weekend. He said I’m getting too possessive of his kids! Of course I’m possessive! They’re my grandchildren!”

“What triggered him saying that?”

“Oh, I got upset with him for taking the kids to see Marla’s parents on a weekend that I was supposed to have them.”

“Well, isn’t it good that the kids got to spend time with their other grandparents?”

“Yeah, but does it have to be on my weekend? Ron and Marla know that I get the kids every other weekend when I’m not working. I can’t believe that he thinks he can just decide which weekends I don’t get them!”

Hopefully, you all are laughing saying “what is she thinking”! Obviously…she isn’t.

Here’s a contrast of a different interaction.

“Tonya, I know that you know how I feel about your decision. You can’t have lived under our roof for 18 years without knowing the values that your dad and I have tried to teach you. But, you are an adult at 20. I recognize that it is your choice and not mine, but I want you to know that I think this is a decision you will later regret. Regardless of the decision you make, your father and I will still love you. I will be praying that you will change your mind because that’s my job as a mother, but again, it is your decision.”

“Mom, thanks for recognizing that it is my decision. I know this is hard for you, but I think it is the right choice for me.”

((HUGS)) happened here.

Is either scenario a reflection of you?

James 1:23-25

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a doer of the Word. I want my reflection as a parent to give freedom. I want to be blessed in what I do. I want to be mom in the second story…the best “launching” mom on the planet!

So I decided to take Nina’s Dare and apply it to me as a parent!

Remember, this is where I want to be…not where I am. I’m creating a vision for how I want to parent my 20-somethings!

I am a woman who has the strength to recognize that her “babies” are now adults. I continue to share my wisdom, but I will do it like I would to my best friend, asking permission but recognizing that some decisions are not in my control. No matter what challenging circumstances come my way, I will respectfully allow my children to make their own choices and work through their own consequences, leaving them in God’s capable hands. I have peace recognizing that each of my children is on the journey that God has for them in this stage of their life. My phone will ring often because my adult children will want to have relationship with me. They will come to me for wisdom or just to talk. They see me as a friend who knows them well. I will use this time with children out of the house, to rekindle the sparks in my relationship with my spouse. As I walk in this new phase of parenting, I will find my identity in how I am to spend my additional time by seeking God daily relying on Him for encouragement, wisdom, and happiness.

Dare you to write your own vision for this phase of life.

Double dare you to share it by posting it on my blog.

Walking the journey with you!

“Let go…and let God”,


Be sure to follow other bloggers as we go through Nina Roesner’s book The Respect Dare. You’ll find Leah blogging to wives with young kids and Nina blogging about marriage. We’re only on Dare 4, so if you are just joining us, it won’t take long to catch up. Join us on our 40 week journey!

The Respect Dare – Dare 4 – Vision

Fondly watching my children play in the fenced-in back yard when all four were under age eleven, I could already see the future (so I thought). My own desires painted a beautiful landscape in my mind, a picture void of heartache or difficulties and brimming with success.

My oldest would be a future all-star major league baseball player. After all, he was already hitting homeruns over our fence, something that even the older boys in the neighborhood had not yet mastered! When others from his little league team were bored with the “catch the fly ball” practice drills, my son would watch to see if the kids on the other side of the field had their gloves ready. If not, he’d go catch their ball. Baseball future? You bet ya!

Then there was my daughter, destined to be on stage with her radiant smile and voice of a future star. She would regularly come down the stair in some fashion she had created out of any article of clothing that she could get her hands on, dressed to her finest in my high heels, belting out a song that I was sure would melt the judges hearts with her every audition. Not only was she destined to sing, I knew she would do so in the outfit she designed!

My third was the math whiz, the meticulous Lego mastermind! No doubt this one would be an engineer. Even with his quiet demeanor (compared to his older siblings), he was unbelievably gifted in making and maintaining deep relationships. At a young age, I saw compassion in this deep thinking child. This one would be the steady rudder wherever his ship sailed.

Number four was my creative genius! Whatever Lego design my third had built following each direction piece by piece, this one took it apart to fashion into his own creation. Destined to be an inventor of things not yet thought of, the imagination and forethought he put into his design were unbelievable! Quietly singing while he did his handiwork, I could see he was paying close attention to his older siblings, determined to do whatever they did. No matter what this one decided to do, he’d succeed as long as he could use his own creativity!

Yes, I had a vision for my kids…A passion for helping steer them toward who God had obviously designed each of them to be.

But what about my own vision…for myself…as a parent?

I love how Nina Roesner talks about visioning for ourselves in The Respect Dare, “If you are married, one of the purposes for your life is to become holy within the context of marriage, shining His light to the world.”

The same is true for parenting!!

I don’t know about you, but I spent so much time pouring into my kids with a vision that I thought they would aspire to, that I forgot that I need to grow as well! It wasn’t until my children became tweens and teens, that I began to realize that my vision for them was a lie created by the enemy!

Psalm 139:15-16

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed…

Only my kids can create their own vision. They need to want to paint the beautiful landscape. They have to choose to become whatever their vision is. I don’t have a major league baseball player, nor will I likely have a high profile recording artist. By high school, my one son knew he wanted to be an engineer…it was his dream, his goal, and my youngest was pouring his creative talents into music. But it is their vision, breathed in them by God.

What about you? What is your vision of the parent you would like to be in four to six months? What changes would you like to see?

Just like our vision for our kids sometimes begins to deflate as they become tweens and teens, our parenting dreams start to shake and falter as these soon to be adults start pushing our buttons and fighting for their independence. We see behaviors in ourselves that we either justify or shudder to think that we are even capable of such things. Sometimes our responses need a new perspective.

Do you need to soften your voice?

Do you need to let go of minor issues?

Do you need to loosen the boundaries?

Do you need to respect that your child is now a teen and becoming more independent?

These are only a few areas that I began thinking about as I started creating my own parenting vision. Will you join me in setting a positive vision for who you would like to be as a parent?

“Let go…and let God.”


For more ideas on respect in marriage and parenting, check out Leah’s and Nina’s blog or follow us on Facebook/The Respect Dare.

I’d love to have you comment on my blog or share it with others! Your comments help others grow in their journey of parenting! It’s your way of becoming a Woman of Influence!

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