Tag Archive for: Submission

Dare 11 – The Respect Dare – Whatever we pay attention to Grows – For Parents of 20-Somethings

Marilyn was beyond upset! She wondered if Ashlee would ever grow up. “You would think that at 25 she would get it!!” she complained to Martin. She had already spouted to her husband several of the grievances that she had against her daughter. Marilyn continued to rant.

“She promised! Her younger sister called and asked for her assistance and she said yes! Tori called her three times and texted her as well. They agreed to meet at 3:00. I planned my entire weekend around the two of them meeting! Tori and I were planning to go shopping for school clothes and then get her hair cut. We changed our whole day’s schedule around Ashlee’s availability. Then Ashlee doesn’t even show up or call Tori to tell her she’s not coming! Martin, that is absolutely unacceptable.”

“I agree. But she did call me and explain what was going on.”

“Yeah, after the fact! She had an agreement with Tori, not you.”

“You’re right. I should have made sure she called Tori back.”

Just then Martin’s phone rang. It was Ashlee. “She’s on her way, but won’t have very long,” muttered Martin.

“It’s been hours since they were supposed to meet. Here we are now ready to walk out the door and she calls and says she is suddenly free? It’s like she expects us to just be available whenever she just happens to have time? I don’t get it!”

Marilyn was fired up! It was a good thing Ashlee wasn’t around at that moment. Marilyn knew she would give her a piece of her mind! She could tell that Martin was spinning up too. He was probably more angry than she was.

Later that evening, Marilyn was sitting in her favorite bedroom chair with her bible and journal. “Lord, help me to see truth in this situation with Ashlee. Help me to see what is lovely in my daughter. Help me to understand what is going on.”

As she spent time in prayer her thoughts became more focused on the situation. “Ashlee did have something really important that came up. She did call her dad and explain the reason she wasn’t there. So, Lord, why am I so upset about what happened. Is it because it ruined my day?”

The longer she sat there she knew the answer. “I want the girls to be close. I want them to always be there for each other. What I really wanted was for Ashlee to call her sister because I want the connection to always be there,” she thought. “Tori seemed really hurt by the lack of empathy from her sister.”

Because Tori hurt, Marilyn hurt for her.

Marilyn arranged a special lunch with Ashlee later in the week. As they sat there talking Marilyn chose not to dwell on what happened. She chose instead to emphasize her desires. “Ashlee, you know how much your sister idolizes you, don’t you? She is working really hard to connect with you. I know something came up last weekend and that you couldn’t meet with her like you two had planned, but can I encourage you to call her more often, even if it is just to check in with her?”

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things.”

As parents, sometimes we want to step in and tell our 20-somethings what they did that was wrong. Depending on their personality and their level of independence, they may not be able to handle the “parenting” we want to give them. Instead of focusing on the negative behavior, try emphasizing the behavior you want to see more of and explain why you would like to see it.  Whatever we pay attention to GROWS!

Dare you to try to take a difficult situation and try to address it in the positive.

“Let go…and let God”,

Be sure to join Nina Roesner and Leah Heffner as we blog through The Respect Dare together!




Dare 6 – The Respect Dare –

Mark and Audrey were at odds on what to do. It seemed that lately there were a lot of money issues with their twenty-three year old son. Mark was of the opinion that by twenty-three, it was up to their son to be totally independent. “He’s a man, for crying out loud!” Mark bellowed. “I didn’t have my dad bailing me out every time I turned around.”

Audrey had been tempted to challenge him because she saw things differently. But she bit her lip and decided to pray about it instead.

“Lord, Justin is still in college with only one semester remaining. He sounded really down on the phone today. It is obvious that he wasn’t sure he would be able to make it through the next few days financially. It had obviously taken a lot just for him to ask. I know we’re paying for part of his college tuition, but everything else is on his dime, and he has maxed out his loans. I know that Justin is carrying a heavy load trying to graduate on time. I understand why he recently quit his 20 hour a week job because of one of the classes he needed to graduate; this leaves him with little to no spending money. It makes sense that He needs a loan. He just needs necessities to get by. Help Mark to see that, Lord, and please help us come up with a solution.”

She thought about how she had seen her aunt operate in situations similar to this. She knew what Aunt Mabel would do. She would just pretend like she was “spending extra money” at the grocery store or some other place and give the money to her son without telling his father.

022614_0211_Dare6TheRe2.jpgAudrey didn’t want to undermine her husband like that. She had seen the remnants of trust be shredded by Aunt Mabel’s willingness to “get her way” regardless of what her husband thought. She needed to come up with another way to get Mark’s attention. She also didn’t want to drive a wedge between Mark and Justin.

What was it she had learned in Daughters of Sarah? “State facts without emotion,” she remembered. “Men need short, logical communication.”

As she continued to contemplate how to best approach Mark she kept remembering a verse.

Ephesians 4:1b-2

Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

Audrey kept thinking about the relationship with both of her “men”. She needed to not only show respect for her husband, but also respectfully spur Justin on to independence as well. How could she do that without undermining either one?

The next evening, Audrey ventured into conversation with her husband. “Mark, I know that you and I are at odds on how to deal with Justin’s financial struggles right now. Would you be willing to listen to an idea that I have that might be a win-win for all of us and still recognize that Justin needs to be financially independent?”

When you and your spouse don’t agree on how to handle a particular situation, parenting can be difficult. Communicating in a way that the other understands can be crucial in reaching the best solution. And sometimes choosing to not do things like “Aunt Mabel” did, is a true act of showing kindness out of love.

Dare you to lean toward gentleness in your communication with your spouse.

“Let go…and let God,”


Be sure to join Nina and Leah as we go through The Respect Dare together!

Dare 5 – The Respect Dare – Is My Mouth in Check?

Karissa went into the guest bedroom, tears welling up within her. “Why did I even come? I love her, but I hate being around her!” she thought to herself. “Why is it that I can graduate from college with honors, go to work every day and get accolades for a job well done, be up for a promotion at the age of 24, and then come home and feel like I can’t do anything right? I’ve been here less than 15 minutes!” Dread for the coming week welled up within her. “I wish I had just stayed home.”

While Karissa was in the bedroom unpacking, her mom was busy in the kitchen in the kitchen fixing lunch. “A whole week with Karissa to myself!” she felt as light as a feather. “I get her all to myself.”

Karissa pulled herself together hoping her mom wouldn’t notice the tears. “Brace yourself!” she warned. “Just let her words go in one ear and out the other. Nothing she says can hurt me.”

As Karissa entered the kitchen her mother grabbed her and hugged her. “I’m so glad you are here! Sit, let’s eat! You need to put some meat on those bones, dear. You’ve lost too much weight!”

“Just busy I guess.”

“You’ve got your hair different. I like it, but you know I really like it shorter. You should cut about an inch off so way people will see your face better.”

“I like it this way, Mom. I get a lot of compliments on it.”

“So, Karissa, are you dating anyone yet? I know you want children someday.”

“No, Mom. No future husband in the wings. I’m sure he’ll show up when he is supposed to and I think I’ve got a few years left on my biological clock for children.”

“What about that guy, Dan, you were dating. I really liked him. You should see if he still has any interest.”

“He’s married now, Mom.”

“I knew you shouldn’t have let him get away.”

And on and on the conversation droned.

By bedtime, Karissa was ready for seclusion from her mother’s words. “Lord, I know Mom doesn’t say things with a malicious intent. It is as if she doesn’t even think about the way her words affect other people. Help me to not be so sensitive. Help me to just enjoy her.”

By day three, Karissa was having a tough time keeping it together. All she could think of was the end of the week and getting away from all the criticism and negative input from her Mother. She decided she had nothing to lose. In actuality, there wasn’t even a relationship from her perspective…so there really was nothing to lose.

“Mom,” she ventured that evening. “Can we talk about us, about our relationship?”

“Sure, honey, you sound serious.”

“Do you like having me here?”

“Of, course.”

“Do you like me for who I am?”

“You know I love you. I love you with all my heart.”

“I didn’t ask if you love me. I asked if you like me. Do you like me for who I am?”

“That’s a silly question.”

“Mom, I know you don’t mean to, but I feel like you are constantly telling me who I should be, what I should do, what I’m not doing. What I’m really saying is that I don’t think you respect me, for me…You read your Bible don’t you, Mom?”


“There’s a scripture in there that goes something like this. Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, noble, right pure, lovely, and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

“I know that verse.”

“Could you try meditating on that when you think of me? When I’m around you, I feel like I don’t measure up. I feel like you want to “fix” me into whatever your idea is of a “perfect” daughter. In reality, I don’t think you respect the fact that I’m an adult and my own person.”

“Karissa, that isn’t the way it is at all.”

“Mom, I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m just letting you know how it feels to me. There’s another verse you might want to think about too.”

Proverbs 25:11

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

“Mom, I want to feel like you cherish me as you would gold or silver. I want to be cherished like one of your best friends now that I’m an adult. Would you tell your best friend that you thought they should cut their hair, or wear a different color lipstick, or wear different shoes, or find a husband? I doubt it. But you still feel like you can say those things to me because in your mind I haven’t grown up.”

Moving our children into the adult world in our minds is difficult. We will always have a desire to mother them.

Dare you to choose your words carefully as you cherish this new adult to adult relationship.

“Let go…and let God,”


Be sure to join Nina and Leah as they blog through The Respect Dare for wives and young mothers.

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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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Dare 2 – The Respect Dare – Childhood Introspection

Sitting in a Daughters of Sarah classroom, my mind started spinning as I heard the stories. These were real women trying to understand how their childhood memories were being played out in their marriages. Some stories were funny. Some were sad. And some were absolutely horrifying. For me, somehow it made my distorted childhood memories feel somewhat normal. Everyone didn’t have perfect parents who had a great marriage. I was learning that most women struggle at one time or another.

I may as well have been in a different room though… my mind was on childhood introspection alright, but my thoughts weren’t focused on marriage. I was thinking of how my parents parented me and my siblings. I was focused on what could have triggered some of the issues that were coming into play as I parented my teens and twenty-somethings. At that moment, I was trying to figure out why my twenty-somethings weren’t like the other kids at church. For me, it was hurt and disappointment.

Then the memory came into sharp focus with finite clarity.

It was a spring day of my junior year of high school and I was sitting on the back patio with my mom and stepdad. Our family was a Brady Bunch with an added caboose, and one of my step-brothers was my same age. My brother and I were good friends, even though we weren’t anything alike. At this point in his life, school wasn’t on the top of his priority list and his grades were taking a nose dive.

I remember the conversation distinctly between my parents that they chose not to have in private.

“Your son is failing all his classes. He won’t graduate if he keeps this up. You need to do something,” my mom pleaded.

“Well, at least he has friends and goes out and has fun, unlike your daughter,” my stepdad retorted.

“Well, my daughter studies and makes good grades. She’s going to go places!”

“She’s always got her nose in books. It takes personality to get somewhere in life.”

“If he keeps this up, he won’t amount to a hill of beans,” she responded.

And the conversation continued…

In front of a 16 year old girl…

Being compared to one of her best friends…

Feeling like a rag doll being pulled from both sides.

Questioning, “Do I measure up?”

As I contemplated the memory, the answer was in full view now. I realized as an adult the lie that I believed for so long. I’d been trying to compare my kids to others to see if they measure up, just like I wanted to meet my stepdad’s expectations.

I want my children to be to loved and accepted by everyone. Somehow I’d forgotten that my kids are who they are because that is how God created them. I don’t need to compare them to others. They don’t need to measure up to someone else’s expectations. God has a specific plan for their lives.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Dare you to look at how your childhood story impacts your parenting. Are you reacting to a childhood incident that might be having negative effects on your relationships with your teens and twenty-somethings?

Double dare you to join Nina Roesner, Leah Heffner, and me as we go through The Respect Dare one DARE at a time.

Boldly walking alongside you in your parenting.

“Let go…and let God,”