I will add more to this later but it is Friday and I wanted to follow-up 🙂
Okay, now it is Saturday and I am just now getting back on the computer. Somehow the month of December seems to have the most to do list items and events that overlap. We are extra STRETCHED ! And that is the reason we take a small break in meeting together.
The scripture and questions pertaining to the end of our book “And then I had teenagers.” by Susan Yates are at the bottom of this post. In class, we focused on the underlying truth that comes with letting go of our teens and that is trusting God and praying for our teens as they become young adults.
We formalized our small groups of 3 or 4 for prayer and encouragement outside of class. If you are on our current roster and were not in class and would like to be part of a group, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My suggestion for communication is to set up a group text and then under details, set the group to “Do Not Disturb”. It will only apply to that group text. Then if you text in the middle of the night or if everyone sends a quick reply, everyone’s phones are not making noise. You may be familiar with this but I learned it from my teen! I would also suggest an occasional note in the snail mail.
Next semester we will be reading:
“The Five Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively” by Gary Chapman.
I have another great idea for your Santa list:
A “gift certificate” for the Girls Getaway/Women’s Ministry Retreat coming up April 8-9, 2016. It is an amazing weekend away for spiritual rejuvenation, worship, fellowship, prayer and some girl time fun. One of my favorite weekends. I wish it was every year! The last retreat we a had a suite with adjoining rooms for the Moms of Teens. I don’t know if we can do that this time. Registration is not open yet. The cost should be around $200-225. So if you still need something to put on your Santa list, this is a good idea. My Santa likes to know ahead of time and if it is a gift, everyone is so much more cooperative when Mom is away. One year my daughter, who was not yet a teen, gave me a “certificate” for no guilt or crying when I went on my retreats. (church retreat or scrapbook retreat).
We would also like to encourage y’all to consider doing a bible study on Monday nights or Wednesday mornings (before our group). Another opportunity for growth is Moms at Hope PM classes that are part of Wednesday nights at Hope. These are great because you can come early for dinner and your teens can go to Student Ministries while you go to Moms (It is for Moms of all age kids).
Meditate on Joshua 1:1–9.
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In this passage we see that Joshua is assuming his new responsibility as leader of the children of Israel. What words of instruction does God give to him in this new season? How do these words apply to you as you look forward to a new season with your teen?
- What are special gifts and interests that you have observed in your teen? What are his special needs? What are his long-term dreams? As you consider the first year after high school, what options would best meet these needs?
If your child is a junior or senior, have a brainstorming session together. Discuss several different possibilities for his first year after graduation. Develop together a list of questions for which you will need answers. Decide who will find which answers. Let your child assume the major responsibility for this fact finding.
Using the ideas from this chapter as a sample, develop your own strategy for making a decision about which college or which job. If your child is not interested in these discussions, or if you are a single parent, it will be more fun and you will get a better response if you do this together with another family whose child matches yours in age. Keep in mind that each child is unique.
Meditate on Philippians 1:3–11.
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Use this as your prayer of blessing for your teen as he leaves.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Meditate on Psalm 91.
1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
How does this psalm encourage you as you let your child go?
Discuss with your spouse (or another couple) some of the life skills you want to teach your child. Include the age you want to begin the training and two or three ways you will accomplish it.
- What steps do you need to take as a couple or individually to prepare yourself for your teen’s leaving?
- What can you do to give your child a blessing as he leaves?
Meditate on 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 2 Timothy 1:12.
8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:12
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
Write a letter to God thanking Him for specific ways He has been faithful to you and to your teens.
Psalm 91: 1-2
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”