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Thinking Anew About the Teen Years
Thank you so much, dear readers, for the encouragement you gave me after my post on Monday about dealing with disappointment in your kids. It really did help.

It is strange walking through my girls' teen years. My youngest is not a teen yet, but she's on the verge. And I find myself projecting onto them what I felt.

I did not have good teen years. Probably because I grew up without a father, I was absolutely boy-crazy. I judged my worth by whether or not I had a boyfriend, and it was not a good thing. When I think of how many hours I spent crying, heartbroken, all over a guy who doesn't even matter that much to me anymore, it really is sad.

I wasted many of my teen years, and many of my emotions, while I could have been putting them to better use trying to grow in Jesus, pursue friendships, or just think about life.

My daughters are not like me. Likely because they have a dad who loves them, they do not feel the need to have a boyfriend. My oldest read I Kissed Dating Goodbye last year and has committed to not dating until she is 18 and ready to start thinking about marriage. I, of course, am ecstatic.

That does not mean she doesn't have crushes; but she knows that they are not the end all and the be all, and she knows there's no point in pursuing them now. So she has a wide range of friends, and I'm happy.

But it is strange to watch one's daughter reach the age where you were when you were turning yourself inside out over boys. I have a friend who was severely burned by her mother at the age of 1 1/2, and when her own daughter got to that age, she had a really difficult time as well. When our kids reach the age of our own tragedy, if that's what you can call my teenage years, it is hard.

And yet I feel it also gives us a new opportunity to see what life should have been like. God has shown His grace to me and brought me into a life that I should never have had, if you go by simple demographic trends. I married a good man, and we have good kids, and He has blessed us. But I believe I will see my daughters do even better. That is not necessarily the case, of course. We all chart our own paths. But I can see them charting theirs, and they do not resemble my early ones at all.

I need to learn to step back and trust that God will guide them through these years, without assuming they are feeling all the things I felt. They are different people, and I am thankful. They have a different relationship with God, and I am thankful. They are not me, and I am thankful.

Now, it's just time for me to really believe it, and to see how much farther God will take them!

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum



At 1:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Amen to that sister. :)

I could have wrote that post.

I had a friend give me a good piece of advice right before my DD turned 13. She said, "God will heal many of your own hurts through your children's experiences." She then asked me, "When did you have the hardest time growing up?" My answer was my teen years, starting at 13.

Now my DD is showing me how different life would have been if I had known the Lord like she does.

The Lord is showing me how my experiences are helping my DD not to have to go through what I did.

It all works for His glory. Praise Him!

I have to add I'm so glad I found your blog Sheila. I think we're kindred spirits. :)

Have a great day,


At 4:13 PM , Blogger Laurel said…

Just found your blog, but have enjoyed several of your books in the past.

Great post! Neither my husband nor I were raised in Christian homes, and our teen years were spent with many boyfriends/girlfriends.

When we got married, God gave us a vision for being the start of a Godly heritage. We knew that we wanted our children's lives to be very different than ours were.

We, too, are homeschoolers. This is our 18th year, and we have 11 years left, with my 2 first graders.

While our kids have each had their little bumps in life to navigate, God has done and is doing totally amazing things in their lives. Of our 5 oldest children, 3 are currently serving overseas on missions, 1 was in full-time ministry for 2 years, and had travelled the world, before moving away 2 years ago. And, the 5th, (actually the oldest) has served 4 1/2 years in the army, with 2 1/2 years in Iraq. We couldn't be more proud of ALL that the Lord is doing in them and through them ... so much more than my husband and I ever dreamed.

Now ... we have 8 more at home ... that are pursing the Lord while they pursue their dreams and passions.

None of our kids are married yet ... none of them did the typical high school dating scene ... all of them are praying for the Lord to bring them the very best partner for life.

Blessings with your daughters!

mama of 13

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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