I'm so excited to introduce my brave friend, Jenn Buell for this week's Guest Blog Post!
Brave Faith: Raising Brave Kids to Face a Big World
We try to teach our children so many things don’t we? Play nice, pick up your stuff, memorize your Bible verses, wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, don’t hit your sister, and so much more. Each of these things represents character traits we hope to instill in them before they grow up and fly the nest. One character trait that gets overlooked in this age of helicopter parenting is bravery.
We hover under them on the monkey bars, wanting to protect them from falling.
We monitor their play, wanting to protect them from so many things. We go to bat for them with tough teachers, wanting to protect their future from the mark a
failure leaves. There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect our kids. It’s engrained into us. And the age of information makes the world feel scarier, heavier, and feel more like the stakes are higher.
The World Feels Scary
Do you remember a childhood of running free around the neighborhood, unencumbered by parental eyes? I do. I’m dating myself here, but I was a kid in the late-70s and early-80s. I remember walking alone to the swimming pool five or six blocks away to spend the day swimming. I think I was 8 the earliest memory I have of that. (Gasp!) I remember leaving the house after lunch to run the neighborhood with friends or explore the creek near our house and not coming back until I heard my mother yelling my name.
Can you imagine letting your kids do that now? Of course not. Someone would report you.
Would it surprise you to know the crime rate then was higher than now? It shocked me. Just google it and watch page after page talking about how crime today is far below that of my childhood. We just know about it instantly with 24-hour news cycles and Amber Alerts to cell phones.
So How Do We Teach Brave?
I’m a widowed mom of four kids. Five and a half years ago, my loving husband of 20 years died suddenly of a heart attack. No warning, no anticipation. Just gone. And there I stood with four kids, ages 5 to 15, in uncharted territory. Scary territory. What now?
My husband used to tell people what made him fall in love with me—my strength. His own father had died when he was 2 and he said he knew if anything happened to him, I would be okay. I would keep going. Such a compliment and one that was so vital as I had to choose to bravely keep going with and for my kids.
When he died, I determined that my children would see me being brave. Parenting four kids alone is the hardest, scariest thing I've ever done. But if I want them to learn to face life and trials bravely, they need to see me doing just that.
In Joshua 1:9 we find a call to bravery, "Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go." (NLT, emphasis mine)
You Need to Choose Brave
That is how we teach brave—by being brave. By trusting God as He goes with us into hard, scary, exhilarating places. As he asks us to walk on water, to feed 5,000, to pray for miracles, and to go into all the world and we choose to say yes.
By applying to go back to school to finish or start a new degree.
By asking for a raise or a chance at a better job.
By jumping on the roller coaster or off the high dive.
By moving to a new city to start over again.
By pursuing a calling God has placed in your heart when you have no idea how that will work.
By trusting God to provide when your checking account is laughing at you.
Your children need to see you being brave not because you are amazing, but because God is. He makes us brave. He asks us to trust Him and do brave, scary things. But then. Oh, then watch what happens.
My eldest son did something brave that required me to be brave too. He is attending college 13 hours from home in a place he knew no one before going. They had a great film school and a scholarship for in-state tuition that was too good to pass up. He’s finishing his second year of being brave and it has not always been easy. But he’s doing it.
Oh that we would demonstrate brave for our children and raise children who are brave. That they would see us trusting God to lead us into bravery-requiring places.
Our children learn more from what we do than what we say, though they are listening to the words as well. When they see us taking brave steps, they learn to be brave. When they see us trusting God, they learn to have brave faith.
Oh that bravery would be a legacy we leave to our children.
What’s one brave thing you’ve been considering that you
haven’t stepped into yet? Is it time? Feel free to share in the comments and we can cheer you on.
About my friend and Guest Blog Post writer:
Jenn Buell is a single supermom to four amazing kids who lives in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. She’s an event speaker, podcaster at Right There With You, writer at JennBuell.com, and radio DJ at a Christian station. She’s also a huge movie and sci-fi geek who adores baking for her people. Check out her blog, podcast and free video series.
If you are in a brave season and are tempted to quit, I have just the thing you need to help you keep going! A free Don't Quit Survival Kit, 17 pages of soul-care, self-care and dream-care goodness! My subscribers get free access to this and more HERE! Hugs and Prayers, Tiffany
Here we are, almost in February 2019 and you may already be discouraged (like me some days).
We go into a new year with fresh hope, expectations, and resolutions, but sometimes real life leaves us sour.
We all have lemons... your lemon may be ever-present, it may have just popped up, or it be a behind the scenes pest that hits when you are weakest or least expect it.
So what do we do when life gives us lemons...
I'm not going to tell you to focus on all the good things that you have going on, you know, the other 90% of your life (although that is something that you should do.)
I'm not going to tell you to overlook and forget about your lemons and give them less and less time and energy than you do (although if you can do that, do it).
I'm not going to tell you to have more faith that lemonade is coming (although, it is!)
and I'm definitely not going to tell you to not worry about your lemons (although you shouldn't).
But, what I am going to tell you to do is to SQUEEZE your lemons.
What do I mean?
I mean it's time for you to put pressure on your lemons and start getting something good out of them. It's a way to reframe your lemons and your life.
Instead of letting your lemons steal your joy, energy, relationships (and whatever else), it's time for you to tell the voice about your lemons to be quiet and that you are no longer letting them steal the sweetness from your life. It's time for you to see the sweet things that this sour-spot is actually bringing.
Maybe this lemon has brought a new friendship, a new level of faith, a new vulnerability, a new strength, a new hope, a new perspective. Take a minute now to think about the good stuff that this lemon has or could bring to your life (if you let it).
What I know is that lemons are a crucial ingredient to making lemonade, but you have to add the sugar to the lemons.
Find your sugar. Find your sweet spot.
God didn't cause the lemons, but He can help you add the sugar.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." Romans 8:28
Adding sugar to my lemons every day,
Tiffany Jo Baker MA, CLC
P.S. Check out the sweet things happening on my Pinterest boards here.
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, speaker, coach, confidante and cheerleader to help you birth your dreams.
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