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
It's that time again. A kid-centered holiday, followed by the end of a year and beginning of another. For those of us who are in the fight for our dreams (whether it's a business, book, or my favorite, a baby), it can be a bitter-sweet season.
On the one hand, there is so much to be thankful for... the good times, open doors, blessings, loved ones, good reports, and a new beginning that comes with a new year. But on the other hand it can be a giant reminder of what is missing, the hard times, and what you still are believing for and working hard towards.
So how can we utilize and capitalize on this season well? How can we experience the blessings of this season and not let another moment be stolen from us? Well, here are some practical tips for making the most of these moments and turning your pain into a promotion of your relationships, expectations, and experiences.
Prepare how you will handle the questions during the holiday parties, events, and family reunions. If you are trying to conceive, that means being ready for those asking if you are pregnant yet, if you want children, or when are you going to have children. As you may know, this preparation can be used every single day of the year. Formulate a few “go-to” responses to questions and comments of this type. It can be as simple as a “I hope so,” “When the time is right,” or “Yes, would you believe with us in prayer for children.” For those dealing with other life stuff, the general questions like, What are you up to?, Where are you working?, and How's _____ going? are the things you need to be prepared to answer. A great way to answer these questions are with a faith-filled response to what you are believing for in 2019 instead of going into the list of what went wrong in 2018.
Predetermine how you will celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Depending on your journey and season, here are a few ideas of how you can celebrate (especially if you are TTC):
The key is to have things that you look forward to during the Holiday season!
I don’t think I need to expand too much on this, but this is a time that you should do something special for you! You may be saving for IVF or finances may be tight as you are building your new dream business, but you need to do something that will refresh you. A spa day, mani and pedi, new haircut, a bath, a restaurant of your choice, a special pair of shoes or handbag.
This can be a hard one. Plant seeds in others for your miracle or dream. What does this mean? I’m sure you have heard the principle of sowing and reaping. Sow seeds of love, service, or finances in others. Focus some part of the season on others. That may be through volunteering at an outreach or donating to an Angel Tree, Single Mom, local Toy Drive or Adoption/Fertility Treatment Fundraiser. Be a piece of the puzzle for someone else to get their miracle and watch how God does a miracle for you.
If you need to cry or grieve, do it--- but don’t stay there long. Use this season as a time to refocus with your spouse where you are at on the journey, where you want to go, and what you are willing to do or not do to get there. Get yourself in the position to move forward, whether that is taking a break, trying something new, going a different route, or continuing on the path you have been going with a faith-filled and positive outlook.
These five P's are priceless and can allow you to turn your pain from last year into positioning yourself for promotion next year.
Surround yourself with love, support, joy, and peace. That will look different for everyone, but it will start with you. Be kind to yourself in this season and every day next year.
p.s. Want tips, treats and timely words to help you love your life, live your dreams, and leave a legacy delivered to your inbox just when you need it most? Simply text LIVE IT to 444999
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, speaker, coach, confidante and cheerleader to help you birth your dreams.
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