Generation Cedar


This is my sweet daughter. My first born who will marry the love of her life in 33 days. It’s both glorious and gut-wrenching, as I’ve written about.

Preparing to turn loose of one of your children forces a lot of soul-searching. There are always regrets. That’s normal. (I wish I had spent more time on X.)

It is surreal to walk into her bedroom and see it being dismantled. The place where she has been almost every night of her life for over twenty years is about to be empty. (Deep breath.) And a whole lot more hard stuff I’ll refrain from writing.

But yes, it causes me to look back over the twenty years with her at the joy and the time that seemed to fly too quickly. One thing I’ve realized the older I am, is that you really don’t ever “get” this parenting thing. I mean you do, but it’s always changing. What you need as you mother little ones is not the same thing you need to handle the deep questions of your adult children. Nor is it what you need to carefully handle the emerging ones as they grow into their own independence.

As Bria and I have more heart-to-heart talks lately, I know I made mistakes. In my zeal as a first-time-mom, I probably did what many first-time-moms do and expected more than I should. But now I get to look at her and as she gives me enormous grace for my imperfections, I assure her that she, too, will make mistakes. There is no perfect parenting. And that’s OK and normal.

You need to know that: there is no perfect parenting.

What there can be, though, is deliberate parenting, and extending grace to your children when they mess up the way you hope it is extended to you when you mess up. I don’t mean chucking authority and abdicating our responsibility to train and guide them, but to do it with a tenderness and understanding so they know, no matter what in life, we’ve got their backs. Children need that kind of security.

I’m learning about that grace…how to give it to myself as well, and how to give others the benefit of the doubt the way I hope they give it to me.

That’s what walking through this life is. Learning, growing, grace. Being deliberate but being real. Expecting much, and extending much.

I’ll probably walk through this thing nine more times. This is just the beginning and I’m thankful for that grace, that I can learn and hopefully improve as a mom.

And I see God’s grace in the lives of my children, that even despite our mistakes, He is making it right, renewing our strength each day, and allowing us to see the fruit of our labor.

Parenting is little more than being tirelessly intentional, admitting when we’re wrong, asking forgiveness, getting back up and going at it again. It’s keeping our eyes on the goal–seeking first the Kingdom of God and ushering our children into that chief pursuit alongside us.


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7 Responses

  1. You encourage me…Thank you for your honesty…I was able to take a deep breath as I read this this morning, and begin my day with grace, towards my kids, and myself.

  2. All four of my children married godly spouses. What a blessing! When my oldest was about 16, I sat her down and explained to her all the ways I failed as a wife to her father. I didn’t want her making the same mistakes as I did. I encouraged her NOT to try to control or change her husband but allow him to be the leader of her home. I told her I was wrong to argue with her dad so much and treat him with disrespect. She easily forgave me but I wanted to make sure she knew how to begin marriage without all the conflict I began mine with. Thankfully, all my children show grace towards us and hold no ill will with the way we raised them. I see way too many people grow up and feel bitterness towards their parents. This is a very destructive way to live.

    1. Lori,

      Amen and amen. I can’t believe the number of adults who grow up spending the rest of their lives dismantling their parents and blaming them for all their faults. There’s no life in that.

  3. Spoken so well. Thanks for sharing. As my fifth child just left the nest and my tenth grandbaby is on the way, I can say “Amen” to all you’ve shared here. Life is simply the moving from one day to another in the tender care of the Father. It’s so wonderful to know He loves us even when we thought we had it all together! Blessings and joy as you see your daughter walk down the isle! Terry

  4. I so needed this today. Today was one of those days, where at the end of a long hard day, I feel like I am failing as a mom. Failing to raise my kids as adults. Failing to instil a love of Christ that transfers to a love for one another. I see character traits in my children that I do not like. I wonder why they are being lazy, selfish and disobedient. Haven’t I worked with them on these issues time and time again? And then my reaction and behavior towards them today because of these said character traits has much to be desired! I feel like all my resources and tools have been exhausted. I’m exhausted. We are starting a new ministry business, a business Christ has called us to start (, but it has not been an easy road. Thankfully my husband was home to take over, and I was able to sit with Jesus and lay everything at His feet. I can’t do it without Him, and once again He gave me the strength to get up and start anew. He has forgiven me. I know I’m not failing. It’s just been a challenging day. But it is over. The day is done. Tomorrow is a new day. A new day to try again. God has given me grace, and I know I need to extend that grace to my children. I thank God for you Kelly and all my other sisters in Christ that help me navigate and encourage me in this calling of raising adults.

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