I think that a part of me has lived in fear since the day my kids were born, maybe even since the day I found out I was expecting them. Fear of miscarriage and loss, fear of sickness and them getting hurt, fear of something happening to me and leaving them behind. These days I fear leaving them with someone that might hurt them, or that I might not be strong enough to take care of them on my own. Mommy fear is a real thing (maybe dads have some of these fears too) and I worried this past fall that I may never truly trust them with anyone else again. Then in December, I picked up Brave Mom, Brave Kids, by Lee Nienhuis and allowed it to completely transform my thinking.
Lee is a mom of four who lives in West Michigan with her farmer-husband. She is a few years ahead of me in this journey of parenting, but is still learning as she goes, just like we all are! In her book, Lee talks about us surrendering our children to the Lord and allowing Him to use them for His purpose. She reminds us that when God asks us to surrender something to his purposes, He will provide both the means and the strength for us to do it. One of my favorite quotes from the book is from the chapter on surrender and states, “God does not promise our families perfect health, financial prosperity, worldly success, or even safety in the world. He will not hand us back everything we lay down. Some of the most godly families I know have faced unspeakable loss. Christ shows us, though, that although God may choose suffering for us, we can entrust to Him everything of great worth, knowing He truly empathizes with our pain, knows the depth of the darkness it may cause, and walks with us through it. During our darkest hour, we may find a depth of fellowship with our Savior we would know in no other way.”
I have learned the depths of what sacrifice and surrender are the past few months and while I desperately want to hold close to my children and protect them, I know that strong heroes of the faith are not sheltered and protected. Instead they are equipped and encouraged and given the tools that they need to fight against whatever comes their way. As their mom, it is my job to make sure my children are equipped for this never ending battle. And if I don’t teach them that following Jesus is going to be a battle, they will never survive the fight.
The truth of the scripture is that God will equip both us and them for the fight. We just have to be brave enough to pray for them, equip them, and then be willing to release them to fly. In the second half of her book, Lee outlines seven key lessons that we need to teach our children in order to prepare them for a life of serving Jesus! I encourage you to pick up this book and read it; either on your own, with a spouse, or with a group of friends. If you are anything like me you will find yourself both convicted (of not praying for my kids enough) and encouraged (to equip them to grow stronger in the faith). This is a scary world, and no one is better to prepare them for it then us! Be brave, be a hero, and fight for your kids.
***I received an advance copy of this book to review, but the thoughts included are my own. I have another copy of the book to give away and you can enter to win it by commenting below on the blog with why you would love to read the book, or about someone you would love to win the book for! I will choose a winner Saturday evening January 13th, 2018 and will announce it on the blog as well!
If you don’t win, the book will be for sale at the beginning of February, but you can order your copy now from https://www.amazon.com/Brave-Moms-Kids-Battle-Raising/dp/0736970037 I would love to know what you think if you read it!