What Do Teens Need Most?
When your toddlers fell into a big mud puddle or intentionally filled their overalls with mud pies, how did you respond? Was there was a smile of disbelief or a look of horror as they climbed into your freshly cleaned van? No matter how hard it was to avoid the temptation of disowning them, under all that mud, there still was your tangled-hair, smiling, freckled, little kids.
As your teens mature, they will get dirty and muddy again. This world is a mess. In reality, they are facing things you did not face in high school. Whether they go to public school or are home educated, they will still have to interact with and learn how to operate in this messy world. I can guarantee you they will fall and get mud all over them. Whether it’s because they jumped in headfirst or someone slung it at them, they now have to deal with the fact that life isn’t as clean and clear as it was when they were younger.
Young people understand that rules need to be in place and adults need to be respected, but they also want to know that their parents won’t disown them because of their mud. Even if your child has been in willful sin for a long while, don’t stop loving them. This will mean the world to them later.
It is exhausting and so incredibly hard to go that extra mile; especially after a rough day and all you want to do is collapse on your bed. You don’t want one more person calling for you to fix their problems. How can you possibly help your confused teenager know that you love them if you don’t even have time or energy to read a book about love languages?
There are different ways to show love. Some of them you probably excel in, while others are harder for you to give. Allow me to help define love for you.
Tragedies birth resilience in your life.
In an instant a perfectly beautiful day can turn into an “inferno” you must survive.
The day was beautiful. One of those typical bright sunny Florida days. I sat watching the wake from the boat propellers as we headed back to shore. At eight years old I didn’t have a care in the world.
We were returning from a fun day of deep sea fishing. My brother was putting away all the fishing gear, mom was down in the galley cleaning up, Jay Jay (my dog) was sleeping on the seat pad covering one of the outboard engines, and dad was on the fly bridge steering us back to the marina.
Then suddenly there was the sound of an explosion coming from behind me. I spun around to witness fire and smoke billowing from the engines.
With one phone call your life can change. Would you be ready?
The phone rang during work hours. “Hello, Connie. Your mom is in the hospital.” I sat in silence. Suddenly nothing matter but getting to her. I shut down my computer, packed an overnight bag, and made the drive to the hospital.
My mind was swirling. It is hard to explain how your thoughts can bounce all over the place… my mom, my work, my travel schedule, my book. What does this mean? God help me!
During my drive I felt the need to call the president of the company I was working for and share the news. His first response was like none other I had received – “Family first, and we will be praying for your mom.” I had heard him say this many, many times, but this time it was directed at me. They were life-giving words when I needed them most. Even knowing that my work load was very high, his concern was for my mom.
Once I arrived at the hospital, I had to assess the situation. What was wrong? How long would Mom be there? What would be our game plan going forward?
A new year! One of my favorite things about beginning a new year, is the chance for a fresh start. A time to reflect on the past and begin casting a vision for a new year. This allows you to look forward to what the next year might bring.
New Year’s resolutions abound every January. Do you make any? I’ve been known to make, and break, a few!
Many resolutions focus on something we can do better, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, making more money, or having a better outlook on life.
Instead of focusing solely on what I can improve upon, our family would focus on where we are as a family and where would we like to be in the future. With an emphasis on relationships within the family unit.
Once, while swimming in the ocean, I could feel the current pulling my body towards the swell as a wave was building. At the right moment, the wave was going to break and continue toward the shoreline. Would we catch it or let it pass us by?
This made me think about how we have lived our lives. We were enjoying where we are when, without notice, we would feel a pulling to go in a different direction.
Eighteen years ago my husband and I had a dream. To have a thriving business at home. I had already left my career in the corporate world but now we wanted to figure out how we could we get dad home too.
He was a director at an engineering firm in the big city. Life was going well; he was even voted “Young Engineer of the Year” by his peers. Problem was we didn’t want the 8-5 life for our family. We wanted dad around more. Our five children were hitting the teen years and we wanted to have as much time with them as possible during these important years.
That’s when we made a decision to do something that no one around us was doing. To start our own engineering firm from our home. This was during a time when working from home wasn’t acceptable, practical, or even doable for an engineer.
That didn’t stop us, for our lives were marked by doing the impossible.