If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
OK, I did not get things pulled together this week and so I am here on “Throwback Thursday” but with new post rather than an old. It will come together in time, I am sure, but for now our home school schedule is taking up a much larger chunk of my energy than it has in the past. Part of this simply stems from the grades my children are in this year: all three are in middle school and I am having to re-familiarize myself with some of the material because it has been so long since I have learned it! But it is good, it is good. I am thankful that I can learn along with them, engage them in good conversation, and embrace teachable moments that I have often missed in the past because my focus was elsewhere.
I will have to say that it is here, in my home school, that I am in the greatest need of wisdom. There are so many pressures and concerns just to raising children these days, much less educating them. I am constantly questioning myself: Are we doing too much? Too little? Do they need more time with friends or less? Am I pushing them hard enough academically? Am I pushing them too hard? Am I following through in every realm of discipline, both the parts that relate to parenting and the parts that relate to schooling? Do I need to spend more time with this one? Less? How do I inspire them to own their educational journey and not to simply endure it? Am I doing what is right by them?
I could go on for pages and pages, but I won’t. Suffice to say that I am in desperate need of daily wisdom from above at this time, especially in the new season we are entering. For on my journey, I have come through the relatively sunny season of parenting small children, and I see storms looming over the path ahead. We are on the verge of fully entering the forbidding Pass of Adolescence, that dim and unpredictable valley where the winds may shift abruptly, whipping up either a great tumult or whisking away the tempest for a moment of unexpected calm and tranquility. In this vale, it is no use forecasting or looking for patterns; each day seems more capricious than the last.
It is funny to me that when my children were babes, I once counted the hours that I spent in feeding, changing, clothing, and cleaning the children only, excluding any personal hygiene or house work, and found that it was around 9 or 10. At that time, I dreamed of the day they would be more independent and I would have tremendous chunks of time to spend with my Lord or with writing, time to spend in solitude and worship. Very amusing to me now, as I am here, with older children, and I am finding that while they can do all of the physical tasks on their own, emotionally their need of me is greater than ever. And I need to be calmer and more in control of my own emotions than ever before as I help them navigate the wildly tossing seas of puberty and beginning adolescence. Physically, less is required of me, but mentally and emotionally, I am utterly taxed. All of my human strength and wisdom comes to naught when faced with the task of understanding and providing for the varying needs of each, unique child.
This is why I must, must press in to the Lord for wisdom now more than ever. He alone knows what is best for each child. He alone can tell me what is too much and what is enough. He alone knows them inside and out, and He alone can give me the advice I need in raising, teaching, training, disciplining, and praising each one. I find that not only am I crying out daily for wisdom from Him, I am also crying out for Him to help my unbelief. For in this brief but important season of life, I do not want to be like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. Goodness knows we have enough of that going on in our household what with puberty and my own, aging body! I long to ask for wisdom from my God with no trace of doubt, fully believing that He can and will lead both me and the children safely through this dark and troubled valley and into His pure light on the other side.
Lord, today I ask You for wisdom; for abundant, pure, undiluted, and enduring wisdom, given fresh each new day. My days are full of unexpected parenting twists and questions from my children that are beyond my experience or capability. I need You desperately. As I ask, Lord, I also confess my puny faith and my doubt. Forgive me, and please help me to overcome my unbelief, increase my faith, and goad me to share with my children the marvel of Your provision for us in this season, speaking to them constantly of Your goodness, mercy, and love. I ask this not only for myself, but for all parents, both those who have teens and those whose children are younger. Prepare our hearts for each new season of parenting, and give us lavishly of Your wisdom. In the name of Jesus, may our wisdom be from above and not based on earthly matters, amen.