Exasperating Stumbling Block? Or Relationship Builder?

I want to share a lesson, a revelation, that has happened in the last couple of years now that we have adult children, one about to be married. 

 We might have moved to an advisory role as parents, and can no longer decide for our adult kids what they should or shouldn’t do, but we can also be exasperating parents and stumbling blocks, and hurt our future relationships with our children.

Root steps

Are we exasperating stumbling blocks?

If we criticize, rather than listen and encourage. or make their decisions about us and our human wisdom, rather than about their obedience to the Lord and calling, we are stumbling blocks. We exasperate. Even in the midst of having concerns about their decisions, ones for which they are under no obligation to us, we can pray, listen, encourage, and even support them if the decision itself is not dishonoring to God or a sin. We can choose to say “You are smart. I have confidence that you, with prayer and wisdom from God, will figure this out. I will pray for you as you do.” even while thinking something they are choosing simply might not be wise. We need to understand that they now own their consequences. We could encourage them to dishonor and disobey God in a calling if we are not careful and wise in our own responses.

Our response as exasperating stumbling blocks is actually prideful and our own sin . The other response honors God, and builds lines of communication and relationships. It encourages their obedience to the Lord. Criticism for their decisions might not yield the result of obedience to the Lord. Instead, it could build distrust in us and a barrier or wide divide in our relationships with our children.

I want to be a praying parent to my adult children. I want to be the parent who encourages them to obey the Lord, and to be a source of wisdom that they want to turn to. I want to be the parent that helps smooth the path for right relationships.

flat path

Or, are we clearing a smooth path for relationship building?

I read this post by The Imperfect Homemaker, 5 Things My Mom Never Stopped Doing For Me, a few days ago. It is a post honoring the blog writer’s own mother’s success at parenting the adult writer. I can choose to be like that too, and not be an exasperating mother to my adults.

What do you think? What can you do for your adult children?


P.S. We’re gearing up for our annual fundraising campaign for Reece’s Rainbow‘s Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign. We’d love to remind you of our fundraising items in our shop, and on our Facebook page there are more albums of items for sale that benefit the child for whom we are going to be raising $1000 between November 1 and December 31, 2106. Pay pal is our method of payment for all orders for fundraising sales. The child for whom we are praying for a miracle is Hannahlee. 












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 We linked up with The Modest Mom Blog.







The Ultimate Success

Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. Moliere (French Playwright, Actor)

This quote probably has more to do with patience than success, except that sometimes success requires patience.

For instance, success requires the patience to develop vision, plans, habit formation, and work ethic.
Patience, in turn, develops persistence, fortitude, and dedication.

There is a willingness to suffer disappointments, failure, and to make sacrifices, all to form the deepest roots for success.

The strength of success in any endeavor is the depth of roots, just like with trees.

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”  Attribution to quote unconfirmed


I want to believe I’m successful, but why should my success matter?

What is success?

I am a work in progress. I’m not always good at what I do. I don’t always speak kindly. The winds of life blow, and I bend and break. I often need to realign my priorities, my routines, and my methods.

The growth of my business is sometimes slow. There are set backs. Occasionally there are disgruntled customers, and team members who can’t work. Some events are fantastic, and some are not.

We have awesome homeschooling days or moments. We have cranky, lazy days.

Sometimes I upset my husband, my children, my in-laws, my parents, and my siblings. I disappoint friends.

I’m working on developing the fruits of the spirit. I press on toward the goal, whether I’m limping along or speeding along. What matters is that I press on and move forward.

There is only failure if I stop trying to develop Christ like character and attitudes. There is failure if I don’t choose to learn from my mistakes. There is failure if I stop learning new skills or habits that ultimately would be used to glorify God. There is failure if I believe I have nothing left to learn or to offer to others. There is failure if I don’t try new methods or set new boundaries. There is failure if I refuse to acknowledge than an activity I’m doing no longer benefits my growth or that of my family.

Today, especially, I realize I need to say “no” to a few more activities in which I’ve been participating. I need to realign priorities and set more boundaries.

Does that mean I have failed in an area?


It means I’ve grown in wisdom and discernment. It means I’ve stretched and grown and readjusted my path to the ultimate goal of glorifying the Lord.

That is success.


 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭




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September Flexi of the Month – Skye



Words And Mentors

As I listen to my children discuss things that have been said to them, as I hear the things I say, or that are said to me, I realize more and more the power of Words. I expressed the other day appreciation to Mr. T. for the influence he was on my sons and the way he mentored them, but I also have heard my sons discussing what he said or how he spoke to them.

While reflecting on what I was hearing the boys talk about, I heard this song by Hawk Nelson.

Words by Hawk Nelson

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
Let the words I say
Be the sound of Your grace
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

Power of Words

Words have the power to either crumble or build people up, or to light fires in their hearts.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be more aware of what I am saying to others, to be more kind, more encouraging, more loving in my responses. I want to be more Christlike to my own husband and children. I want to be an understanding, uplifting, building up, gracious, and encouraging friend. I want to be aware of the power of my words on the very people God has asked me to mentor. I want to speak life and truth into the people I influence. I am still a Titus 2 Wanna Be.

The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:23-24

From the WORDS of my oldest son on Mr. T.’s mentorship and ways of encouraging him:

Today a dear friend went to Heaven, after losing a hard fought battle with Parkinson’s and cancer. There are no words to really describe this feeling in my stomach, just everything that keeps running through my head that I wish I could have said to him face to face one more time. There are no amount of thank you’s, because where would I even start?

Thank you for taking a risk on this kid that you’d never met before, and calling one day to interview me to work for you.
Thank you for being more than an employer, but for being a mentor as well. For the conversations before the work day, and at the end. God brought you into my life when I was trying to crawl out of one of my lowest points, and God doesn’t make mistakes when He brings people into our lives.
Thank you for the endless sodas, for the fist bumps instead of handshakes, for always calling me “John Boy.”
Thank you for being one of the few people on this planet who commended my parents, specifically my mother, for doing what they believed God had called them to do by homeschooling us and raising us to be stronger Christians.
Thank you for being one of a few people back in Michigan for supporting me and praying for me when I was thinking about moving to New England. Thank you for encouraging me to stay the path that God had called me on, and for the constant reminder to seek Him out always. Thank you for always being excited for me.
Thank you for always asking about my fiancé. One of the greatest memories I have of you was taking the time to meet her, even though you hardly had the energy to walk down the stairs.
Thank you for supporting my trips to Haiti.
Thank you for hiring my brother, and for being a rock in both his and my life.
Thank you for being an example of true humility.
Thank you for being another example of a true, loving husband, father, and grandfather.
And lastly, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life for the last 3 years.

My heart breaks when I think of all the pain that you’ve had to endure over the last few years, but my heart also rejoices when I realize that you are with no more pain, and no more sickness. My heart breaks when I realize that you are no longer with us, but my heart also rejoices when I realize that one day we can all be reunited in eternity.

Thanks for being a true friend. I’ll miss you terribly, Mr. T. I’ll miss the conversations and the company, and the vocabulary quizzes that you loved to jump on me. Thank you for the impact that you’ve made on my life. Until we are reunited, old friend.

“He has shown you, oh man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Power of Words



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