0 In Faith/ Friends + Family/ Parenting

Family Life: Fertile Ground Though it Feels Like Sinking Sand

Some weeks come at us with full throttle aggression. Convincing us we’re fighting all the unreasonable battles, in a span of days. As if we are Frodo in Lord of the Rings… trying to do our best to save Middle Earth, even though we feel totally unqualified and ill equipped. Often amidst impossible circumstances and a new adversary at every turn. Leaving us to believe, we are just a Hobbit with no shoes, who’s been cast into a vast uncharted land of the scary unknown and we are in way over our head.  

Well, my fellow sojourners, some weeks, my home feels much like the above mentioned J. R. R. Tolkien novel. Often finding my husband and I, with our barren Hobbit feet, running the gauntlet of emotions and challenges that accompany growing our kids. Which include yet are not limited to: having a high school senior, and junior, and a sixth grader (who’s just transitioned from homeschool to “real” school) all at once.

We are not going to talk about the fact that there is also a grandma, an adult child, and two newly married started adults, all living among the whirlwind of these four walls. Except to say… It’s definitely never boring!

Whether you are navigating complex growing pains of teenagedom or toddlerhood, or even find yourself in starter adult status, there will be humbling Hobbit days. Plenty of them.

Like many of you, living through the raising of kids also brings a myriad of activity. Rehearsals and sports practices, games, meetings, forms and fees, friends and foes, medical appointments, math classes, then likely college applications, decisions and transitions.

Mix in trying to invest in a marriage or carry on through singleness… all amidst navigating middle earth adventures. It’s no wonder that stamina is low and stress is high.

(I wrote a post here about how we can have wisdom while living in a culture of “doing it all”.)

Table naps: it’s a thing!

If you live in a house, with people, who are imperfect, then maybe you can relate.

Here is what I know: family life is absolutely fertile ground for us to grow into who God desires us to be. 

Sometimes growth requires dirt and death. Like a seed that must be placed in the ground, buried and then die before it can sprout and produce fruit. It can be messy and dark at times.

Mamas and Papas, it requires both God’s grace and godly grit to traverse these lands. Plus a bazillion do-overs.

Brother-in-laws are great at insisting that you laugh, reminding you it’s going to be ok.

Afford yourself grace when your child is struggling and you don’t have the answers… or when you do and they are met with abrasive teenage garbage. Deep breaths!

Wholeheartedly cling to God’s grace that reminds us He is still ruling the world.

All the while, grasping onto grit when it seems all is lost and everything in our parenting prowess is in vain. It’s not. God is there with us. In the trenches. Wanting us to remember to call out to Him. For what we need… may it be patience, self-control, godly grit, wisdom, loving kindness, forgiveness, or even a miracle.


God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.

II Corinthians 9:8 CEB

Our raising of these future generations IS. GOOD WORK! But it will take grit. Press on my friend!

GRIT: The relentless resolve to keep pursuing a desired goal and not giving up.

When our hearts are open to trusting in Jesus for strength, something supernatural occurs in our resilience. God’s grace grants us the grit to fight for unity even when our household is hurting or hostile.  

Sometimes a nap is the best answer to our sixth grade problems.

Our circumstances will never change who God says He is nor what He says he will do. Not even stressed out teenage drama… or mama! God is good. Everything he does is good. Even when it includes allowing our families to struggle through our imperfections.

When we run to God, His grace, and our grit will bring about His good.

Some weeks bring ease and joy to our family table. Others bring difficulty and pain. In our home we often carry our vulnerability, our opinions, our hopes, our mistakes, God’s grace, His love, and second chances to our big obnoxious family table. It’s messy, imperfect, and falls short a thousand times. However, it is the most fertile ground I know for becoming God’s people.

Amidst this ever-changing… at times hostile… landscape of growing our kids, take heart.

Gather at your family table. Push through the awkwardness. Model forgiveness. Be transparent. Make manifest what matters to God.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,

    and this is what he requires of you:

to do what is right, to love mercy,

    and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Our homes can be a place for honest hard conversations that lead to growth.

A place for practicing relationship.

A place to acquire understanding, offer forgiveness, experience do-overs, and rumble effectively.

Practice it. Screw it up. Learn from it. Repeat.

And remember, anything meaningful in our lives will be hard and take time.

If you visit our home, it’s likely you will be adopted into any current family huddle. Grab a blanket and enter at your own risk.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 17:26


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