Stone Soup for Five: To Moms of Hard Kids: Hold on.

To Moms of Hard Kids: Hold on.

Looking back on my days of raising my hard kid, I see a lot of things I did wrong.  I still pray that God's grace will cover those mistakes and that through that, or in spite of that, He will use me to share my mistakes and His mercy with others.  I want to encourage all you moms out there who are in the trenches right now.  Maybe you have hard kids, maybe you have hard decisions, maybe there are hard things that you are suffering through right now... let me encourage you:  Hold On.

Hold On
We are called not to be perfect, but to be faithful.  Hold on to Him, who strengthens you.  Hold on to Him in prayer and meeting Him in His word, even if you don't feel like it.  Even if you're angry.  Even if you're exhausted.  Hold on.

While you're reading the Bible find your hold on verses.  I marked some in my Bible, then put a tab on the page so I could keep re-reading them when things seemed to get worse or take too long for my liking.  I have marked Psalm 18:16-19, Psalm 33: 20-22, and Psalm 34:18.  Sometimes when we're drowning, it is good to have something to hang on to, pray and cry over.  Find verses to cling to.

Most of the time the best thing we can do is the last thing we do.  Moms, we need to labor in prayer for our kids.  Just a few months ago, I came across Psalm 33:15:  "He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works."  This is a powerful truth.  God fashions and molds their hearts.  That is not our job.  Our job is to be faithful in teaching them God's truth, God's job is to form their hearts.  If we really understood that, if I had really understood that, I would have spent much, much more time in prayer.  Prayer takes the burden off of me and back on the One who is shaping their heart.  If you do nothing else, pray for your child!  Pray that He will lead them to repentance.  Labor, pray, even out loud for your child.

Focus on the Real Enemy
Your enemy is not your child.  Your enemy is not their friends, or even their phone, or video games.  Your enemy is satan, who wants nothing better than to steal, kill, and destroy your child and get the bonus of destroying your family thrown in.  Remember, you are not battling against flesh and blood, but against a very real enemy who knows just how to tempt and weaken your child and you.  Keep focus.  Stay on guard.  Be watchful for how he attacks best and how you can bolster your defenses.

I made a list of times that I am weakest (when I'm tired, when it's a certain time in my cycle, when I'm overwhelmed, etc) and run through that list if I'm feeling like things are impossible.  That helps me hang on another day until I get more sleep or until I'm feeling better before I make a rash decision or swirl down into a spiral of fear.

Do Not Parent Out of Fear
As a mom, I tend to run on a preset setting of fear (which for me always came out as anger).  We see dangers, snares, and lies all around our kids and we want to open their eyes and protect them.  Sometimes we think that means setting more and more rules, but maybe what really needs to happen are some good conversations.  I have been enjoying the book A Practical Guide to Culture, and in it they say: "Rules can provide wise and appropriate boundaries, but following rules shouldn't be confused with Christian maturity.  Rules can't show us the heart of a person... they leave unaddressed the the human heart."  Don't fall into the trap of setting more and more rules to solve the issue, when the real issue is in their heart.  Rules don't change that.  Only God who fashions their heart can change it.  Trust Him with their heart and life. Pray for a spirit of power, and love, and self-discipline, not fear.

Hold On to Hope
So often we get overwhelmed at how we blew it, how awful we are at being a mom and a Christian.  We are sure if we hadn't messed up so bad up to this point, our child wouldn't be acting this way.  This, moms, is a LIE from the pit of hell.  This is exactly where satan wants you to be.  See how losing hope kicks you out of the race?  How it gives you a "why keep trying" kind of attitude?  Keep your hope in God, not in your child's actions or attitudes.  God alone changes hearts of stone (that don't react to anything) to hearts of flesh (that can be moved and formed by God).  The hardest part of parenting is seeing Christ formed in our children.  Labor for it in prayer, hope, and thanksgiving. Trust and believe that God can do what you can't... and remind yourself of that every day, sometimes every hour.

He shapes their heart.
He knows their need.
Be faithful to keep your hope on God, who can do exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or think.

Memorize 2 Timothy 2:24-26
I found these verses late into the teen years with my oldest.  I realized that I was trying to go God's part all along (verses 25b-26) and didn't want to do my part (verses 24-25a).  I've since highlighted my part in pink and God's part in yellow and am working on memorizing it.
Keep your focus on your part and watch for God to do His part.

Hang on moms.  God is always working.  Remember John 5:17 "But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”  God wastes nothing.  Hang on to Him.


  1. Thank you so much. God really used this for me. My daughter made a very hurtful comment to me today. I was crushed by it. I reacted harshly. I apologized for my reaction bit still feel the burning of hurt, anger, failure. I am taking time to myself right now and decided to check my emails. The first thing in my inbox was this. How amazing and loving is our God. He know exactly what we need and when we need it. He knows where to pu it so we can see it. God loves my child. Thank you for reminding me that my child is not the enemy. I will pray for protection over my children and my sensitive mom heart. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your love for God. He used you in a huge way today. Many blessings back to you.

    1. Amen. God is so good. I feel your pain and frusration. This is a long, hard road to walk sometimes. I pray God blesses you as you grow each day in Him.

  2. I am so comforted by the email that I received from you tonight regarding to "Hold on" I have been crying off and on all day and evening regarding everything you wrote about in the email. My child graduated 3 weeks ago from high school and is staying with my son who lives hours away from me because that is where she will attend college and she hasn't spoken or called me at all since she left. I haven't heard her voice since that day and have been crying day and night since then while I am struggling to deal with the pain in my heart as a result. Exactly what you wrote to us about is exactly what has been happening in our life and it hurts so bad that it takes the breath out of me. I want to thank God and you for writing what you wrote with reference to scripture for us to memorize and use. It has renewed my hope and I plan to use the tools given to fight off the devil and am praying for my child's love again and for her well-being and protection. I thank you so very much for what you do to help us and wish you and your family many blessings.

    1. I'm so sorry for your pain. It is a hard, hard time when they grow up and move out and seem to forget about us. One of our sons is right there too. I know in a few years they'll need us again. And in the meantime God is trying to teach me something while I wait. I pray you and I will both learn and love what He is working in us and them as we wait.

  3. Thank you so much for this! I needed this reminder- to pray and that my daughter isn't the enemy but it is really satan. The teen years with my daughter have been so hard and I feel like a failure most of the time but I'm going to cling to God and His promises and just hold on!

    1. Yes! So easy to forget that it's not them, but the spiritual forces that we are fighting. I pray that each hard day we'll all remember that!


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