Tuesday, February 16, 2016

threshold of a new season

This weekend, our family will officially enter the teenage years. Lorraine will be 13 on Saturday. This day will mark the beginning of a long, long, long season of parenting teens (for us, it will last no less than 13 more years, when our youngest is 18).

I'm not sure if I should buckle my seat belt, or learn karate, or run to the store for bread and milk.  I'm not ready. I guess I'll just say a prayer, and pick up a book.

"Adolescence is, by definition, maladjustment. And getting adjusted is a strenuous and often noisy process. There are families who manage to maintain a facade of decorum, but when we get a close look at them we find a jumble of colorful and jagged detail: exposed rock, crashing streams, lightning-struck trees, mossy meadows, sudden storms, surprising blossoms, bark in a dozen or more textures-- adolescence is insistently various and energetic, and it pulls everyone in the vicinity (and most emphatically parents) into the wild and wonderful scenery.  Adolescence is also a gift, God's gift, to the parent in middle-age."  

"...God's gift: in the rather awkward packaging of the adolescent brings into our lives a challenge to grow, testing our love, chastening our hope, pushing our faith to the edge of the abyss."
--Eugene Peterson (Like Dew Your Youth)

I come to the threshold of this new season much like I went into the labor and delivery room: unsure, nervous, excited, and a bit overweight. I know there are both trials and gifts waiting for us here.  I also know that, if I rely only on my own strength, I will merely survive, at best.  But I take His hand, and I expect Him to provide as He always has: blessings mixed with trials, strength for the moment, and joy along the way, as He works all things for our good.

Bless these children as they grow up, and us, too, as we grow up with them. Uphold all parents of teenagers, and give us wisdom, strength, and a sense of humor.  Amen

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