Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Difference

What a difference a year makes in a kid's life. Just think from the time their born to their first birthday, all the milestones they hit in such a short period of time: learning to live outside of mama, learning to eat, learning to open their eyes, learning to hold their head up, learning to sit up, learning to crawl, learning to hold their own bottle, learning to walk and really the list could go on and on; and that is just in the first year. The common thread being learning!! As I think back on the last 16 years how my son has grown nothing strikes me as profound as how he has grown spiritually.

Dakota was saved at the age of 6 (almost 7) in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. (Yes you read that right and yes that is some story and maybe I'll ya that one some time, but for now it is in that place in my heart reserved for the most special of memories :0) It was one of the greatest moments of my life, getting to lead my son to Christ. Since that time there has been moments of spiritual bliss and success and moments of failure and defeat, but through it all I have seen differences occur in Dakota far beyond his young years would normally allow.

One of those differences lately has been in his attitude and willingness. Last year it was such a fight (literally) to get him up early for practices. In fact most days he would get up just in time to skirt out the door (never early) and with me hot on his tail, it was not a good thing :( Well this year I'm seeing a different kid; what a difference a year has made yet again.

We had a talk on Sunday evening because early practices started this week and I think we both were dreading it a little (seriously last year ~~ yeah blahhhhhh on early morning practices !! ), so we were sharing a chair (yep now that is great thing to do with your teen ~~ go on get in their space it's okay ~~ they really like it most of the time :-) and he was talking about wanting to go in his room and watch a new movie he'd gotten. Well, I reminded him that it was a little late to be starting a movie (it was after 8:00 pm) when he had early CC practices starting the next day. Well he rolled his eyes, but agreed. And then I seized the opportunity, oh yes I did!!

I started rubbing his head and just telling him that sometimes in life we must make sacrifices of the things we want to do for the greater good of the things we have committed to, in this case CC. Well, at first he was resistant, but he was listening. So that just kind of started a dialogue between us, and he shared openly about how he just wanted to watch a movie no big deal, (no attitude, just saying), but I just reminded him that he had commitments and he would feel so good when his times got down and his energy was up because he chose to go to bed early and get up early and make practices and eat right and not go hang out with his friends because he had made a commitment to the team. (Listen I had my best cheerleader pom-poms shaking ~~ okay in my heart, but still they were shakin' and I was a yelling GO DAKOTA!! - again in my heart - can you imagine me on a Sunday night doing a cheer to my teen - mortifying for him oh yes it would be ) anyway . . . I digress . . .

And then it happened, I'm not sure how, but it did. Something clicked, he was in bed on time (not early, mind you, but on time ~~ I'll take it :) and then when his alarm went off at 5:30 am he got up. Yep, I didn't even have to go in there. He was up before I was!! Wow I was seriously impressed!! So I was expecting an attitude, but nope, no attitude. He got dressed and did his study and was ready to go by 6:10; amazing!! What a difference!!

Then last night, he went to a friends after school and was home 10 mins earlier than he had to be, and then after supper he came outside to where I was and said he was going to run a mile. And with that off he went. Then (yep there's more) he got home and showered and was in bed by 9:30, yes a teen!! And this morning up at around 5:45 and early to practice. What a difference!!

So, why do I tell ya all this? Because I want to encourage you parents out there and the ones who want to be parents but it hasn't come to fruition yet. Hang in there with your kids through every stage. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the HS years and on into college and beyond. I love seeing the differences Christ is making on a daily basis in my child. Now let me just tell ya, it is not always easy. You definitely have to pick your battles, but it is soooooooo worth it!! Some things you have to just let go, and other things you have to fight for, but pray. God will give you wisdom; He WILL show you the way, and your child will benefit from your time spent with Jesus!!

Thank you for all the comments on my last post. I wanted to just let you know what Dakota and I are doing the first part of school this year. We are reading Psalm 119 together, 5 verses at a time before school. We read our 5 verses and pray ~~ yes it is a GREAT thing to do with your kids. 5 verses may not sound like much, but believe me, sometimes our kids can digest 5 verses at a time much better than 5 chapters!!

Well, please remember my husband he is REALLY down in his back right now. In fact he didn't work yesterday. I took him to urgent care and he has a something-er-nother out of place in his back. They put it back in place and then adjusted him, and that helped for about 10 hours and by the time we went to bed he was barely moving again, and this morning it was not good!! So please remember him. He will be calling his doctor again this morning. I hate seeing him in pain!!

So give your kids that little extra squeeze at the end of a hug and make eye contact with them when you say "I love you"!! It is often the little things that make the biggest difference!!

Have a Blessed day,


  1. Thank you for commenting on my blog. It is nice to meet you!!! I loved reading this post. What an example you have set.

    I'm looking forward to getting to know you more. I love seeing your faith lived out in your blog. I just finished writing your husband's name down. I will be praying for him, asking God for ease of pain and healing. Please let us know how he does.

  2. This is fabulous, as always. I pray I will be like you as I parent my son. I love that you got in the same chair with him!!! May God bless you for your faithfulness as a godly mother!
    OH- and I tagged you for something fun on my blog!

  3. You are a super mom! I love how you set such a Godly example for Dakota. And, thank you for your sweet emails. Your prayers mean so much to me! Please keep me updated about your husband, your mom, and you!! I am praying for all of you. Love you, friend!