always in need of grace, amazing grace, being an empty nester, empty nester, extending grace, extending love, God's grace, grace, grace for all, is there grace enough for me, parenting college kids, parenting grown ups, parenting issues, stunning grace, why should I extend grace, why should I extend love
Something that has come as a bit of a surprise to me (read shock) is that my youngest son is not as great at handling money as I expected. Honestly, for some reason I thought he was better prepared for the real world of money than our oldest was. I have no idea why I thought this. He was continually running out of allowance money, continually spending any money that was given as a gift as fast as it hit his pocket, and continually being loaned the debit card (my debit card) for extra purchases. I guess I was given the impression that he was better prepared than most due to the fact that he passed all of his budgeting courses with perfect A’s.
May I just say nothing is like the temptation of real money. It doesn’t really matter if you are cutting the entertainment budget drastically on paper to make things work for a budgeting class, because in real life when all of your friends are going to the movies..well…you go to the movies and pray your parents don’t find out. When you come home with fifty-one cents in your bank account, they find out. Trust me.
Yes, we had a “come to Jesus” talk with our son, but overall, in the end, grace was extended. Why? I need grace every day. It may not be in the area of money…anymore…but I am always needing grace in some area. That’s what my youngest reminded me of… God’s grace.
A book that changed my parenting life (actually my life as a whole) was the book “Grace Based Parenting” by Dr. Kimmel. In this book, he describes how we should be the type of parent that God is with us. Grace-based, not law-based. The lessons from that book have really stuck with me.
As an empty-nester, I thought my parenting days were almost over. They are, but I’m being reminded daily that parenting “almost” grown-ups is the hardest. These are the make-or-break days of my relationship with my son. How I respond to “mess ups” now will affect how he communicates with me for years. If I’m a safe place to land, a grace-filled environment, he will be able to more readily receive the grace of God. Isn’t that the goal of every parent? To lead our kids closer to their Savior? To make God more relatable to real life?
So, as for now, I choose to remember how I need God’s grace so I can easily extend grace. I choose to remember how much I need God’s love, so I can easily extend love, and I choose to remember that just because a kid leaves home, he never outgrows his need for a soft place to land. I thank God that He provides the feathers.
*image by 123rf.com