grace, parenting, YouTube

7 Things My Teen Son Taught Me

March 15, 2015

7 Things My Son Taught MeWe don’t talk about it. So many of us have gone though hardships with our children, and except for a small few with whom we may share, it pretty much stays within the walls of our homes. And it’s to be expected, since we don’t want to broadcast our children’s private affairs. But as a result, we can tend to think we’re alone in what we’re going through. And it’s hard to offer or receive encouragement . . . because we’re not talking about it.

In this week’s video, I was moved to share some of what we have experienced with our son, with his permission. I thought it would be hard to get through, remembering occasions when my heart ached for him. But by the end of the video, I was actually uplifted. It was as if the Lord walked me through the history of his childhood and showed how His faithfulness had overshadowed it all. In fact, after listening to what I recorded, I heard myself say, “He is faithful” about four or five times. So redundant. And so wonderfully true.

I don’t know what you may be going through, but I pray that something in our family’s story will encourage you. The story isn’t over, of course. I cannot say that all issues and trials have ceased. But I can say that, by God’s grace, we continue to look to Him. And we remain encouraged by looking back at what He has already done.

I have to say it again… He. Is. Faithful.  Anybody want to cosign? :-)

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  • Reply Donelda March 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

    What a powerful message! Thank you and Quentin for your transparency, and for showing how faithful God has been through the years. It’s so easy to slip into the rolel of feeling like we have to “fix” situations especially those involving our children, but it’s more important to remember that God is ALWAYS in control. As difficult as that may have been at times, I am thankful that Quentin learned that God was with him in the good and bad times and developed his own, personal relationship with Him. And, as a parent what more do we want for our son than that?

    I also love that you chose to discuss the 7 things that your son has taught YOU. I too blieve that God entrusted us with children to further develop us in many areas and and to grow our faith. I learn so much from my kids on a daily basis.

    Thanks again for the video, I am blessed!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

      So thankful for your encouragement, Donelda! YES, so easy to slip into the “fixer” role, and so easy to fix our eyes on the various situations with our kids. BUT GOD… We *have* to believe that He’s at work because He ALWAYS is.

      “And, as a parent what more do we want for our son than that?” AMEN! That’s the main message in the video. As much as we may want our children to do and be, it means nothing without a personal relationship with the Lord. That is EVERYTHING.

      Just imagine if we had known from the start what the parenting journey would bring and all the ways WE would grow. :) Thanks again for this, Donelda. It really blessed me!

  • Reply Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 10:43 am

    This was sooooooo good! So many things to comment about!

    First, the fact that you respond to every e-mail and comment on the blog. Kim, that is one of the qualities I admire about you so much because I feel the same way. I feel like it’s important to let people know they are heard. That’s why I e-mail authors when I read their books because I want them to know how much they blessed me. When the Lord begins to increase me in my writing, I’ve also purposed to respond to every reader.

    Next, the Legos, light sabers, and picky eating. Does your son know my 13 year old son? LOL If I step on one more Lego…..

    Next, the part about parenting growing the parent. Can I get an amen? I have said the two hardest jobs anyone will ever have are being a spouse and being a parent. I remember telling my daughter to do something the way I thought it should be done. The Lord checked me and said “You are not her God. How is she ever going to learn to trust Me if you keep telling her what to do?” Oooooh honey, that was a strong rebuke. I am learning through all of my kids how God sees us and how He feels about us.
    When parenting my oldest son, the Lord took me back to me at his age. I was JUST like him. Thought I knew everything and full of pride. When the Lord showed me that, then I knew how to parent him. I have to come at him a different way – like saying my peace on an issue once and ONLY once, let him make the decision, and if it doesn’t work out, I cannot say “I told you so.” (Truthfully, I have to do this with my older daughter too.) I am also learning to let them come to me and ask instead of offering unsolicited advice. Their styles and the way they like to do things are different from mine and I am learning to not get so bent out of shape over dumb stuff.
    My youngest is my hands-on child. My older two were pretty self-sufficient, picked up things and learned quickly. He’s not like that so I have to more patient and be more hands on with him. He’s a funny, great kid and I am growing in patience.

    I am slowly making my way through the Love Dare for parents. In an age where we’ve been raised to be tough and stern, most of us were not taught how to really LOVE our kids like God says. Each day is a chance to grow and be a better parent

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Tamara, God has definitely gifted you to be an encourager and have compassion, so I know you totally get what it means to reach out to people and let them know they are heard. And having been on the receiving end, I sooo appreciate that you do this! :)

      Oh, so you’ve got a Legos-light-saber-picky-eating kid too?? Can you believe we’ve got Lego creations that he built years ago that are so intricate I’m afraid to take them down? But they’re taking up so much space! I’m gonna find a way to sneak and do it when he goes off to college. LOL

      “The Lord checked me and said “You are not her God. How is she ever going to learn to trust Me if you keep telling her what to do?” Girl, those rebukes! The Lord ain’t playin’! :) I have learned how important it is for our kids to grow in their relationship with the Lord. It doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, as you said. But as we plant seeds and give them a biblical foundation, we’ve got to give them room to hear from God and follow. (I seem to have to remind myself of this often.) “Their styles and the way they like to do things are different from mine…” Exactly! And each kid is different from the other. I truly am in awe of how the Lord creates such unique little people who grow and mature right before our eyes….to the point where we have to actually let go of the reins. :))

      “In an age where we’ve been raised to be tough and stern, most of us were not taught how to really LOVE our kids like God says.”….SUCH a great point. And part of loving is listening to their hearts and learning to understand them. Great stuff, Tam! We’re in this together, growing as parents…

      • Reply Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

        I would like to see pictures of his creations so I can show my Caleb. I think he’d be really interested in seeing them too. We have a Lego land here and I am thinking of taking him. Many people feel that he should be different because he’s 13. I like having this kind of 13 year old! LOL

        Ohhhhh, yes, listening to their hearts. That’s key. I am learning how to do this every day. It’s so encouraging to know we’re in this together. :)

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

          Yes, enjoy this age and encourage him in his interests! Plus, Bill says Lego building is good for the brain. lol

          • Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 12:55 pm

            Well I won’t complain about Legos anymore.

          • Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

            Bill would be right…(I’m laughing at myself for having the audacity to say that with anything resembling a straight face ’cause, like I would need to even think of reassuring you Bill is right in that. Learning is such an interesting thing to me but Bill is WAAAYYYYY past me in the “knowledge dept.” there…hey, did you know that cursive writing is also good for the brain??? Can’t imagine how bad this brain of mine would be if I didn’t journal. Scary thought.)

          • Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

            Umm….sister Debbie, don’t be so quick to say that Bill is WAAAYYYY past you in the “knowledge dept”…. God has gifted him with knowledge and interests in certain areas, like math, science, education… And He has gifted YOU in other areas of knowledge, and we’re blessed to learn from you here in some of those areas. :) Now, maybe Legos is an area where the two of you intersect. :D So interesting about cursive writing! And interesting too that it seems to be rapidly becoming a lost art among the young. I only write in cursive, and though I don’t journal, I have lots of notebooks (one in front of me right now) where I write rough drafts of writing projects, etc. So maybe my brain is in a good space?? :)

          • Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm

            My youngest son doesn’t know cursive. I taught him enough to sign his name. My older two can write cursive but default to print.

          • Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm

            Tamara, I think it’s so strange that cursive is being done away with???? My writing isn’t pretty — but I’m so glad I learned cursive!

          • Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

            You’ve got to know Kim, that I bet your “study notebooks” look similar in many ways to my journals…in them I do so much of my bible study and reflection. I was thinking the other day that as you process what God is teaching you through His Word, and as you prepare blog posts, you are actually “journaling” in a very real sense. I think journalling is wonderful, but I also don’t think there is a really “right way” or “one way” to do it. My journals include struggles and prayer and questions but the lion’s share is probably focused on God and His Word notes — many which could (and someday just might) be turned into blog posts. Just shift your perspective a tad and I think you’ll be surprised what a “journaler” you are. And yes your brain is in a good place :)
            I say that with confidence!!! :)

          • Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

            Hmmm….I hadn’t thought of that! I’m looking at three notebooks that I have nearby, which I write in regularly with research and thoughts on God’s Word. I think because my “journals” are pretty looking and written for one purpose, with nice penmanship (no cross outs, scribbles :)), that’s what I consider “journaling.” But maybe I *do* have sorta-kinda journals… I’m so glad you said this! So maybe I shouldn’t throw them out when they’re full?? :)

          • Deborah (Debbie) March 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm

            NO!!!! Don’t throw them out!!!! Keep them! They are journals — records of your “adventures” through God’s Word. :)

      • Reply Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        When I encourage, it’s like I am pouring out. So when you stopped blogging for a while, I didn’t have anywhere to pour and I felt myself getting backed up. I didn’t know what to do with all of that! LOL

        The picky eating thing–how did you handle that? He used to eat anything but then stopped! We’ve prayed and are in agreement in faith that he will become a well balanced eater. I am teaching him that faith requires action so when he’s presented with new foods, I encourage him to try them because faith without works is dead. He’s doing so and being reminded of his faith and what’s he’s believing God for.

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm

          I’m so glad this is a place where you pour out your gift of encouragement! So terrible of me to cause you to be backed up in that area. LOL

          Picky eating… Q eats a lot of what he likes. He’ll eat a variety of meats and fish, and he loves different kinds of fruit. But he does not eat starches like rice and pasta, etc. and he eats few vegetables. One time at the doctor’s office, I was telling on him:)…informing the doctor that he doesn’t eat enough veggies. She asked what he eats, and I said he’ll eat romaine lettuce and carrots. She said, well that’s a green veggie and an orange veggie, so that’s not bad. I was like, what?? LOL I was a VERY picky eater as well, so I do understand. I wouldn’t even eat salads until I got to college, so I believe he’ll grow into eating more. I love that your son has prayed with a willing heart to become a well balanced eater! He’ll be encouraged as he sees the ways in which God is giving him a taste for different foods. Great lesson!

          • Tamara D. Davis March 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

            Caleb is the opposite! He eats too much starch. Rice is his favorite as well as french fries. He really likes nuts and fruit so I try to buy him more of those things. He may eat celery on a whim.

  • Reply nylse March 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    My son is a bit older – he’s 25. What I’ve learned is God is faithful,and he hears my prayers. College was a time of awakening for him and us; But God kept Him because once more God is faithful and these days He is sure of his salvation and walking with the Lord. It hasn’t been easy but I know God orchestrated everything. God is faithful.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Praising God with you that your son is sure of his salvation and is walking with the Lord! There’s nothing greater that you could want for his life. There is so much joy in being able to look back and know that, though it wasn’t easy, the Lord orchestrated it all….and He is faithful. Amen. Blessings to you and your son!

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Good morning, Kim.

    This: “…all for His glory.” ALL for His glory. AMEN!!!

    If only I would remember that and walk in the truth of that!!!

    Such simple reminders…such powerful truth…when there are needs and difficulties and deep concerns for our “children” (‘course, they ain’t children anymore at this age — but they are always our “children”) “…ask the LORD.”

    …and, having asked the LORD and IN the asking remember…

    “… to trust that God is sovereign and He is working out His own plan for my son.” or daughers. Oh boy…as they say “that’ll preach”.

    And, I saw this flashing and it was like it was flashing straight into my heart…imprinted deep (may it be so!): “…be anxious for nothing.” After all as one wise lady said (in this video in fact) Worry “never added anything to the situation…it only took away from it.” “God has a purpose in hardships.” Oh, does THIS sister need to hold fast to that truth and let the Holy Spirit shout it to her soul.

    “God is always at work.” Yes! When we see Him doing nothing — He is doing something beyond our imaginings…and asking us to trust HIM not our eyes, our understanding, our purposes, plans or hopes but HIS!

    And oh, then there’s this…that as you plead for that wonderful friend for your son, the most wonderful of all makes clear that HE. IS. His. Friend. (I remember during one particularly dark time pleading with God to send me a prayer partner and clearly hearing Him impress on me that I had one IN HIM! What an eye opener and heart stopper!) Is there EVER going to be a better One to call friend and to depend on — and that’s not just a nice platitude or consulation prize — it is TRUTH that changes EVERYTHING!!! For us and our sons and daughters.

    Well I could go on and on and on with what I “heard” in this video…but I’m going to end with this. Perhaps I’ll even paint in on my wall (grin) (but really, I should):

    “Call on the LORD…He is faithful.”


    How very grateful I am for His grace and His work and His truth. And I am so very grateful to Him for having you post these words or truth and wisdom and
    thank you Quinton for blessing us by allowing your Mom to share what she has.

    God bless you ALL in your sweet family.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      I’m so smiling at this… “…and, having asked the LORD and IN the asking remember…’… to trust that God is sovereign and He is working out His own plan for my son.’ or daughters.” Oh, the need to remember that IN the asking. Because while I’m asking, I am so fully persuaded that things need to go as I’d like them to go or my child will experience this or that hardship. And God is saying, “Yes, he/she may experience hardship, and this is how I will use that hardship.” He must really chuckle in heaven at all the things He’s teaching US, the parents, who think we know what’s best for our “children.” And yet, WE (parents) are HIS children who happen to also be SHEEP in need of much guidance. How does He even entrust us with these little beings to raise?!? :)

      God as your prayer partner….Oh, how I love this! Seriously. I totally understand why that was an eye opener and heart stopper, because we often hear how we need *people* for this or that. And there are books written about the importance of friends (as in, the human kind:)). And of course we do need people and fellowship is important, but sometimes the Lord shows up in a very personal and deep way in the life of an individual….and who would contend that a human would be preferable?? I’ve seen myself in the past couple of years the power of having Jesus as my closest Friend, and nothing and no one compares. No way is He a consolation prize…..ahhh, yes, He is EVERYTHING.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, and I have passed them along to Quentin (he was smiling).

      HE. IS. FAITHFUL. Three of my favorite words. Hugs to you!!

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    BTW…by “If only I would remember that and walk in the truth of that!!!” I mean, if only I would remember that God is sovereign in and over ALL things and that He is working to bring about His glory in ALL things (even if I don’t understand it…I can trust Him to be at work, working out His plans and purposes and to show Himself.)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Totally knew what you meant and was nodding when I read it because I too want to remember that in ALLLL things. Help us, dear Lord, to keep your sovereignty top of mind, to know that You are always working out YOUR plan, for YOUR glory.


  • Reply alli March 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    this is helpful to me bc im dealing w a family member whose very quiet and to themselves. at first I got angry bc I was like clearly this is a mistake bc they are very into themselves I took it as selfishness then it just ticked me off.because I wake up looking to can really b difficult for me at times bc im like being a bully and thats not the way to handle somebody. so this is very helpful for me..altho I know I have to nurture my spirit and let them b at times but im learning God created us all with purpose.

    • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      That makes so much sense to me Alli. And I’ve found myself in that kind of situation and God, must chuckle because, as hard as it is for me I’m learning that among other things (many of which I am not privy to and might not ever be this side of meeting Him face to face), He is up to using these kinds of things to transform me and build my faith in Him. I’m not always the most compliant learner but there’s such freedom and joy — even in the thougher relationship challenges — when I yield to Him and trust Him to do His work in His way. I’m also learning to let my “frustrations” inform my prayers for the “other” especially when it’s not an issue of “difference” but when they truly are walking contrary to God’s truth. (I have to be careful I’m seeking the discernment of the Spirit here and not assuming that because it irritates me, the other is in error — it just might be me that is in error…sigh :) )

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Sis, I’m glad this caused you to take a look at your relative with a different lens. You never know what’s going on with someone or why they’re quiet. I love what Debbie said about letting “frustrations inform her prayers.” I would ask God to give you insight about how to relate, and I would ask Him to open up conversation between the two of you. Whenever you turn frustrations with someone into prayer *for* someone, it changes your perspective and gives you a heart for the individual. Yes, such a blessing to see people as created by God with a purpose.

  • Reply Kim March 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this video. We dropped our son off at college almost four years ago thinking that he would remember all the things he had been taught about God, about responsibility, etc. Somewhere during his freshman year he got off track and did a lot of things he had no business doing and has struggled ever since to get back on track. Some days I have no hope that he will ever get it together but then I see things like your video and I am encouraged. I am constantly in a state of prayer for him and in the back of my mind I keep hearing God say “trust me.” I know that He has allowed all of this for a purpose but that’s hard to swallow when things are so hard :-) Anyway, thanks again for your encouraging words and your reminder that God is in control and faithful.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 16, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Kim, yes, continue to hope in God and trust Him! You cannot focus on the circumstances. I KNOW it gets hard and it looks like there’s no hope. But you have to walk by faith, remembering the seeds you planted and the prayers you’ve prayed. The Lord is working in your son’s heart, though you may not be able to see it. I always use myself as an example. I didn’t know much about God at all growing up and was doing my own thing in college and beyond. But God got hold of me at 27 and completely turned my life around. He. Is. Able. I’m so glad this video encouraged you. Keep your eyes fixed on Him (not on your son’s current situation), and love on your son in the midst. Blessings to you, sis!

    • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Kim…I say a big “AMEN!” to what Kim said. I know that God can take the one who walks their own way and turn them back to Him! This is not idle talk on my part. And let this God of ours who loves that son of yours to distraction, give you His peace. Trust Him as you offer up your prayers, trusting that even in this painful thing God is sovereign and is at work to glorify Himself and bless you and the one you love so much. Don’t think for a moment, either, that your prayers are not heard or significant in the process that God is working out! I’m saying a prayer for you, your family and your son right now!

  • Reply Lucy September 12, 2015 at 7:08 am

    I found that so encouraging, thank you for sharing.

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