grace, parenting, YouTube

Planting Seeds

March 1, 2015

7 Things I TeachI remember the early days of parenting, when we had new babies and fresh dreams about what their lives would be like. Neither my husband nor I were raised in a Christian home, so we were eager. Eager to plant. We would teach our children about Jesus, give them a solid foundation in the truths of the Bible, and guide them as they got older in applying those truths to their lives. And all those seeds? They would grow into a beautiful and bountiful harvest in their lives, to the glory of God.

Those babies are now eighteen and sixteen, and I have to be honest—there are days I am heartbroken and discouraged as a parent. There are days I see and hear things and wonder, what in the world? because that’s not the harvest I envisioned. In fact, it would have been nice to be able to control the harvest. I would have had it blossom early, in concrete ways, right before my eyes. And I would have had it blossom sure and strong, such that my children would walk solidly in every bit of truth and wisdom they’ve been taught. I know… Some of you with adult children are saying, Dear one, if it only worked that way…. And it’s not that I ever thought it worked that way. But when the pain hits and the tears flow, I confess I wish it worked that way.

But although I can’t control the harvest, I’m grateful to know the one who does. I’m grateful that He loves my children more than I do, and knows them intimately better than I do. This is where I stand in faith that prayers truly do avail much. This is where I trust as never before, that He will lead them in the way that they should go. After all, if He could take me, a 27 year old who didn’t know Him and had never opened a Bible—and do a radical work of transformation, what could He do with all those seeds planted in my children’s lives?

So, I’m focusing on seeds today. We can’t control the harvest, but we can purpose to plant the seeds. In fact, we are called by God to plant seeds of life and wisdom into our children (Ephesian 6:4; Proverbs 22:6). And we can rejoice in the fact that He will bless us for our faithfulness as we do so.

In the video this week, I share “7 Things I Teach my Teen Daughter.” It’s not comprehensive, of course. And certainly, her dad has been a big part of teaching her as well. But there’s something about those mother/daughter conversations, and these are a sampling of things that have mostly come out of our mother/daughter time together.

By the way, I share the things I’ve shared in this post, not to be a downer, but to keep it real in this social media age of “only show & tell the good stuff” (I touch on this in the video). There are days when I’m discouraged, but there are also plenty of days of fun, laughter, and great conversation with these kiddos. In fact, my daughter and I had a lot of fun even in this video! ;-)

I’m guessing others of you have trying days from time to time as a parent.  Do you place your faith and trust in God for the care and direction of your children?

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  • Reply Joy March 2, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Thank you for this post! It was right on time for me. My son is a freshman at a Christian university and just last night told me on the phone that he’s spiritual but he’s not a believer in Jesus and His miramiracles. I wanted to strangle him. But I know that the seeds have been planted! All of the years that we have taught our son about Christ at home at church and in Sunday School were not wasted. I’m waiting on The Lord. I will stay in prayer on this.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Joy, I know that was heartbreaking to hear. It’s a blessing that he told you where his heart is so that you could be praying for him to be saved. We never know when the Lord will bring forth the harvest, but AMEN…those seeds have not been wasted! Stand firm on what you have taught him and seek the Lord continually on his behalf. Lifting up a prayer for your son right now.

  • Reply Tamara D. Davis March 2, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Good morning! That was great!!!! I don’t think I did enough planting. Parenting indeed is a challenge, even more so when you are doing it alone. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really UNDERSTOOD that God did not create single parenting. That was not in His original plan. However, when you are raised up close and personal with single parents and that’s all you hear and see, you begin to believe it’s the norm and that “you don’t need a man.” As a mom with an 18 year old daughter, who’s soon to be 19, I can only instill so much as a mom. Dads are very important!!!! I knew what it felt like to not have the love and encouragement of a dad so my parenting challenges were different.

    I, like you, was not raised in a Christian home. I didn’t start my walk until I was 28 and by that time, I was already a mother of three. Along the way, I took them to church and had them involved with church activities but “I” didn’t sit down and plant. I had so many issues that I was trying to get right that I didn’t even know I was supposed to be planting in them! My daughter said to me one day (in reference to my older two children) “Mama, we’ve told you that you did a great job raising us a Christian parent. But it’s up to us to live the life now.”

    She’s very girly and fashionable. I didn’t discover my “girlieness” until these latter years! LOL SO, we had a lot of clothing battles and still do. At this point, I do my best to live and model the life of a godly woman before her. I’ve had the heartbreaks with my daughter but God ALWAYS brings me back to love and corrects ME!!!! It’s amazing how He shows us ourselves through our children.

    PS I like the “highlight reel” comment! So very true!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Good Morning Tamara! I am nodding my head at parenting being especially challenging for single moms. My parents divorced when I was 4, and even though my dad wasn’t ever too far, it was my mom who raised me. I thank God for her, and Looking back, I see so much grace that was upon her in doing so, and I know the Lord has given you abundant grace as well. I totally hear you in saying you were going through a lot when your children were young, and you didn’t know you were supposed to be planting. There’s SO much that we don’t know as we raise our kids, and learn along the way. The Lord meets us where we are. And again, look at the two of us, who didn’t have a ton planted into us growing up, yet the Lord is growing us and using us in our lives today. I was moved early this morning to do another blog post on this, about parents not feeling convicted but starting where they are now and understanding that God’s grace covers A LOT.

      THIS–> “It’s amazing how He shows us ourselves through our children.” Happens all the time….often convicting…lol

      • Reply Tamara D. Davis March 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm

        There is NO WAY I could have raised my kids without Him. I thank Him for using my life to show them and me His love.

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Good morning, Kim.

    This was goood. I sure wish I’d had this about 30 years ago. I have dropped the ball so much :S . If I had it all to do again….I think my girls lives would be so much more blessed. BUT the work of Christ covers that too and His grace will be worked out in and through even my “failures” or “ignorance”.

    The thing I hear in your video that is SO true is that 1) It’s ALL about Jesus and His work for, in and through us. It’s all about Him and our heart…everything flows from that! That is a good and right focus for us as parents, for our message and for our resources (we can’t do it — only God can through us as we cooperate with Him and live in Him and He in us).

    Neil Anderson talked about goals and says, when it comes to parenting, we can desire that our children love and serve God but our goal is to be the parent’s God desires and enables us to be — living out Christ before them. We can choose how we live but we can’t MAKE our kids be anything…I watched a video by Tim Keller awhile ago (I can’t remember what it was called right now, and it wasn’t even on parenting) and it brought great freedom for me when I realized that my “hope” as a parent (or as anything or in anything really) is not in my parenting but in Christ. (Please don’t hear that as saying that I can just blow off the parenting thing — God calls us to be Spirit empowered, yielded and submissive to God parents). My actions and behavior and choices, while they matter, are not God and are not the basis for my hope or my children’s hope. God is our savior and His work on the cross and through His Spirit and His plan rule. HE is sovereign and all powerful even over my “successes” and “failures”.

    You said it So well:

    “But although I can’t control the harvest, I’m grateful to know the one who does. I’m grateful that He loves my children more than I do, and knows them intimately better than I do. This is where I stand in faith that prayers truly do avail much. This is where I trust as never before…”

    You are teaching principles and truths and giving your children an opportunity
    to grow in relationship with Christ and so they have an awfully blessed beginning.

    (And yay on the whole social media training thing…there are a lot of adults who need this too!!!)

    Have an awesome week!!!!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Debbie, this is amazing because I just said it to Tamara before I saw your comment, that God’s grace covers! YES! There’s so much praise in that. As I told her, I’m doing a follow-up post that covers that (no pun intended…ha!). “…it brought great freedom for me when I realized that my “hope” as a parent (or as anything or in anything really) is not in my parenting but in Christ”….”freedom is freeing,” isn’t it?? That’s my theme of late, in case you can’t tell. :D If I thought my children’s hope and futures depended on my getting everything right as a parent, I would be continually overburdened, discouraged, headed toward insanity… THANK GOD that I can parent as unto the Lord and watch HIM do the work in their hearts, in His time. And I’ve already seen Him do an abundant work. I hope my post didn’t make it seem otherwise. But you know how it is when we want to see a SUPER abundant work in our kids. ;)

      I hear the parenting thing doesn’t end when they’re adults. Care to weigh in? :)

      Yes, adults need social media training too!!! Hugs to you, my friend.

      • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm

        Wellllll…no parenting doesn’t end when they’re adults…our hearts are so entwined with theirs. But it does change. I think we’ll make mistakes here too (ahhem…experience talking????) But I’m learning the greatest blessing, the greatest influence, the greatest act I can do as a parent of two grown women is pray. I do have to say though that each parent/daughter or son relationship and each family circumstance is different and the “specifics” of how we navigate the adventure at this stage is going to be different for every family and relationship and for different times and circumstances in the relationship. There’s no easy three step answers to this (are there ever? Ha!) But focusing on God and His Word, listening for His nudges in bringing it into the mix, trusting Him, praying like mad :)…well, there it is. These are powerful and effective — not because we always see our “kids” being or doing what we think is right — but because God’s Word says they are powerful and effective and we can trust Him on that! And like you said, He loves them even more than we do. And it’s HIS plan for their life He’s working out. There will be times we are called to act or speak in specific ways but we need to be doing so according to His leading and empowering. There are a lot of hurting parents of adults out there and God wants them to know — He’s at work and He knows what He’s doing!!! But can be crazy journey sometimes and as parents our hope is still in Him! Wait! I think that may be similar to most things in life!

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 8, 2015 at 8:10 pm

          Debbie, I somehow missed this response, but how funny (in light of my Friday post) that you said the greatest act/influence you can do as a parent of two grown women is to pray?! There is NO telling how much impact you’ve had in their lives through prayer. You’ll be blown away and big-time rejoicing when you find out one day. :) So true that there is never an easy answer and relationships within each family, and with each child within each family, are each unique. We *need* the Spirit to guide and nudge and prompt, and I’m so thankful He does so! “There are a lot of hurting parents of adults out there and God wants them to know — He’s at work and He knows what He’s doing!!” Amen and Amen!

  • Reply Marian Holt March 2, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Oooh, You never cease to amaze me;I so enjoyed this video, Kim! I wish my mom(single)had been equipped to instill all of these biblical principles in me as a teenager. It would have saved me a lot of pain later in life. I got so much out of this video, there were so many highlights that resonated deeply with in me. Although my adult son turned out relatively well, I dropped the ball with being consistent and planting biblical seeds that would produce a “solid” harvest. Thank you for sharing this video. P.S. You and your daughter are just so cute and I smiled at the dance moves. :-) Love you, sis.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Hi Marian!! You know, I’ve often wished I’d known these things as a teen for the same reason….”It would have saved me a lot of pain later in life.” And then I wonder if I would’ve listened had I known. Hmm…:) But praise God that He drew you in His timing and caused you to walk with Him in a strong way. He can use all those years we weren’t walking with Him to help others, because we understand what it’s like to live without Him and the pain that comes as a result.

      Sis, I hope you do not carry a burden of wishing you’d done things differently with your son. As I told Tamara and Debbie, I want to do another post on how God’s grace covers and, as I’m sure you know, parents never stop praying anyway. :) You are *still* planting seeds and watering seeds with your prayers.

      Haha, yes, it was fun doing that in the video! :) Love you too, sis!

  • Reply Donelda March 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    You have no idea how on thime this is. I have an 11 year-old daughter, and just completed a class at my church called “5 Conversations you must have with your daugher” by Vicki Courtney. The study was such a blessing in confirming that I should continue to do many of the things that I’m already doing, it suggested ways that I could better parent my dauther, and to be prepared to have conversations on issues that will undoubtedly arise in the near future. The best part of the class was the discussions with other mothers who had children of varying ages. Your video felt like God was reiterating some of those discussion topics.

    I am now taking Ms. Courtney’s class on “5 Conversations you must have with your son.” I hope that you will do do a second video on things that you’ve taught your son:)

    Thanks again for posting this video. I loved it!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Donelda! So funny because I co-faciliated a group of women through that study several years ago! (I honestly don’t remember what the 5 conversations were…my memory is terrible…but I know we enjoyed the study! :)) Like you, I really enjoyed discussions with other mothers of daughters. I’m so glad the video was a nice follow-up to some of that. :) Hmm…a son one?? :D

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