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I love life! I love the multifaceted things about it and about God.  I love to enjoy each day to it's fullest. I love my boys and I love change!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I love having a teenager!

I was at the salon the other day and a nice guy was cutting my hair and we ended up talking about having teenagers.  He mentioned that he didn't know what that was like yet, but he wasn't looking forward to it.  I started talking about how much I was enjoying this new stage with my son becoming a teenager, and how I actually loved having a teenager.  He kept cutting, and had a quizzical look on his face as he said:
"I have never heard anyone say that before?"

So that's what brought on my blogging for today.

I think God must have put that into my DNA but I love to challenge the thinking of anything. Not in a negative way or trying to make someone wrong, I seriously just enjoy dissecting, mulling over, turning upside down, looking at every angle of every situation or statement made.  I am sure this annoys some people, and I am not trying to annoy you, but I seriously enjoy this process of finding out where someone is coming from, how they see the world, and how I see the world, leading  to always wondering God's perspective.  I have also learned to keep quiet in this process within myself, unless it seems helpful or encouraging.  So my intention in this blog is always to encourage a new thought process, not to say yours is wrong.

I love seeing all his diff styles he tries






As Daniel (my 13 1/2 yr old) has started to grow into the young man that he is becoming, I have seriously enjoyed the process of watching his maturity, his mistakes, his learning, his wisdom, and his new thought processes.  It is so enjoyable to see him try out this new life as he makes new friends, finds his niche, tries new things, and just experiments with life as he goes. I have felt such peace and reassurance as I know that my husband and I are in this together.  There are times that I know I am overreacting as a mom and I check in with Ruslan to make sure Daniel isn't being too daring, too harsh, too mean, too risky, too independent, isn't pushing the limits too much etc...Ruslan is there to reassure me that he is only a boy, and a teenager.  I love the trust we have built and are still building as we entrust Daniel with more and see his responsibility strengthen his foundation, and we entrust more to him.  A few keys that we have found extremely helpful in this process are the following:

Not getting upset when I want to experiment with more photos :)


Be transparent/honest

I have learned that I myself have to be completely honest and real with my feelings and and let Daniel know when I get my feelings hurt by him.  We have to admit when we hurt him and apologize for stepping on his toes, or making a decision without finding out his heart on it first.  Also we have had to make it VERY clear how important honesty is on his behalf.  If we can't trust his word then we can't trust him to be away from us, because we can't see what he's doing all the time.  He has learned to value this trust and keep that bridge strong, he wants privileges, and above all he truly wants us to be proud of him.  
It's not always easy to be honest about when I get my feelings hurt or when I need to be strong on an issue that I know he won't like,  but I see our relationship changing and maturing.  As he becomes a friend to us in some ways and we with him, he always knows we are still the Parents and he may not always agree with our decision but he too has to trust us and our heart for his best.  We have to tell him when his joking with us crosses the line, or when it's perfectly appropriate.  

 

Trust him/ equip him - know that he WILL make mistakes

 I was so excited when I asked the Lord a few years ago, "OK Lord what is my role as Mama, with Daniel now as he is shifting from training and discipline?"
I immediately heard the Holy Spirit say, "Equipping."
I was thrilled, my spirit got excited, I knew this would be a fun stage. I love to equip people, and part of that is beginning to trust them and entrust them with things to grow and learn in.  I don't have to be so involved in training and discipline so much but listening, coming alongside, offering suggestions, correcting critiquing (occasionally, but mostly encouraging), hearing how he processes, listening to his thoughts and ideas on how to handle situations, guiding him with his ideas, admitting that I don't have all the answers but have a lot of experience to share.  Enjoying who he becomes.  Knowing that Ruslan and I have a strong relationship and that in itself is a HUGE safe haven for Daniel to learn and grow from.

Be involved/be interested in what he's interested in his life
I love watching him in his new world.  We all remember the day he decided to go long boarding for the first time in our neighborhood about a year and a half ago, and suddenly he befriended half the neighborhood. :)
 He is learning how to be a peer, how to serve others and consider them as people, how to help his friends in their struggles with life, how to make wise decisions in the midst of pressure from friends to do things he knows aren't the right choice for him, how to stand up for his beliefs and morals.  Ruslan and I love asking Daniel how his time was with his friends and just listening to how their time is spent, the silly things they do, the not so wise things they sometimes try (and we make clear boundaries again), and we know he probably doesn't tell us every single thing but we trust his heart and he wants to do what is right and good, he wants God's best for his life when it all comes down to thinking that through.


Connect him to God/live that example

I know without a doubt God's got Daniel's back. I also know that Daniel without a doubt knows who God is.  We have taught about God our whole lives, but not only that he has seen God be a reality in our lives.  He has learned to hear God for himself and spend time with Him to make Him a priority.  I am not saying he does this all the time, but he knows that's what he wants, God has revealed Himself to Daniel and spoken personally to him about his life.  That is something only God can do and I am thankful that we could lead him in that direction to find God.  Daniel knows he can always come to us for questions about God and seeing our example of daily living in communication with the living Holy Spirit.  This bring so much peace to my life and heart as a Mama. 

I love seeing him interact with his lil sister, seeing him play piano


Listen

This in itself can be one of the MOST valuable tools of all next to God of course.  So many times I get myself in trouble with just spouting out my way of seeing things with what I think Daniel means
and then half way through I think about the fact that I didn't even ask any clarifying questions or where he was coming from, or if he has more information.  I have to be a safe place for him to process out loud, with out coming in like a sledge hammer with my ways of doing things or seeing things.  Especially because we are the complete opposite in relating to people.  I have no problem with verbal processing, boldness and openness and saying what I really feel (in love of course) he on the other hand is a peace maker and is very pensive about how he makes someone feel, he wants people to feel safe and loved and cared for (which is an incredible gift), I even learn from him now in some things, it's such a beautiful exchange and growth that happens as we too as parents are vulnerable and real, but still knowing our place as the final authority and having more wisdom in experience and years than this new teenager (even if at first he forgets this :)).



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