Another Year Older

This week I look at my growing boys and celebrate another year older for them both. Is it truly celebration, or a bittersweet awareness that in eight years George will be 18 and off on a new adventure as an adult, with Oliver not too far behind? I think about a commercial I saw a year ago that reminded parents you only have 18 summers with your kids until they’ve grown. When I saw that, I remember a panic feeling creeping up my throat and I had a realization that I need to make these years count.

Being a parent, is one of the hardest jobs we will do, and yet it is a job where staring at the clock until its 5:00 so you can go home and be done will never happen. This is the kind of job where it truly spoils you with joy, love and laughter and at the same time can make us cry, get angry and reflect our imperfections as if they are staring right at us. It makes us better people and everyday it is a laying yourself down so you can lift others up. It is a constant tweaking, changing, thinking-on-the-spot kind of job. It involves hours of prayer and countless stories, hugs, and kisses. 

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3  

In my 10 years of being a mother, these are some things I have learned along the way. I am understanding that everything is a season. Whether it is a potty-training nightmare, sleepless baby teething nights, temper tantrums, or first walks, they all come as quickly as they go. I remember a friend told me that George will not pee his pants or have accidents when he is 16, since potty-training was going very badly. I took this as relief to think, you are right this will not go on forever, and luckily it didn’t take until he turned 16! When In those hard seasons, my dad gave us wisdom and said try 80% love and 20% discipline. When the 80% is not working, go with the 20% and always be consistent. This has been a great helper for me in the more difficult seasons of parenting. 

Another thing I’m learning is, that simple is best. One day I gave George a long lecture on why we don’t do something, which I can’t even remember what it was, and after I was done talking, George stared at me with his big blue eyes and said, “wow, that was a long talk.” Ha! I find that the simpler steps for my boys and the smaller talks leads to better results. They are simple minded, which means we need simple approaches. 

Pray for you kids every day. God created them, He knows them better than we do, and we need His wisdom and guidance on raising them. 

Watch your kids when they say, “mom or dad, watch this!” This is a season too, and it makes them feel special.

Encourage their giftings and do not try to force them to do something they might not be gifted in.

Love them with all your heart, and tell them every day, multiple times a day how loved they are by you and by God. 

I pray that my boys will always be polite. That they will love people well and make each person they meet feel special and important. That they will love Jesus with all their hearts and genuinely have a relationship with Him. That they will be kingdom focused, and that they will always hug their mom and kiss her on her cheek, even when they are old. Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet boys.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the Little children come to me, and do not hinger them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ ”   Matthew 19:14

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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