let it go!

bennett made a quick trip home from college. last week as he was heading back to clemson after winter break, he had a truck emergency. something was making some kind of noise. man are we blessed to have a dad who can fix almost anything?! so bennett was home, switching trucks. 

it's hard when your kids get big. hard to gather them together for pictures. when they were little, always together and adorable 90% of the time, candids came easy. 

over the christmas holidays i had big plans to take a family picture. i went as far as to buy a few coordinating pieces of clothing. these items could not be worn until i took their picture. 
these items are still on coat hangers. maybe valentine's day.

so i take what i can get and be thankful. hat hair, hunting clothes, and an unshaven face :) that's what he really looks like (hashtag unfiltered :)  would a set of pictures be complete without silly ones?

 i have "let go" of my major hang up with teenage facial hair. it became a mother/son power struggle. i (painfully) won the battle throughout high school.  daily i pray about my controlling ways. i finally decided i did not want to fuss every time i saw him. i should focus that energy on making our family time as joyful as possible. shaven or not.  i surrendered to this battle.

it was a process of course ;) here's some of my reasoning:

*God will still love this boy even with a scruffy face. 
* Refusing to shave will not land my boy in jail.
*Or harm his health.
*Or loose his scholarships.
*And it will not make me a grandmother before i am ready.

these are real parenting battles. praise God, right now, my only battle was over bennett's facial hair. PRAISE GOD! because last year i had way more battles. like math!

so over christmas (and after a very good first semester "report card")  i decided to "let it go, let it go..." 

not one time did i tell/ask him to shave.  "grow it as long as you want. just keep it trimmed around the edges. i love you either way!"

his response was not the thank you i expected. it was, "are you terminally ill and not telling me?" 

he grew it out for about a week. he can't grow a thick mustache, so he continued to look a little amish. and i was good with it. then he started shaving. since then this is about the longest i have seen. 

so what are my control issues with my girls? 

my sixteen year old:
cell phones. cell phones in public to be exact.  walking while on a cell phone, talking to another person while on a cell phone, sitting in a restaurant on a cell phone, cell phones out at church... that's our battle. i wasn't able to hold bennett down and shave his face. but i can turn off a cell phone with one click of a mouse.

my youngest? she is already a miniature control freak. we sometimes battle about her being a control freak.  but mostly it is over  letting the  cats in the house. the feline word on the street is her bedroom is a safe house for cats wanting to live indoors. 

* and germs. wash your hands. all.the.time. 
* and neat hair.

this is a prayer from one of my favorite parenting books   of all time!

Lord, I submit myself to You. I realize that parenting a child in the way You would have me to is beyond my human abilities. I know I need You to help me. I want to partner with You and partake of Your gifts of wisdom, discernment, revelation, and guidance. I also need Your strength and patience, along with a generous portion of Your love flowing through me. Teach me how to love the way You love. Where I need to be healed, delivered, changed, matured, or made whole, I invite You to do that in me. Help me to walk in righteousness and integrity before You. Teach me Your ways, enable me to obey Your commandments and do only what is pleasing in Your sight. May the beauty of Your Spirit be so evident in me that I will be a godly role model. Give me the communication, teaching, and nurturing skills that I must have. Make me the parent You want me to be and teach me how to pray and truly intercede for the life of this child. Lord, You said in Your Word, “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22). In Jesus’ name I ask that You will increase my faith to believe for all the things You’ve put on my heart to pray for concerning this child.
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