When we first bought our home nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, it was shaded by majestic white pine and maple trees. Although these trees afforded our home much shade and protection from the elements, over a long period of time, that which was a good thing, slowly became a tool of dampness, mildew and decay. Slowly but surely the health and life of our home was threatened. It was time to take ruthless action.
As the tree removal workers descended on our property with their huge trucks, they began cutting away all that was interfering with the health of our home. I could see the sun begin to shine on my home in places it hadn’t in a very long time. The breath my home took was almost tangible as the looming branches covering it were uncovered. I felt I could breath deeper too.
While pondering and watching this very fascinating process unfold, it reminded me of my role as a Mom. How from infancy my “branches” watched over and protected my children. I made sure they were safe and shaded from the harsh elements of life. However, as they grew older, they began to spread their independent wings. As the “grand protector,” I wanted to stretch my “branches” farther and farther to protect them from the harsh elements of life.
I found that the more I protected my children, the less they learned the important bumps and bruises of life that taught them to withstand the elements themselves.
You see, our Creator made each of them to withstand the elements of life just as my home was built to withstand the elements of the weather.
Now that I have completely launched three of my four, I watch as they are creating their own lives with spouses and children. As the last one is leaving for college this year, I have learned that the hard lessons they learned in the safety of a loving home have been invaluable to them. Each time I have launched one into the next phase of their independent lives, I feel like my “branches” are being ruthlessly cut just like those around my house. However, just like those trees in my yard have since grown back with fuller and healthier growth that doesn’t threaten my home, so I have grown and I am learning how to be a new and healthier Mom to my adult children.
What brings me great comfort is knowing that, although my children are out from under my protective branches, they are under the wings of an Almighty God. The Bible says in Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” There is no better place for our children to be than under the wings of God.
As we move through the different stages of being a parent, my prayer is for God to give us the understanding and wisdom that allows our children the freedom to learn the lessons of life under the safety of our homes in order for them to grow and become all that God has created them to be. Then to release them into the loving hands of God, confident that He will take them the rest of the way.
Discover the peace of setting aside just one hour a week to join other moms to pray for your kids and their schools. Did you know that there are also different types of Moms in Prayer groups? Find out more.
Tina Chambers Smith is a writer, author, teacher and founder of Raising Kids on Your Knees, a blog focused on equipping Moms to pray and parent life into the lives of our children. She has seen the power of prayer in her own children’s lives and believes there is no better way for us as parents and guardians to raise our children than on our knees in daily prayer for them. Tina resides with her husband, Rod, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Together they have four children and two grandchildren.