Parenting, Praying and Sea Turtles

It’s that time of year again. A new school year has started. And with the advent of another academic year comes fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and nerves.  Especially for parents!
 
Recently, I had the completely awe-inspiring experience of watching a baby sea turtle emerge from the nest and make the long trek across the sand to the ocean. The temptation was to pick the miniature turtle up and help him on his way. But I knew that would likely be harmful to the baby turtle. He would gain strength for his adventures at sea by the work required to cross the sand.
 
What a metaphor for parenting.
 
We hate to see our children struggle or experience pain. Our loving hearts as parents motivate us to help our kids, yet sometimes our helping hurts.
 
The truth is that our children gain confidence by surviving struggles, not being rescued from them.
 
What is a parent to do to best help their children thrive throughout their school years? Yes, coach. Yes, encourage. Yes, support. Yes, discipline.
 
But more than anything, PRAY.
 
My daughter is out of college now, and is blossoming in her professional career. And while I have made plenty of parenting mistakes, the wisest choice I made over the years was to pray for her without ceasing.
 
Moms, if you have a child still in school, I heartily encourage you to find your local chapter of Moms in Prayer (www.momsinprayer.org). Prayer groups in support of public and private schools exist across the US and in over 140 countries. This organization began in 1984 when one mom felt a burden to pray for her children with another mom…and a movement began.
 
Here’s what I loved about Moms in Prayer:
-The group meets weekly for one hour.
-Participants' time is respected because the group starts and ends promptly. 
-Both professional and stay-at-home moms participated.
-The group doesn't just talk about prayer requests. They pray.
-It’s not a coffee klatch or a time of gossip.
-The hour of prayer uses the A.C.T.S. format: (Adoration, Silent Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). The prayer time begins with praising God for who He is, not asking Him for blessings.
-As moms take turns praying for their own children, the other moms in the group silently pray in agreement. What a treasure to have other moms join you in prayer for your children.
-By far, the deepest friendships that I developed over the years with other mothers came from kindred spirits whom I met in Moms in Prayer groups.
 
Dads, of course, your children desperately need your prayers, too. Even if an organized group doesn’t exist, you can make a commitment with one or two other dads to pray weekly for your children. Your prayers availeth much!
 
 Just like the little sea turtle, our children will have their struggles. But as parents and grandparents, we can help them to survive and thrive by our commitment to prayer.