When You’re Preparing to Send Your Kid Off To College

For the first time in our lives, Sherri and I are taking our children on college visits.

It’s a fun, exciting, intimidating, and interesting experience that marks a new season of life. It’s unknown territory.

It’s not necessarily that we don’t know what to expect when it comes to college campuses, dorm rooms, and community. We do. Although, I don’t remember having Starbucks on my campus. That sure would have been nice.

It’s the stuff of the heart I wasn’t expecting.

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Of course there are all the common perspectives like: “This is their time to enter into their own adventure,” “Now they spread their wings,” or “This is when they really learn about who they are.”

I get those statements.

The part I wasn’t expecting was how I find myself watching to see if he is really ready. I mean REALLY ready.

Is he asking all the right questions?

Does he really get what it means to be on his own?

Did I prepare him correctly and give him the skill and information to handle any situation?

The worse part is when something shows up in front of me and the voice in my head says I may not have covered that possibility in his training and now he might fall off the edge of the earth if I don’t get him into “shape for life.”

Honestly, I’m not good at letting go and allowing my kids to fail. I know it’s important to not be a helicopter parent, and I’m not. But I also don’t want to miss any situation where my children might get hurt or scared.

No parent wants their children to get hurt or scared but the college thing has brought out a new possibility of “danger.”

What if he needs me, and I’m a thousand miles away?

There will be people and resources he will have access to for help or guidance for sure, BUT they’re not me. I’m his dad. I know him. I get him. They can’t do what I can do…

Taylor Carroll

Yes, I know this is normal but it doesn’t mean I like it.

Scripture says to “train them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.”

I find myself questioning me, not the training.

Did I do my job?

My thoughts… I screwed up so much. I should have done this better. I want one more time or another chance to retrain him in this area so he doesn’t have to be unprepared.

Yet I can’t stop time and I can’t redo much of anything.

Panicking won’t help.

If a son saw his dad in a panic, that will go the wrong direction. Can you imagine if we thought God was in a panic? Not good.

The well-known Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.”

My wife, Sherri, reminds me trust is about rest not necessarily letting go.

Meaning to trust is to rest yourself in God’s presence, sovereignty, and grace for you and your child.

I’m not good at this.

Is God for my son Taylor? Yes.
Does God know my heart for Taylor and his success? Yes.
Does God have dominion over Taylor and his life at college or whatever he chooses? Yes.
Can I rest in that? Yes.

Am I resting right now? Not really…

Visiting Carroll

So at this point I will try to rest more in the Holy Spirit’s work in Taylor and less about my own fears about what I did and didn’t do.

It’s hard to rest but we all need it for one thing or another…

Trust = Rest

Next question: How much does that school cost? Ugh…

Do you have any advice for us parents sending our oldest off to college this fall?

God is good all the time.

Peder

Christmas is coming!

It’s not yet Halloween and I’m still talking about Christmas already. I can’t help it. I’m so excited because we’ve got some new Christmas music this year!

Have you see the video?

(Or watch it on YouTube)

When shooting the video in Nashville, I was trying to get out the right words and information. I do ok at this kind of thing but sometimes it took more than a few takes. The pressure is high when you know what you say will be recorded forever!

At one point getting frustrated because I kept goofing up. I was trying so hard to find the right phrase. My friend Adam producing this clip said,

“Just tell me like how you would tell anyone sitting in front of you.”

That worked and made a lot of sense. A simple truth that needs to be louder for each of us I think.

When I thought about my heart for the person across from me it came out so much better. In fact, even better than I could ever conjure up with all the practice. I love Christmas and it’s truth about God’s love and His compassion for His children.

I think we make sharing Christ’s love and message of salvation full of the right words and certain types of prayers.

What if we pause, look across from ourselves, feel the love we have for the person we’re talking to and just offer our heart?

recording xmas video

You might be surprised how the Holy Spirit comes through you and out of you. It’s probably way better than what you could come up with on your own. :)

God’s heart for us shows up this Christmas. It was His love for us that caused Him to send Jesus to redeem us. If Christ is in us, we can have that same heart for anyone.

Maybe don’t try so hard.

Just love the person in front of you. It’s like your showing them Christmas even before Halloween!

God is good all the time.

Peder

You Are More Than A Shiny Thing

I joke about how my kids can catch a glimpse of a shiny thing and lose track of what they were doing.

But lately it’s been their dad who’s having that problem.

The reason for my distraction changes all the time. It seems trying to have a conversation with me is trying to have a conversation in a restaurant with a bunch of TVs playing football games everywhere.

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to focus lately because the distractions have always been there and have never affected me. But now…

It’s has showed up with my children. They want to tell me something, and I’m only catching a part of what they are saying. Then I have to ask them to repeat what they said.

I’m definitely not liking that part of me.

They have a fun story to tell me or a question and I’m off in some other thought, my eyes off towards some else I think is more important. As they get frustrated, they might give up telling me stuff.

That makes my stomach churn. I don’t want to experience the day where they don’t want to tell their Daddy about the snow fort they built, how they made the cookies all by themselves, or how they need some feedback on a friend who is frustrating them.

I think about how Jesus picked up children the disciples wanted to keep away from Him. It when He said “Let the children come to Me for the Kingdom of God belongs to faith like this.”

There are so many theological pieces to this that are essential to our faith, but let’s look at the physical part of this moment.

He picked up the children and held them. He didn’t need to. He could have just gathered them around Him, taken a selfie with them, made His point, and shooed them on their way. After all, He was a pretty important guy with a lot of people needing His attention around Him. That’s certainly what the disciples thought.

Instead He picked them up.

I think that’s a crucial part of who Jesus was and even more who God the Father is. Remember Jesus said “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

We don’t know all what Jesus said or did when He held the children. We don’t know how long it lasted, but we do know that Jesus, God Himself, physically held them.

He gave them affection, focus, held them and affirmed who they were in front of all the busyness going on around Him.

Why? Because they were His children.

Hey, are you reading this?

You are His child. When you go to Him, you get God’s focus, attention, and He affirms who you are to all of those around you. God is not distracted by “shiny things.”

He enjoys you, is proud of you and will never, never, never turn you away because there are ”more interesting things going on around world.” You are most interesting to the Abba Father.

Years ago I wrote a song about this moment and recorded it live at a youth conference. If you want to have it, you can download it clicking here. I hope you might find it a push for you to go sit and be held by Jesus. He loves it.

God is good all the time.

Peder