I've just spent two weeks with both my girls, and I'm blown away by how much has happened in such a short time. I picked them up from their dad's in the wee hours of Christmas morning then drove to my mom's to spend a couple of days. It was a very pleasant visit, with the exception of having my daughters tell me that they would only go home with me if they don't have to stay. Sheesh, who's the parent here?
I made it clear that we are playing by different rules from now on, and they are going to have to learn to submit to my authority. My job is not to make them happy. My job, my obligation, is to teach them by example, by instruction, and by discipline to love the Lord and to walk by faith.
We left my mom's two days later, headed for home, and while I drove, they read various scripture passages aloud, and we followed up with discussion. Afterwards, I asked them how they felt about making it a habit and received positive feedback. Hallelujah! Half the battle has been won.
Still, Lindsey was very adamant that she was not going to stay because of her boyfriend. I had met him and his parents the day before, and they seemed to be good people. The only problem I had with him is his age and his advice to my daughter. (Wait a semester after graduation to start college? Bad advice, in my opinion, especially since it's contradictory to her parents' wishes and his own mother's advice.) I sat the two of them down to discuss my concerns about the seriousness of their relationship (He's already given her a promise ring, and they've only been dating two months.) She's 16, he's 19. As I was explaining to them the reasons for my belief that she needs to be with me, he felt compelled to point out that adolescence is all about rebellion. (Really? It's not just stuff they put in movies?) He was making a beeline for my bad side, at warp speed. I informed him that I'm fully aware of the natural human condition, but for the child of God, human nature is no excuse. THEN, when I asked him if he knows Jesus, he said he is saved, but he doesn't go to church because of all the hypocrites there. Mercy sakes alive! Who knew? I must have missed them for all the other sinners. Lord, forgive my sarcasm, and wake this young man from his slumber.
I scored a few points with Lindsey later when her dad was ranting about her attitude, right there in front of her beau. I looked at him, rolled my eyes and said "That's just adolescence." Good times.
Sarah surprised me. She was talkative and friendly, and seemed to be enjoying herself. After we got home, she wanted to go shopping. We spent a few hours at the Mall of Georgia, which wasn't enough time to hit all the stores, especially with the incredibly long lines. That place is HUGE! We will definitely go back. The following day, she asked if we could go shopping for me. Apparently, my wardrobe needed some updating. I highly recommend taking your fashion-conscious kids with you to the department store. They'll try to convince you that $50 jeans are reasonably priced, but hold out for JC Penney and head straight for the clearance racks. Grab the most garish thing you can find and act as if you'd actually consider wearing it. They'll be mortified, but you'll reach a whole new level of cool when you opt for something more tasteful. They won't even mind that it's on clearance.
There's more to this roller coaster ride. Stay tuned as the saga continues.