As of last month, I have three teenagers in my home. Thankfully, my oldest turned twenty the day before Christmas so I don't have four. She is living in an apartment while earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography less than an hour from here, so we see her often. She is doing quite well in school, managing her money and making good, God-honoring decisions. So I know we can do it, with God's help. We can successfully raise a child to an adult.
But with the other three, ages 15, 13 and 13, it seems to be a bit tougher. Circumstances lately have caused me to often doubt my skills as a mother. Life at the moment is just ... murky.
My children often tease me because I enjoy watching old TV shows. My current favorite is Magnum, P.I.. Several years ago it was Hawaii Five-O. Not the current version full of bikini-ready bodies, but the original, with the skinny Chin-Ho and fat, male Kono. My husband once asked me why I watched such out-of-date programs, and I told him it was because they were so much simpler and cleaner. True, some characters still killed and others died. They were cop shows after all. But when they died, they were found without multiple, graphic bullet holes, lying in gallons of spilled blood. Unrealistic? Probably. I don't care.
It's a cheap and temporary reprieve from a stressful and chaotic world, I know. But sometimes I just need a quick escape. The world seems to be changing far too quickly, and rarely for the better. The things my 15-year-old sees are far different from what my older daughter experienced just five years ago. And other than locking her up in a box until she is thirty, which I have seriously considered, there is very little I can do to protect her from a world that is decaying by the minute.
Or I could hire a Magnum lookalike to follow my kids everywhere, to keep them safe and keep trouble at bay. But even that would only protect their bodies.
What I can do, though, is pray. Because only Jesus knows not only everything that is happening now, he knows everything that is going to happen, whether in ten minutes or ten years. He can protect their hearts and minds. He can save their souls. And He can give me peace throughout it all.
And no matter how good-looking Thomas Sullivan Magnum is, he can't do that.
Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Her Biblical fiction novels, In the Shadow of Sinai and By the Waters of Kadesh are available on Amazon and other retailers. You can find her at www.CaroleTowriss.com.