Sometimes I audibly gasp when reading Facebook posts. That happened last night as I read a post by my friend, Valerie, about her parenting journey and her 15-year-old daughter’s choice.

Learning about the 8 great ways kids are smart and other principles of honoring children has encouraged Valerie. I love teaching her – as I do so many of you – because she is open. I hope her words here speak to you. Yes, you!

From Valerie…

To my young mom friends: God has blessed me with three very different young women. We all get each other at times but we all think very differently. We argue differently, we praise differently, we study differently, we have different hobbies, different likes, different dislikes.

It has taken me a long time to realize that my kids don’t have to do it my way. In fact, their ways teach them faster, teach them more deeply, grow them better.

A few months ago Kaleigh came to us and asked if she could turn her linen closet into a prayer closet. To be honest, I didn’t know how much she would be in there –  but she spends hours each week in there – journaling, drawing, worshiping.

Last week, she asked if she could paint on the walls in her prayer closet. This goes against everything I am. “We don’t want to make a mess.” “You might spill paint on the floor.” “Do people really just paint on the walls, like with total freedom and without fear of failure?!?!” (My own issues.)

Well, after 3 hours, here is the result. She intends to paint over it one day, when she feels she needs a new picture – and start over.

Mom friends – I’m almost at the end of my “raising” times – and I am just finding the freedom to let them be who God made them to be. It’s exhilarating, inspiring and freeing.