Today, please welcome my guest, Tracie Miles, author of the new book: Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World. When I got my copy today, I just wanted to jump into the cover. It looked so peaceful!
I asked Tracie to stop by and talk about stressing and parenting. Not only did she agree, but she’s giving away a copy of her book too!
I’d always heard that parenting was the most difficult, stressful job in the universe. And I believe it.
After Lynn and I talked about my posting on her blog, I began thinking about what to write with regards to the stress of raising teens in today’s society. Trust me when I say, that with 2 teenage daughters and a teenage son, it didn’t take but a millisecond for about three dozen things to come mind.
Just recently, I was blessed with a tiny glimpse of what makes all that stress worthwhile.
I thought I had become pretty accustomed to handling the stress of parenting and all the challenges that come with raising children…until my first born started college a couple months ago.
Stress threatened my heart for weeks before the big day arrived. Each time the thought of her leaving crossed my mind, my heart would race and tears would threaten. But as soon as I officially moved her in and left her dorm room, all those tears I held back come with a vengeance.
The next day, and into the next week, tears flowed. Tears of excitement for her. Tears of acceptance that our life was changing, and tears because I missed my baby girl! But also, tears of stress. I just couldn’t help but worry and stress about all the “what-ifs”, knowing college life and all the negative pressures and situations she would be face.
But one day recently when talking to my daughter about some difficult situations, my heart was lifted, my stress was lessened, and my faith re-energized.
She simply expressed that although she didn’t always agree with the rules and discipline that my husband and I stuck to over the years, she was now thankful that we loved her enough to have them.
She shared how she was thankful we didn’t take the easy road of parenting, even when it was stressful. She was glad we always tried to keep up with what she did, where she was, who she was with, and where she was going. She was grateful we took her to church, and made faith a priority. She was glad we didn’t allow her to dress immodestly, even though that was and is the popular trend with young girls today. She was glad she was disciplined for wrong doing, even though she didn’t like it at the time.
Although we have certainly made our share of parenting mistakes, and she has made her own, she was glad we had raised her the way we did – because otherwise she might be going down the wrong path like so many teens around her were doing. She saw the benefit of being raised up in the ways of the Lord, even if by imperfect parents.
Although she didn’t exactly put it this way, she was thankful that we cared enough to stress over her, and for her.
My heart swelled. And I tried to hold back the tears. That one conversation, only one minute long, suddenly made 18 years of parenting stress worth every minute.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
All that “directing” brings on a lot of stress – from the first time a child says “no!”, to the millionth time they say “but everybody else….” Yet that stress becomes a distant memory, when your child says thank you for loving them enough to be stressed over their well being.
Although God would prefer that we trust Him wholeheartedly and not stress over our teens, He also knows that we are human. Our love for our children is going to bring on some stress, but when we see God working in their hearts and in their lives, and we see the fruits of our efforts, it makes every minute of parenting stress completely worthwhile.
Tip: Make a list of the top 3 parenting stressors you have been experiencing lately. Take some time to talk about your concerns, fears and emotions about those stressors with God, and pray Proverbs 22:6 out loud.
Get a copy of Tracie’s new book, Stressed-Less Living today and get 7 free gift! Just click here for more information:
Thanks so much, Tracie! And thank you for today’s give away.
To enter to win Tracie’s new book: Stressed-Less Living just comment below (or go to www.LynnCowell.com) and answer:
Have you been secretly longing to take a mini-vacation from parenting? How can embracing God’s promise that our parenting perseverance will pay off, help you get through those stressful parenting days?
I’ll announced the winner on Monday during my series on peace!
Sally Potts says
I would love to be able to read this and put it into practice in my life, with my kids.
I can’t wait to do that too, Sally! I’m digging in this weekend! Just got my copy last night!
Rosetta Benford says
I wish to gifted this to my close friend, she has been really stressed and her health is now impacted in the last 14 months she is now up to being prescribed six different pills a day all because of stress. Thank you for this update. Looking to see her restored. I feel this is a step to that direction.
Jesus, I pray for Rosetta’s friend. You are Jehovah Rophe, our healer. You have raised the dead; you can raise her friend. I know you want to. Empower her friend to look to you and take the steps toward healing she needs to take as you come alongside her. Thank you that in You there is hope for our future. Amen
Tracie Miles says
Rosetta – Im so sorry about your friends stress level. I know full well that stress can bring on an onslaught on health problems. I will be praying for you to be able to minister to your friend so she can find peace in God and recuperate from her issues and feel restored from the inside out!
Melissa Waters says
Yes, I have thought of taking off for Australia a few times to escape the stress of parenting.
I cling to the verse that says: 7 zDo not be deceived: God is not mocked, for awhatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For bthe one who sows to his own flesh cwill from the flesh reap corruption, but dthe one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And elet us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, fif we do not give up. 10 So then, gas we have opportunity, let us hdo good to everyone, and especially to those who are iof the household of faith. Gal 6:7
Awesome contest, I am praying I win, I’ve heard this book is packed full of great tips and life changing truths from God’s word.
Melissa, those verses are so perfect, especially when we do see the fruit. God is faithful. We sow; He does the rest!
Tracie Miles says
I love those verses too Melissa – they apply to so many areas of our life!
This sounds like such a great book. Very rarely do I want a mini-vacation. For the most part, my kids and I get along great, but there are bumps for sure. I am trying to remember to lift up my need for help to Him when that happens.
So wonderful, Lauren!
Dawn St Amand Paoletta says
Difficulties with a tween…’nuff said?
One 12 year old female can turn a household upside down in seconds.
And that is a reserved comment for what has happened in the last two weeks PLUS.
Hey Dawn…those emotions can be rough! Anything specific we can pray for you or give you some support on?
Tracie Miles says
Dawn – so true! I always joked that when kids 12 or 13 they morph into another person – someone who is not that lovable! But Ive also seen that the grow out of that stage usually, and then again, its all worth it! There will be a light of the end of the tunnel. 🙂
I have not thought of a parenting vacation – rather, as my oldest begins looking at colleges, I am trying to cram in any family vacation I can longing to hang on to the days when my kids are home. Your message today was powerful for me.
Deena Burnham says
I have found that my blogging and reading my Bible are my “mini vacation” from parenting teens. I have been doing this teen thing for 11 years and I still have 4 more years to go. That comes with having 4 kids in 5 years. (Excuse me if I didn’t do the math right it goes with all the times I was told the past 11 years that I don’t know what I am talking about)
So, stress, yes, I have a lot. Do I let it get me down, sometimes, not as much as in the past. Someday I can’t stop crying…I think that is normal.
I would love this book! I have struggled with stress for years, and quite frankly, I have not been handling it well. I think this book would be the perfect resource to teach me how to better manage my stress and find peace in my life.
This hit home with me today. I have an adolescent struggling with trying to fit in and a son on the autism spectrum. My times away are few and far between! Without God in my life, I couldn’t do it
I have worked in Youth Ministry over several years but now have 2 young children of my own. My now 5 year old son by far has been my most challenging! I say often that Parenting, by far, is the hardest “job” I have ever had. Between 3-5 years old my stress level was so high I could not think straight most days. He is just so active and strong willed! It is beginning to get better and a bit more mature. Today actually was a huge example. Here is the quote I posted on FaceBook of our conversation on the way home from school:
“Although Logan has always been an inquisitive boy now 5yrs. his questions are becoming more teachable moments. Today on the way home from school our conversation became a REAL teachable moment! A TALK ABOUT SALVATION! Although we have had conversations about Jesus dying on the cross etc. before, today we talked about heaven, hell, the devil, and Jesus dying for our sins! He quoted his memory verse from school, Exodus 20:12 “Honor your mother and father…” Awesome stuff!’
I hope those moments continue and he will tell me that he appreciated those conversations as he gets older!
Tracie, Lynn, and Proverbs 31 you are an encouragement through those stressful parenting times!
Lynn, I am planning to come to your conference on October 13th and looking forward to meeting you!
I can’t wait to meet you Melissa!
It is a wonderful experience as our kids grow older to be able to have these types of conversations. Our prayers change to the need for wisdom for us and open ears and hearts for them!
Parenting christian teen daughters in todays world is very stressful and you never get a break. Recently, I caught myself being a little jealous of my girlfriend whose teen just moved to live full time with her ex-husband. She has so much time for herself now. Then I beat myself up with guilt for feeling that way because I know how much my friend must worry and feel out of control. Maybe this book could help little 🙂
Sondra, you are so right…it is so hard. One day I feel confident we will look back and be so glad we didn’t not grow weary and give up…we’ll see the fruit!
I actaully got a “mini vacation” of sorts last week. Spent a few days with my cousin & her family so I could see my Grandmother, perhaps for the last time. While it was stressful & the first 2 days I wondered if I had made the right choice, but the 3rd day was so thankful & was ready to return the next day even though I would have liked more time with my extended family. It was amazing the way my outlook changed. Nothing at home has changed but a few days away from everything was just what I needed.
Rosetta: I understand what your friend is going through. I went through alot when my daughter, now 26, was going to college. I ended up in the hospital for 4 days due to stress and came home with lots of meds. Iam still on some but I deal with stress a little different now. Anyway, I will pray for your friend. I have 4 daughters, 26, 22, and twin girls 15 so I know stress for me is not going to be gone any time soon. Plus I have 4 grand-daughters. I do a lot of praying and meditation and that kind of helps me deal with everyday stress. Tell your friend to hang in there. With God in your life, everything is possible.
A mini parenting vacation would be a great stress relief. As a mom of a teenage daughter and preteen son I hope the choices we have made along the way following God will stick with them in their older years. There are so many evils out there, I just need to not stress over things so much and turn it over to God in prayer. Thank you for the chance in the “giveaway”, it sounds like a great book.
I feel stressed out the majority of the time. After raising 5 kids my life took a turn that I did not expect – obtaining custody of my now 3 yr old grandson. My husband & I need some kind of vacation! The good news is I am seeking the Lord more than ever. Thank u for ur minstry and was great to meet u last month in Maryland. Blessings
Teresa C. says
The things I’m realizing as we parent 2 teen boys and a pre-teen daughter, are 1) that we are not alone (and I don’t mean only God) others are going through the same things and talking to other parents is a huge help and 2) we’re on a roller coaster ride, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. ; )
Even though it is busy with running kids around and stressful about keeping track of what they do and who they do it with, I don’t want to think about them leaving home yet. I want to do so much more before they go. I’m afraid I’m running out of time. But, God knows what we need, when we need it so I’m having faith! “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Very thankful for God’s promises. It is great to know that God’s Word can help us in every area of life…even parenting. Yes, I will admit it, I have on various occasions wanted to run away from home (just for a few days..:-) The constant reminders about the same old things seem to wear me down. It is encouraging to hear your story Tracie about your daughter thanking you for bringing her up in a way that pleases God. Sometimes, raising children with godly morals and character seems a never-ending battle and it is easy for me to wonder if it is worth the struggle. Thank you for your reminder of God’s promise to parents. God Bless!
Julie S. says
I don’t really feel any stressors right now. I’m sure their there. As a family we have experienced many new things in the last few months; I have retired from the military, became a stay at home mom, my husband has deployed, my two daughters started two separate schools, my oldest is now a middle schooler. Making sure that God is in our life is our number one priority. We couldn’t have harmony in our busy lives if God wasn’t there.
Peggy Clement says
I have three girls a 19 yr. old and two 12 yr olds, my oldest started collage last year and is preparing to be a missionary in India after she finishes collage in 3years. altough I am excited for her to enter the vission of becoming a missionary in India and was confirmed several times, it is still stressful to know that my baby will leave the country and make her life so for away from me. WE tried for 9 years to have a baby and after giving our lifes to Jesus in 1982 I was pregnant within 3 months and dedicated her back to God for his will for her life.
Not exactly “secretly” wishing! Lol! I have a rebellious 16 year old, a tween, and a little one – all girls. Yes, I am well-acquainted with stress! So thankful that God is faithful and thankful for devotions like these which renew my strength to keep going when I feel like giving up! Thank you, Lynn and Tracie!
This gives me hope as I parent and homeschool a 13 yr old girl who has decided God doesn’t exist and the world gets on her nerves, an 8 yr old boy , who has apparently reached the age of defiance, and am caretaker to a difficult mom. I’ll put this book on my list to read, as I am reaching into the well for strength regularly everyday!
This is just what I needed to hear this morning! With 2 teenagers and a 12 yr. old sometimes I just feel like running away, but love, (Jesus’ for me, mine for them) keeps me here.
God knows my heart and He so often leads me to read blogs that encourage me.
Thank you, Lynn and Tracie for sharing your hearts with me and so many others.