The Main Problem With Giving Our Kids the Easy Life

She carries her flute like it’s something special. She cherishes the instrument, not so much for what it is, but the potential it holds. She is a musician and I wonder at the grace and beauty of her flying fingers, at the music she makes.

Watching her start from scratch in a new school music department has been frustrating. She looked for a challenge and I looked for the easy way up the scale.

I had an urge. Do you know the one? It’s the one that emails on behalf of your child and asks for the easy way. It touts of talent and technique and does all the talking. It was the momma in me that has watched behind the scenes and has seen where hard work and consistent practice can take a girl with a silver flute.

But I was quiet. Because the main problem with an easy life is the trust and faithful pursuit that are lost in route. We didn’t say a word out loud (prayers don’t count, but really they do) and she just kept making her music.

We think we want easy in this life for our kids, like a lottery day, where it’s all luck and no hard work. Because easy is well, easy. But it’s in the struggle, the sweat, the story, we find Jesus. We learn to trust His plan, We learn the undeniable value of faithfulness and persistence. Victory tastes sweeter when it cost us something along the way.

August turned to September, September to October. She kept playing and I kept quiet.

And then, just like that on a plain old Thursday, it happened. People noticed and she played and played again for them.  Her class schedule was altered and she was placed in the highest band (out of 4) and put in the last seat. And then the next day, she skipped up 6 more chairs, second in the school district. Her face beamed. Her words tumbled out in excitement when she told me.

A few days ago, this girl played with 700 other junior high musicians and became the only 7th grade All-Region flautist from her school.

I wanted to cry. Not because of what happened, but because of how it happened.

It was a good lesson in hard work and giving up the easy life.

 


Comments

  1. lynn b says

    Thanks for sharing’! I need to file this later for when my kids start school to remind my self to hold back sometimes and see what becomes…

  2. says

    Yes!!! I have explained this idea to people as manipulating situations for our kids. And when we manipulate, our kids lose the lesson they were suppose to learn in the original situation…. the difficult teacher, the coach who yells, the hard work it takes to earn your spot. I will be sharing this! Thank you for your words.

  3. says

    I think it is soooo much harder to sit back and pray and wait for my daughter to deal with her peer relationship struggles than it ever was for myself…and I had some hard bouts of it myself. But I feel your intensity in waiting…and the sweet joy when God works it out. It has taken years for my daughter, but I have seen it make her much more sensitive and teach her how to stand up for herself and for what is right. And she is home-schooled…this is just peer relationships at church where the cliques can be pretty ugly as well. I’m glad for your daughter…and for you. :)

  4. Karen says

    That is so awesome and such a great lesson. I recently heard Jackie Kendall speak on parenting and something she said has STUCK with me and played out more than once….. “A mouth closed except in prayer is the vehicle for a miracle!”.

  5. says

    “But it’s in the struggle, the sweat, the story, we find Jesus. We learn to trust His plan, We learn the undeniable value of faithfulness and persistence. Victory tastes sweeter when it cost us something along the way.”

    Oh, Kristen, you have no idea how much I needed to hear those words this morning. One of my girls is struggling to find her way in college. She’s a freshman, and the transition has not been as smooth as she expected. It’s hard to watch, hard to see her tears, hard to feel her frustration and loneliness. But I’m trying to trust God that He is using this difficult transition to teach her the lessons she needs to learn. I know that in the end she will come out stronger, but it’s so hard to sit back and not DO something.

  6. says

    I love this one. The urge to control the fate of our children so that don’t have to struggle (maybe like we did) is strong– too strong sometimes. Over the years of reading, this ranks among my top posts!

    PS- Was just thinking how, years ago, when I started reading your blog We Are That Family meant one thing. Now it means something totally different. I am in awe how God has worked in and through your family.

  7. says

    Beautiful!! And great job, mama, for letting your child struggle a little bit. When we swoop in, they don’t learn that they can persevere, and no one learns that God really does come through.

  8. Becky says

    Great job letting her do it on her own!! I bet it was so difficult to restrain yourself.
    She must be so thrilled. Congratulations to your hard-working daughter!

  9. says

    Yes! Way to let her depend on God to be the Lord of her life. Thank you for sharing and the reminder we need to not always try to pave the way for our kids. I know I’ve been guilty of trying to “help” too much.

  10. says

    I loved this post. I feel like I am the only mom sometimes who is not making life easy for my kids. There is SO much to learn through hardships, and I love seeing their character build each time. But I feel in the minority as I see my kids’ friends float through life with ease because their parents do it all for them.
    I keep praying and keep planting those seeds knowing that it will pay off in the long run.
    Soooo happy for your sweet girl! You must be so proud!
    Congrats!

  11. christy zimms says

    I agree with this whole heartedly! It has been so hard for me to watch my 12 yo with her soccer team. Her coach is so hard on her, the girls alienate her when she disagreed with them over moral issues (because her answers were from the Bible), and several times she has left in tears. But every time I have almost stepped in the Lord told me to wait and He took care of the problem every single time. She recently won MVP at OSU’s soccer camp which also included high schoolers and the coach told her that he thought she was the best leader the team has had.

    The easy way is almost always the harder way in the end!

  12. says

    That is great! Way to go for your daughter and her hard work! Our oldest broke his leg when he was in kindergarten, and we have seen how that struggle has made him persevere and grow.

  13. Jan says

    I can soooo relate to this! My son has All-Region tryouts next weekend. He’s made it the last 3 years and this year auditions at the High School level…..a little more challenging to say the least, but no matter the outcome, I know God will have a lesson in it. Isn’t it fun to be “humbly” proud? (But at the same time “over the moon” proud :)

  14. says

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I wish more parents thought like this. Our kids are being raised in a world where their confidence is based on praise and not achievement, on demanding accolades and not earning them. My favorite line is “Victory tastes sweeter when it cost us something along the way.” Great post!

  15. Carolyn says

    Love this! I got chills! We as mothers should step back more often and let things happen in our children’s lives. It’s hard, but sometimes I think we do things that make God say, “Please, get out of the way!” He’s doing his thing, and all we need to do is be a witness to it! :)

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