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Celebrations Reflections

My Youngest Turns Eighteen Today and I’m Proud of the Man He Is

My youngest turns eighteen today and I’m proud of the man he is. I’m not proud in a way that says, “I did a great job raising that boy!”. But I am proud of what he has allowed God to make of him. I admire his character, his integrity, his motivation, and his love for God and people.

I have been proud of each of my 5 children, for different things, on their eighteenth birthdays. They are unique and incredible individuals. God has molded them all into amazing people, right before my eyes, and allowed my husband and I to be part of it. He mercifully compensated for our failures, which I know were many.

Do my adult children make decisions that I don’t agree with?
Yes!
Will they staunchly stand by some of those decisions?
Yes!
Does it change how much I love them?
No!
Is my love for them based on performance or approval?
No!

I look forward to this next season as I step completely out of parenting and plunge into the role of full-time encourager. I feel ready for this, and I am so, so thankful!

It’s wildly surreal; my youngest turns eighteen today! I’m extremely proud of the man he is. I know he will continue to grow into his own. At times, he will choose differently than I would. And that is a beautiful thing.

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6

Does anybody have advice for me? Have you launched your children, as adults, into the world? Have you been a child who has recently come of age and has some wisdom from that perspective from which I might benefit? I’d appreciate anything you have to share!


If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these:
* Wait, One More Thing!
* How I finally found the answer to the question: Is Benevolence Love?
* Appreciation, Esteem, Preference and How to do Love Un-complicated

20 replies on “My Youngest Turns Eighteen Today and I’m Proud of the Man He Is”

Congratulations! I have two babies who are over eighteen. One I’m extremely proud of and one who has completely lost her way, not that I love her any less! Regardless, I pray for all my kiddos each and every day and know that God will find them where they are.

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Congratulations! What a beautiful testimony. 💗 You are a step ahead of me in the parenting journey, we still have one at home, so I don’t have any advice there. However, I wanted to thank you for sharing this part of the journey with us. It’s encouraging to hear when the time came you are ready and looking forward to the next stage. May God bless you and your husband as you walk in a new way. 💗

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Thank you so much, Hope! It’s a strange feeling. There is a sentimental part of me that wants to get a bit choked up and try to hold on, but it is overwhelmed by the part of me that is grateful and excited and looking forward to all that God has in store. I think stewarding our children as “on loan from the Lord” helps to frame the whole journey with an expectation that He will always have ownership and our kids will never be truly “on their own”. That helps so much when it comes time for them to launch. Have a blessed day and may you truly make the most of the time you have remaining. 💙

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My retired former pastor and his wife celebrated the marriage of their last daughter a few years ago. Upon watching the newlyweds take out of their home the last vestiges of her life as their daughter, Ron and Joan looked at each other as their eyes misted up, and as soon as the door was closed, they yelled in unison, “PAAAARTY!” 😂
True story according to Ron!

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I completely get that! As the reality is sinking in, I’ve been feeling like my husband and I need to do something celebratory to mark the occasion! Our oldest is 26, so it’s been a long time since we have been without the responsibilities of raising kids! Thanks for sharing. 😄

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Congrats!! My youngest is 20 now and I know exactly what you are saying in this post! No longer the only caregiver, to no longer the primary caregiver, to no longer being in control over outward behaviors, to no longer being a coach, to no longer being an advisor, to no longer being a provider, to now being only an occasional consultant. Fly wisely, little birds!!

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