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Gotta Have the Right Tools

Maribeth Harper, author of ...And So We Pray is the guest blogger this week.

My 82-year old father is visiting. Seeing how he's slowed down a bit reminds me of his younger years when there was nothing my dad couldn't do with a hammer and a saw. I used to sheepishly hand him a "honey-do" list upon his arrival and he would set about accomplishing it while my mom and I chatted over wine and watched the kids play in the back yard. Willing as he was, however, he got grouchy in a hurry if I didn't have the proper tools. He really groused the day I asked him him to hang crown moulding in the dining room and handed him a miter box and a hack saw with which to do it. "You just gotta have the right tools to do a good job," he would say, shaking his head with dejection at the state of our makeshift tool box.

I have found that my dad's axiom is as true for home improvement projects as it is for raising young adults. You gotta have the right tools to parent young adults. After all, you can't sit them in a corner or ground them from screen time at their age. You can "talk things over" with them if you can catch them as they pop in and out of the house all summer long for work, socializing, or visiting friends. Are they nocturnal, or am I just imagining things?! What a disruption to the rest of the family they can be during the summer.

Fortunately, Our Lord, the ultimate parent, has prepared the perfect toolbox for parenting young adults: a gargantuan dose of faith, enough wisdom to stay a little bit ahead of them, and patience to wait calmly for signs of their maturity. Those are just the power tools! He truly wants to give us everything we need to do the job well. Where do we get these tools?

We ask for them in prayer. Summer can be a wonderful, relaxing change of pace for all of us. But, as praying college moms (and dads) we put prayer before beach time, prayer before poolside chatter with friends, prayer before exercise...Prayer comes first, every day. Why? Because we can do nothing without Christ (John 15:5) and he wants to equip us for the challenge of raising college-aged young adults.

May the God of peace…Jesus our Lord, equip you with all that is good, that you may do His will. May He carry out in you what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20–21)

Lord, I know that You love me and that You want to talk with me every day. My conception of You is dim and partial (1 Corinthians 13:12). I want to love You more, so help me to know You better through my prayer time! Bless me with the grace to stick to it. Help me to trust that my effort to pray blesses me and my entire family more abundantly than I can imagine. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


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