When we, as parents and teenagers together, roll up our sleeves and delve into a project around our homestead, everyone tends to be pleasantly surprised at the outcomes.
Our muddy boots directed shovel blades to cut thin strips of sod. My dirt-under-my-nails hands grasped the wooden handle as the rain drizzled from the ominous gray sky. The year’s first autumn chill had blown in with the rain shower, and she and I were racing against the calendar. We were intent on turning over a plot of land to have it prepared for next spring’s garden. She, so she could transplant baby plants into the May soil, plants that she would grow from seeds and nurture inside through the cold days of winter. Me, so I could tackle a project with my teen. She was thinking about salads and salsa of next summer. I was thinking about how parents and teenagers simply don’t spend enough time together. I was thinking about her and the seasons of our relationship that still lie ahead. I prayed it would remain strong and grow.
That was last fall, and today I stand amazed at what we have cultivated.
Physically, with a bounty that has blessed our kitchen and our pantry, but also relationally, with a common bond that we will treasure long after the last canned vegetable of summer becomes part of winter’s meal.
Anytime she asks for my help with a new project I say “yes.” Even if the whining voice in my head cries that I have more important things too do, even if I hate the sound of whatever she is planning, even if I am ill-equipped for the task she’s undertaking, I say “yes.”
Maybe I’m quick to acquiesce because this daughter who had me peeling up a garden, strip by strip, last autumn is not the first daughter I have assisted with a scheme. She has two older sisters who have coaxed me into my share of out-of-my-comfort-zone projects. Our projects had us–parents and teenagers–working elbow-to-elbow and included everything from sewing machines to creepy insects; from power tools to even robots. And along the way, I’ve discovered many reasons why I want to tackle every project I can with my teens.
Alicia, at Your Vibrant Family, asked me to share my thoughts on her blog today. This is a topic that’s been near and dear to my heart for many years, and when Alicia asked me to write about it, I narrowed it down to 5 Reasons Parents and Teenagers Should Tackle a Project Together. Please take a peek at the 5 reasons and let me know what you think!
And the next time the parents and teenagers in your house throw around ideas about a project they may want to tackle, don’t hesitate. Whether it’s a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) or a simple, almost crazy idea, wholeheartedly invest some time, point out their talents and passions as you work, enjoy the conversations that will surely ensue, and revel in what you both learn and all that you cultivate.
Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. I Corinthians 15:58