Parenting Moment by Moment

People long for realness, yet realness can be the most difficult place to embrace and share. Realness requires that we be honest with ourselves and look deep within. It requires stopping the noise, the busy, even the fun, and reflecting. When we resist doing this, one small disappointment can set us into a tailspin. This year, the reality of one disappointment or pain causing an unexpected reaction can be seen everywhere...even in the lives of our kids and teens...and personally.

Last week I finished publishing the last book of the Choose Life to the Fullest series (details at the end). This 360 day series consists of waking up everyday and writing thankfuls and great things in our life while inviting Jesus in. This practice jump starts our brain. I love to live in this, thinking thankful, yet throughout the book there are also questions asked that encourage us to embrace the real (disappointment and failures) which leads to healing. Our dreams and ministry are catapulted when we go to the place that our heart is resisting. In sharing my real, I hope you feel free to embrace yours. Current reality for some of us is harder than others, which can lead us to minimize, at times I am guilty of minimizing. Regardless of current circumstances, letting people see behind the mask is life-giving to us and those around us. 


My Real

Three weeks ago the garage door broke, not a big deal, a week later the dishwasher broke, and the same week the washing machine broke...they are all still broken...inconvenient but not a big deal. During all of the household items breaking, my oldest son graduated which was an amazing celebration with friends and family. So many emotions filled my heart, and deep gratitude as I look back at his heartache and insecurity that God transformed into character and leadership. Yet this also brought with it a realization that I have been pushing away, for our home will soon be forever changed when he flies to college. Our dinner table of seven will become six. My routine of giving him a hug goodnight will change to a goodnight text…

Unexpectedly, in the midst of graduation week, I experienced rejection and was blindsided by this from so many angles. 

Tenderly with compassion as change is in the air, God whispers, “Do you trust My heart?” 

I hear Him, yet I keep going: graduation celebration, end of the year parties, fun with friends, lots of sports for my five kids.. and a college visit. At this college visit is where realness caught up with me. My daughter, Addi, who is a junior, is seriously interested in a college two and a half hours from home. This place would be a perfect fit for her and the basketball coaches seem amazing. As I took her to a prospect camp this past weekend, and I walked in the gym door...I immediately got teary and wondered, “Why am I about to cry?” After I checked her in, I thought, “I have to get out of here.” Immediately, the realization hit that another one of my treasures would be flying soon and our table of seven, moving to six, in a year would become even smaller to five. 

So I left the gym and called my mom and cried…


The Choice

The choice of numbness had felt easier than facing life. Sitting in realness on this beautiful campus I faced what I had been ignoring...Realness:  the mess in our house, the graduation realities, the rejection, disappointments, change, embracing the truth that I raised kids to fly and wow I am going to miss them…

Going to the place of reality mixed with future unknowns was both miserable and healing and life-giving. For realness is messy, healing, refreshing, and motivating. Realness began to awaken a part of me that was exhausted. Realness drives me to the heart of God. 

For He whispers, “find yourself nestled here in My heart. For I know the plan and the plan is good.” (see Jeremiah 29:11) 


Flying vs. Falling

Recently, my professor, one of my life-time mentors, explained to me that change can be viewed as a trapeze artist who beautifully swings totally letting go of the trapeze to fly before grasping the next trapeze. 

Flying is not falling even though for a moment it might feel like it. 

At times we feel like we are flying...personally before I could fly, I had to totally grasp realness and all that was going on in my heart and mind, otherwise I could slip and fall and not be able to embrace what God is moving me toward. Even after all of the counseling training and many years of counseling students, grasping and embracing the truth and realness is not always where I go. It feels easier to just go through the motions, yet God in His goodness leads us to a place where we can be real, vulnerable, because this is the place where we become relatable. For secretly, we all long for realness.  

Our dreams and ministry are catapulted when we go to the place that our heart is resisting. 

Like me, you may find yourself in a midst of change resisting stopping to face hard realities. However, facing realness enabled and led me to focus on the great things that I enjoy (Ex: the close relationship that I have with my teen kids (ages 15, 17, 19), dates with my husband, laughing and playing with my younger ones (ages 9 and 12), summer fun with family and friends, God’s goodness..).  Embracing realness results in refreshed energy and joy!!! 


Self Reflection

What disappointments have I experienced in the last year? Have I asked my kids about their disappointments? 
What is my real? Is God leading me to fly and embrace change?
Can I give my disappointments and realness to God? 
God, this is my real, my messy, my heartache, my disappointments, my hidden thoughts, my longings and dreams, my moments, I give You all of this. I accept all the love and tenderness that You have for me. May Your healing love cover my heart, soul, and mind creating a zest to embrace newness everyday. Please catapult my ministry. In Jesus name 

Author Note: 
Listening to teens share their thoughts, hurts, and heart desires for twenty years revealed so much about what kids want from their parents. The teens that I counseled shaped my thoughts on parenting. Without knowing it, they were teaching me how to parent my five children. Hope and pray your relationships with your children are blessed by this article from “Parenting in the Moments.” Becca Gunyon, MCC, Adolescent counselor for 20 years, wife and mom of 5, Parent Coach, author of The Treasure and Choose Life to the Fullest (Books 1-4) for students @chooselifetothefullest @parentingmomentbymoment (new instagram)

Choose Life to the Fullest -100 days to create a habit of thinking and living great 
by Micah Owings and Becca Gunyon, MCC available on Amazon -This new book is written with students in mind and for dreamers, athletes, go-getters, and anyone who wants to create a habit of waking up thinking great and growing in their faith; co-authored with my brother Micah Owings, who played Pro Baseball.

Photo by @mandykhoophotography (Owin’s senior pictures)