31 Ways to Raise ‘Em Right: Teach Them What to do With the Broken

“Never be afraid of the broken thing.” Ann Voskamp

image-1-9Hurt. Words. Tears. Struggle. Anger. Disappearing. These are some of the deep words and places we muddle through when we are broken. It’s heavy and it hurts, and we can be left with a thing worse than a hollow when it’s something that’s been done to us. Sure we might be willing to take ownership of the consequences we bring on ourselves. But when it’s the hurt that’s put upon us, we get coiled up. We dig too deep and stay where the pain rolls into sludge and seeps into our already inflamed crevices.

All that’s left is a sham. A pretend. We look whole. But if anyone really looked closely it’s all our pieces, broken and raw held together with sludge. It looks so strong- like it will hold. But it’s brittle. One word. One more hurt piled up on there, and it all comes crashing down.

This is a teenager’s real. raw. everyday.

“Never be afraid of the broken thing.” Ann Voskamp

I bet you thought I was describing you. Describing me. And I might be but only because we didn’t have someone to reach in a help us hash through all the rotten. To prune away the gunk. But we can change all that for our babies. It’s systematic, really.

Make communication your normal. Talk to your babies. Talk to your toddlers. Talk to your preschoolers. Talk to your kids in elementary school and as they become tweens. And then stop asking. Stop being in their mix. Stop caring and showing up to their events, because after all, you’ve spent a good 15 years on all that. That’s long enough. Right?

Of course not, but I’ve caught myself behaving as if I really think this way. I say, “You’re fine if I can’t make it to your game? I have a work thing-I am really tired-I need to clean- I- I-I…”  I would never say any of this out loud, but unfortunately for me, my actions have always spoken louder than my words. My actions yell. They reverberate off the mountains and bounce like an endless echo breaking off pieces of my baby over and over. Bounce. Break. And bounce. And break.

So not only do I need to help my child process through the hurt that’s been done to them, I need to make sure I don’t gunk up the channels myself.

Then, and this is the important part. I have to teach them what to do with the broken. We all have it. The scars of broken. Ann Voskamp calls it the “unspoken broken,” in her new book The Broken Way: a daring path into the abundant life. Our kids deal with a range of coping mechanisms over real hurts. Perceived hurts. My daughter spent a few years believing her daddy didn’t care simply because they had a disagreement- a very small disagreement that he didn’t even know they had- none of us knew- and you know what happened? The devil took that tiny whisper, added heat, and blew it into a momentous chasm between them that could only be broken with some intense prayer and my husband’s decision to get his baby girl back.

“The life that yields the most-yields the most.” 

Sometimes it has to come to that. We look our kids in the eye and feel their unspoken broken. Maybe we see them cutting or maybe we can’t see the THEM at all anymore. In these moments, we need to call it all out and teach them how to handle those broken pieces. Where to bring them. Who is capable of holding that.

Because, “The life that yields the most-yields the most.”

Yield, friend. Yield it all and teach your babies to yield, so they can turn around and yield tremendously.

I have loved wending my way through Ann’s new book. It’s a page by page sort of book. You know the ones I mean? Where you read maybe a page or two at a time, and then you have to walk away for a few minutes because your eyes are misty and your heart is bumpy. One of those books that’s easier to tell you what you DIDN’T underline rather than share the parts you did.

If you and/or your kids are carrying an unspoken broken, you need this book. And I want to give it to you. I am giving away a hardback copy of The Broken Way to one lucky winner. To another? I am giving an advanced copy of a 6-session Bible study DVD with a study guide. This isn’t available to buy until next month! You can work through this alone, gather a group of moms, or lead a youth group. It works with anyone needing to “break through some brokenness.” Ann’s words call it out in a poetic truth that maybe, just maybe will get us a little closer to that peace that eludes us.

Thanks for being here to celebrate my birthday month! #shes40 I am posting everyday of October for the 31 day blogging challenge and giving you all the presents! Share a post on Facebook, and your name gets entered in to the mix for a prize- you won’t want to miss these! Share one post, you get entered into the drawing once. Share each of the 31 days, and you have 31 chances to win one of many goodies. Be sure to tag me in the post, so your entry does’t get lost in the algorithm vortex. Some affiliate links may be used.

See you tomorrow,


4 thoughts on “31 Ways to Raise ‘Em Right: Teach Them What to do With the Broken”

  1. This article was great to read, did it relate to me as an adult even though your talking about kids? yes! But it reminded me of a talk I had with my oldest saying how she’s glad I go to her events/sports and how she thinks it’s sad that other parents miss the things going on in their kids lives. I recently was thinking about taking an evening job that I would never be able to see her games anymore and what she said kept repeating in my head I didn’t want to miss her life or any of my other kids lives that they have something going on they want me to be there. This article touched what was going on here in our lives. It’s definetly more important to be there for the kids then find an excuse of cleaning etc which I have been guilty of at times, it sucks to admit and some people won’t but I believe this article rings true to life. Definitely what I needed to read!

    1. Sam,
      Thank you for your comment. I feel you for real. I love this conversation between you and your daughter. I don’t always get to be at my kids’ events, and it kills me a little. But God is a good God. He covers a lot and makes space for me to connect with my kiddos.

      1. I love how in tune you are with your kids, I feel like I get a glimpse of this in every article I read. God definetly does amazing things.

        1. That might be the best compliment I have ever had! Right up there with, “You are the most normal Christian I have ever met.” HA! Thank you. I want to know my kids, and I want my kids to know me. I feel like it should help them better decide who they want to be and who they don’t want to be! I’ll let you know when that data starts rolling in.

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