About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her newest releases My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

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  1. Dawn,
    These lines in your post give me great comfort: “God has a plan for our children, and it’s between Him and them. We will not derail or destroy it. It doesn’t hinge on our successes or failures.” I have done my very best to raise my children with God’s precepts and in His Truth. When they choose different paths, it can be heartbreaking. I cling to the truth that God is sovereign and nothing can thwart His plans. He knows what He is doing and they were His children before they were ever mine. Even when we do our best, our children have free will and a choice. I keep praying God will soften the edges that they would become more like His Son.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • My heart connects with you each time you post about your children. Know that you are not alone. Many prayers for your strength and for your precious children.

    • Bev, if it comforts you, I’ve had children who’ve seemed determined to destroy their lives and futures and then I’ve seen them turn it around again. It can happen.

    • This is my story as well, forever entrusting my adult kids who choose apart from God, back to Him and His will for them. It can be heartbreaking and frustrating and hard to hold onto hope.

  2. This is a graduation year for me–son #3 will finish up his college years, leaving me with one son here at home, and it’s all going by waaaaaay too fast. When my oldest son graduated from high school, it dawned on me that I had only had my brood here with me all together for ten short years. When I was in the throes of homeschooling all four of them or mothering them through serial bouts of stomach flu, I thought for sure that we were in year 99 of parenting (and that we might not make it to year 100!).
    Like you, I can just barely believe how blessed we are by these lovely adults who (suddenly?) show up in our lives, but then, we know that this is just one more way in which the glory of God is being put on display, and we got to watch it happen right from the beginning.

    • Michele, my husband and I have had those “I can’t do this for ___ more years!” conversations too. My mom once told me she’d heard or read somewhere (Focus on the Family?) to just get them through the teen years alive and you’ll like them again on the other side. And now I’ve got three grandbabies! It’s awesome.

  3. Dawn, this post is more timely than you could know (and I don’t have any leaving the nest yet!). Thank you for the reminder that I can’t ruin God’s plan and that there will always be gaps in my kids’ education. I just need to focus on the most important priorities with my kids and keep entrusting them to God. Bless you, Dawn! And thank you!

  4. Dawn, God bless you raising eight children..WOW! We only had three & it seemed a full time job.. I cried when each graduated from high school. I cried buckets when our oldest graduated college & he & his wife went to Africa as missionaries for 15 years. But God took care of them in ways I never could. One especially time I want to share as encouragement to you & others. David went out into the thick woods on his “moto” & it ran out of gas..he turned it over & said “God I know how you multiplied the loaves & fish so I am asking you to get enough gas to get to the carburetor. It started so he went down the road & said he knew he was on fumes when he saw a man with coke bottles on a table. He stopped & the bottles held gas. David bought it & got home safely..Yes, I cried when I saw how Jesus took care of him when Mom was not there. God is good.. He & his wife are now back in America where he is Youth Pastor at their church. Yes, they have done amazing things & we also have another son & daughter who actively serve God. Huge blessings. However, my hubby used to be very active in the Baptist Church & 3 years ago accepted a false cult as truth.. That has completely stunned all our family, so we do need prayer for that situation.

    • “God took care of him in ways I never could.” Oh this gave me goosebumps and comforted my heart. I’ve realized recently that a specific situation that has caused me to feel anxious is because I worry that I can’t control it but I’ve never been in control anyway. Thank you for sharing. I just said a prayer for your husband, Frances.

  5. You have spoken to my heart. As a homeschooling Mom, I ache with each graduation. Thank you for the biblical reminder to trust God completely with our children.

  6. My firstborn just celebrated his 13th birthday. I am not too sure that I celebrated with him. It was very hard to face the realization that my children are growing up. This fall, he will begin high school. Even though we homeschool and I get to spend four more years with him, I am dreading the last day of high school.

    • Tarsica, I read a story once about a parent who always told their child how wonderful he was and that they didn’t want him to grow up and how it actually made the child feel bad, like he didn’t have “permission” to mature and the parent didn’t look forward to his future. I had been telling my three youngest that exact same thing—how much I enjoyed them at their age and that I wanted to just keep them there. It seemed like a compliment to me until I realized it might not feel the same to them. It’s hard, but we should look for the joys at each stage (and they’re definitely harder to find at some than others). My youngest is 13. It’s just hard.

      • A friend of mine has a dear friend whose daughter died. I was sharing with my friend that it’s hard sometimes for them to grow up. She pointed out that her friend visits their daughter’s grave every year on her birthday and that she realized saying that you “wish time would stand still” is not a good wish. Time did stand still for her friend’s daughter. It was a lesson for me to be thankful for all the changes I get to experience with my kids.

  7. Thank you for this reminder, Dawn. My first-born is graduating this year(!) and I feel a bit like I don’t even realize what’s happening or about to happen. But I feel the same way you described – wishing I’d done some things differently and anxious about if I’ve done enough. And I, too, know better. I know God’s plans for her (and her younger brothers) are too big for me to take credit for or to mess up. So thanks for the reminder.
    Inhale, exhale… pray, trust, repeat.

  8. “To teach everything actually means to teach nothing in depth.” I need these exact words today. My 7.5/1st grade son has a wonderful teacher this year…who also expects him to develop socially and emotionally at a level that isn’t necessarily congruent with time. Her expectations have created anxiety for our son and us. Life after school is much harder than reasonably should be. I have felt so much pressure to somehow help him grow faster than what is reasonable while telling myself over and over “it’s a mararthon, not a sprint.” Last week she was away. My son’s sub didn’t have the same expectations and it was a much better week than we have seen in a long while. Today she returns and my heart is anxious. In a few months, she’ll be a piece of his past but I will most definitely cling to your words each day. Thank you.

    • Heather, Praying your son has a better remainder of the school year. If it is any consolation, sometimes teachers do not agree with teaching methods of liberal teachers.. My daughter is a Christian teacher & she knows first hand that many teachers really should NOT be teachers. Perhaps praying with your son for his teacher might ease his worries. God bless you both!

      • Thank you for your kind words. I am so thankful my son and his teacher have a good relationship. She has been teaching over 30 years. She’s a wonderful teacher but not all boys (in particular – there are others in his same situation) can be expected to learn social and emotional skills the same way. She uses the same methods everyday with little response. Behavior is graded daily. That’s where it becomes stressful for everyone. We’re working with the school now but it’s a slow process. I have to constantly remind myself to keep doing what I can and relinquish the pressure I feel to somehow grow him too fast. Last year we had a younger teacher who like your daughter was more liberal in her teaching styles. I’m so grateful for what they offer students these days.

  9. Dawn,

    Parenting today is no easy chore. Satan has so many ploys to use-social media, TV, internet, etc. There is no one right way to parent a child. Each one is different. Do the best you can to raise Godly children & pray for them daily. Leave the rest up to God. He has good plans for them. Plans to prosper them & not for harm. We are mere humans down here living in the messy middle between two gardens of Eden. We will make mistakes & we will have successes. Don’t fret over them. Do the best you can, pray & leave it up to God. Whilst I have never been a mother of littles-I have parented my aging parents. The same rules apply. Do my best pray hard & watch God work in their lives.

    Blessings 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness. I need to read this every day. We have five amazing kids ranging from 11-2. I know just even approaching the teenage years is a season of letting go and more freedoms and responsibilities. I have been thinking of this exact same thing for the last few weeks but this was spot on. My 11 daughter was practically begging me to stay at the church with a friend because she wanted to have that freedom of being by herself and being a decorating assistant for our baby shower we were putting on. I hesitated but found great joy in giving her that freedom. Ahhhh..to know the Lord is the one bringing about fruit as we strive to raise servants for Him.

    • Lindsi, I feel for you, honey. It sounds like you made a good decision and I’m sure your daughter appreciates it! You will find that different kids require different measures. One size does not fit all. The hard thing is trusting it’s in the Lord’s hands and not your own, but there’s such blessing in it!

  11. Our oldest daughter did the 11-month World Race in 2010 – truly the most transformative year of her life. And that was before they were allowed to have cell phones with them all the time 🙂 Praying that your daughter grows in ways you could never have imagined!

    • Kathy, I think my heart just stopped. This has been hard enough WITH a cell phone. It took a week before she ever popped up on Find My Friends and although I had spoken to her and knew she arrived safely, I needed the comfort of that little dot. Today is her transition day from the first month of the trip, which she has *loved* at an orphanage in Nicaragua, to the second location in Costa Rica. Prayers are appreciated!

      • Sounds like your daughter has a great route – it’s fun to read their blogs and I’m glad you can talk to her occasionally. We got emails whenever our daughter had access to internet, but it wasn’t all that often. Only one phone call, though, to let her know that her grandma had passed away. However, I was in Kosovo that fall and was able to meet up with her team for a few days during their month in Macedonia. It seemed like a slow year at the time but looking back now, the time went fast. God was so evident throughout that whole experience!

  12. I am not a mother. I am a divorced woman who has lived at home for the last five of the seven years since life changed so drastically. I am very thankful for their help as I walked some very hard years of transition. I’m getting ready to move out this weekend on my own (again). As a 37-year-old, I fell like I need to express what a beautiful gift it is when parents give their freedom to fly. I am making a lot of changes. Leaving my church that my father pastors on purpose. I need a network of like-minded women and haven’t had that since moving from Ohio to Tennessee. I am often jealous of my peers whose parents freely let them experience life. I’m thankful for my upbringing. So much. And I know that divorce has made them want to shield me from additional hurts, so I understand that their best intentions are good. But it has felt strangling. I’m very ready for this next stage now that I’ve lived on my own since being divorced and am better prepared this time around. Thank you for investing so much into your unique gift of mothering. It’s a true gift!

  13. This is encouraging. I too long dreaded my oldest’s high school graduation, fearing I’d be a tearful puddle. I wasn’t at all. It was a positive and joyful ceremony, and my son’s excitement was contagious. Fast forward to now: a recent college grad, applying to the Peace Corp. A 2+ yr commitment! So many unknowns, so many questions. How will we communicate? What if he gets sick? Also, my youngest child graduates high school in May, then heads off to college in Aug.