Raising Kids Who Follow A Risk Worthy God

Life is F U L L right now. Like crazy-possibly-never-fuller FULL. Sometimes it’s good and fun (I love me some chaos) and sometimes it’s overwhelming and debilitating.

Last weekend, in an effort to unplug and unwind and all those other “un” things you’re supposed to do on Saturdays, I took my little people for a hike. It was the first day above 80 degrees and I could feel it all the way down to my marrow – the need to be among trees. To soak in the sunshine and marvel at the fresh leaves. To breath in the sweet aroma of blossoms and awe at the bright blue sky. How was all of this made in six short days?


hike7 hike9



hike8Hiking is like salve on my soul and therapy for my kids. (Proprioceptive input anyone?) Some of them run ahead, others linger behind. They climb and skip and stop and investigate.

“Good for you! Kids don’t get outside enough.” she smiled as she passed us on the trail. A couple horses trotted by and my littles tip-toed all the way up to pet their noses. We turned to head back, the littlest legs grow weary quickly, and the biggest kids veered off the trail.

My instinct was to holler out, “Get back on the trail!” You know, the one that’s gravel, well-traveled and marked out for you, free of debris and fallen trees. Get back on it.

But before I can get the words out my soul sucks them straight back in.

I watch the tiny humans entrusted to me as they run, dodging in and out of view between the trees and it washes over me like vitamin D pouring down from the sky –

I don’t want to raise kids who stay on the trail.

My oldest climbs up and over a tree that has lived its last spring, and I know, I can see from the trail, he can’t get back here from there. Not easily. Another tree has fallen and is blocking any straight route back to me. He’ll fall behind if he goes that way. We’ll have to wait for him.




He makes his way back, more confident now because of his detour. He increases speed and keeps going, another adventure awaits.

I follow behind him with tired legs wrapped around my waist and a small hand hanging onto my finger and I fully believe it now –

I don’t want to raise kids who stay on the trail.

I don’t want to raise kids who stay on the trail, who play it safe, who avoid climbing over or under or around things that make them stronger, I want to raise kids who follow a dangerous God wherever He says to go.

I don’t want to raise kids who follow culture, I want to raise kids who walk with Jesus into every hard and difficult place, places other want to ignore or avoid, because He is with them in this very-upside-down-Kingdom. 

I don’t want to raise kids who are so afraid of a scraped knee or bruised body they never see what God is doing in the margins and on the fringes, among the poor and the lowly, where the last will be first and the first will be last. 

I want to raise kids who take risks because they follow a risk worthy God.


1 Comment

  1. Jenny April 24, 2015

    “I don’t want to raise kids that stay on the trail.” Yes. Yes. Yes. Love this so much.


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