How to Include Your Children in Life-Changing Decisions

by | Sep 29, 2014 | Encouragement, Guest Post, Trust


Standing on the driveway with my teenage daughter, we watch silently as her childhood bed and miniature table and chairs, packed in the back of a truck, pull away and drive down the street, around the corner, and onto the highway. Words aren’t necessary. We’ve resigned ourselves to the new reality.

All our possessions and keepsakes are now negotiable. We’re moving to England, not just the next state.

Rearranging the empty place in her room where the bed was once used as a couch for friends to congregate, her Dad interrupts, “What are we going to do with all these pillows?” Mounds of decorative pillows in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors cover the carpet, displaced.

“Which ones would you like to use in your dorm room and which ones would you like to visit?” I ask my daughter with slight hesitation. This season presents the biggest change in her 18 years of life. I’m attempting to balance reality with sensitivity.

Not only will she face new challenges as a college student without her parents nearby, but home will be across the Atlantic.

While this is our first international relocation as a ministry family, it’s not the first time we’ve walked the tightrope of our life-changing decisions with our children. This is our ninth move and the third for our children. The decision to leave every place we live requires the same amount of conviction that brought us there in the first place.

When my husband and I say yes to radical life change, we believe God has something important in the circumstances for them also. And we’ve learned to listen to our children differently through seasons of transition.

Follow me over to Gifted for Leadership, where I’m honored to share the ways we’ve included our children in life-changing decisions, specifically about our move to London. And be prepared to be wrong about your assumptions.


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  1. Jillie

    THIS was an excellent article, Shelly. I’ve never had this kind of ‘adventure’ in my life, having lived in this same house for some 36 years. The ways you site for including your children in this huge readjustment are so good, and definitely steered and guided by the Spirit. Really listening to what they’re saying seems to be key. God planted the ‘seed’ in them before they even knew what you were considering. That’s amazing! As always, I wish you all the very best in this wonderful adventure God has for you. I stand amazed. It’s all so exciting.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks for your blessing Jillie, I’m honored that you took the time to pop over and read. Appreciate your encouragement.

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