God in Transitions, Parenting Adult Children
“Mom, you don’t understand. I need my space, I need time, I need to be me, not you.”
As I hear these words and instantly form a reply, my husband touches my arm. That simple gesture causes me to pause. A pause turns into five seconds then thirty. Finally, I say, “Tell me more so I can try to understand.” She continues on with her thoughts while I silently pray, “Thank you God for the pause.”
As a mom of three adults, I am learning how to hold my tongue in a new way with each one. They aren’t children anymore, which they remind me of almost daily. Yet when they hurt or are frustrated or confused, my mother’s heart wants to help them and teach them.
Ever since I gave birth to my first daughter, my life verses have been Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 but especially 1-2.
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NLT
These verses helped me through three miscarriages, multiple temper tantrums, (both mine and my kids) as well as deployments, PCSs, and life in general. Yet as a mom who has two out of the nest and one stretching his wings, I feel like these verses aren’t enough. I asked God for more verses about parenting young adults.
Instead, He encouraged me to learn about roasting coffee beans. Why coffee beans? Well, first I love coffee. Second, I love to learn. Third, I joined the Planting Roots Community Team and they encouraged me to lead the April Coffee and Connect. Fourth, God sent me Proverbs 3:5-7 through a godly friend.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Proverbs 3:5-7 NLT
In my family, coffee is almost a love language. We show our love for our daughters by sending coffee drinks to them via the Starbucks app, just to say we are thinking of them. My husband and Dena, my middle daughter, love to learn about coffee, latte art, and basically anything related to coffee. I didn’t want to be left out of their conversations, so, I started to learn about how to roast coffee beans. As I learned about the process, God used the different steps that transition raw beans to the steamy beverage we crave to teach me some of His Truth.
WHAT HAPPENS TO COFFEE BEANS DURING ROASTING?
Green, unroasted, coffee beans have a significant amount of water retention. It would be impossible to grind and brew them. Nor would you want to, they have a distinctive grassy flavor.
1. Transitions can cause us to retain things—This sounds a lot like me. I retain things in my body—in my mind—in my emotions.
As a mom of adults, I often treat them like they are still children. They are all in their twenties but sometimes treat them as if they are still in high school or younger. God wants me to see them with new eyes. I need to let go of “they always do such and such” and be pushed to see them as God sees them. Moms have to change; we have to stop retaining so much. We have to let go of our adult children and give them to God
What are you holding on to that God wants you to release?
Roasting kickstarts various chemical reactions, resulting in the development of more appetizing flavors and aromas. When green coffee beans enter a hot environment, the moisture content starts to decline. This is the first stage of roasting, and it’s known as the drying stage. Shortly into this phase, the beans begin to turn yellow. Many people refer to this as the yellowing stage.
2. God transitions us—He wants to remove the “excess moisture” from us.
God desires to change me from the inside out, to see my children as the adults they have become.
I need to hold my tongue and wait for them to ask for help. Parenting kids in your home is a constant growing experience with each person changing. Parents monitor that change very closely. When they leave your home, they may change and you may not see it. You may miss all the little steps that lead up to the vastly different adult that now visits your home. I know I don’t think of my kids as twenty-somethings. They are still my babies.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 NLT
This verse reminds me to listen, wait and take deep calming breaths. He wants to transform me into a Christian more like Jesus. And He wants to do the same for them As my children leave me, I hold on tighter to God.
What transitions or trials are you facing?
At the time when the beans start to darken, which is known as the browning stage, is when the most important chemical reactions happen. These create many of the flavor and aroma compounds, including those responsible for sweetness and fruity acidity.
3. Stress from trials changes us from the inside out.
Just as heat transforms and purifies metals, it also changes coffee beans. The chemical reaction changes them from a damp, green bean into darker, dryer beans. They change in size, shape, and color. People can easily see the difference between these beans ready for grinding and recently harvested green beans.
God wants us to go deeper and deeper in our faith. As we dive into the Scriptures and pray, we will be changed and people will notice.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT
These verses remind me to be joyful because I raised three great kids. They are alive, I did not kill them like most of my house plants. God taught them more than I did and He loves them even more than I do, which I still find hard to fathom. It reminds me to never stop praying for my children, their spouses, their futures, their careers, their children, their faith, their everything. When they push me away, I pray more. I ask God to change me, to make me a better believer and mom.
How has God changed you or your adult children during/after a transition?
The browning stage ends with the first crack, which is when the pressure inside the coffee beans causes them to crack open. You’ll recognize it by a series of popping noises.
4. Transitions continue throughout our life and our kids’ lives.
Just when I think one of them is doing well, often one of the other ones will hit a rough time. Being an adult can cause them to crack, like a coffee bean. Their view of life will change, grow, and be redefined as they experience new things out in the world apart from my watchful eye. Coffee beans pop, just like popcorn kernels, because of heat. Life can cause adults to crack or yell or withdraw.
I constantly pray that God is teaching my kids to be strong and courageous in a variety of ways. When trials come into their lives, I pray that they reach out and ask for help.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Do not fear” is used hundreds of times in the Bible in different forms. We are to be strong and courageous because God is with us. He doesn’t leave me when I fail as a mom when I get frustrated when I worry. He is always with me. I need to trust Him to be with my adult children. They need to learn to rest in His arms for themselves.
What do you fear? What do your children fear?
Eventually, all the water inside the beans evaporates and they reach the second crack stage. The coffee steadily becomes darker and releases more carbon-like aromatics. The majority of the sugars break down, and as the roast progresses, the beverage will taste increasingly bittersweet with reduced acidity. Light to medium roasts normally finish somewhere between the first and second crack. Dark roasts typically finish after the second crack.
5. Cracking/popping/kneading means we are growing closer to God.
He decides when to stop working on us. We should not want to stay the same. I don’t want my kids to go through trials but I have seen the evidence of growth brought about by the trials in my own life. I want to protect them from the heat, but then they won’t be the rich, grounded believers I have prayed for them to become.
With each trial they face, I pray for God to draw them closer to Himself. I have been praying Colossian 1:9-12 over each of them during different times of trials.
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12 NLT
As I transition from a mom with a noisy, messy, chaotic home full of kids with lukewarm coffee to a mom whose coffee is warm and whose nest finally stays clean and tidy for more than 12 seconds, I can see God’s hand in every stage of transforming my children. I may no longer be as hands-on as I once was in responding to their every bump, bruise, and booboo, but I find the more I fold my hands in prayer, the more we all find healing for the hurts bandaids can’t fix.
Do not let me stop praying for [insert name] during this time of trial. God, please give [insert name] complete knowledge of Your will and spiritual wisdom and understanding. I pray for [insert name] to live a life that honors and pleases You. I pray [insert name] will produce every kind of good fruit. I pray they will grow to learn to know You, Lord, better and better.
I pray [insert name] will be strengthened with God’s glorious power so they will have all the endurance and patience they need. May they be filled with joy, always thanking God. I pray that you enable them to share in the inheritance that belongs to God’s people who live in the light.
 How to Roast coffee beans