Ann Voskamp - WAYMAKER: When Parenting is out of our Control.

How do we walk through parenting when things seem so out of our control? How do we walk through parenting when there seems to be no clear way through that? If you want to know the answers to these valuable questions, look no further as we dive deep into these topics and more with our upcoming guest. Ann Voskamp is back and we talked with her to get her perspective on this, how it ties in through her writings, and so much more. If you haven’t heard her from the last time she was here, you may be wondering who she is and how she would know answers to these questions. Keep reading as we get to know her on a deeper level, and you may be enlightened and refreshed on the relatability, vulnerability, and honesty she conveys.

 Ann Voskamp is a mother of seven kids that range from ages 7 to 26, a best-selling author, a speaker, and has a new book called WayMaker: Finding the Way to the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of. Ann has her own journey when it has come to parenting. A lot of us, just like Ann, have had our own expectations on parenting and the life we thought we’d have for our family and our kids. She shares with us about the hopes, dreams, and expectations we have as parents and not only the silver lining of it all, but also how to shift to a posture of humility.

How do we walk through parenting when things seem so out of our control?

Ann shares to shift the focus to what you can do after you’ve done something wrong. Having seven children between her and her husband has definitely put her in a position where she had expectations for her kids, their life, their family’s story, and what that would look like. To the point to where the relationships were diminishing. When she came to the reality of her situation as a parent, that her expectations were costing the relationships she helped cultivate and that her relationships with her family were more important than the expectations she set, she knew their needed to be a change. More so a shift to less expectations and more centered around God and a place of being proactive in our thinking and doing through Christ.

“How can we shift that and realize with our children, it’s not going to be that we aren’t going to get things wrong, it’s what are we going to do with it afterwards?” asks Ann Voskamp.

How do we walk through parenting when there seems to be no clear way through that?

“Can I live when there’s places that it looks like there is no way?” asks Ann. Then she pinpoints that it’s important to shift and realize that the expectations can be overpowering the relationships. Ann says, “So how can I shift, in a no way situation and say, “Lord, what would it look like for me to say okay, it’s not like the story has gone wrong. What can I do differently with it now?”” She explains that it might look like, shifting to a posture of humility. Ann wants us to ask a couple questions that would help us to make this shift. Who can I apologize to? What does repentance look like? And that includes our children. She gives the example to go to our children and say, “I got that wrong. I did that wrong and I need Jesus like you need Jesus. I want to meet you at the foot of the cross, because the Gospel is the only way forward for me too.”

Ann further says, “Each of us will see Red Sea situations.” She explains that we will all have our own Red Sea situations where we don’t see a way to cross it. She relates it in the way of parenting, viewing it as not being able to see a way for the relationships, for our child/children, hopes, dreams, and expectations that we’ve had. Not being able to see the pathway that leads us to where we need or strive to be at. Ann Voskamp says, “The only way across our Red Sea is to live, form, and shape like a cross.” Ann Voskamp explains that, “When your in a no way place, in a place of pain. I am going to have a way of life, some spiritual discipline, some spiritual practices that keep turning me towards Jesus. Who is the way, he will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Robert asks Ann, “How do you do that? How do you do that specifically? How do you turn?” She mentions her book WayMaker and a few questions that go along with that that she asks as if to take a step back, look at what you have, and reflect. Here are the three questions: What is your way of life? What is your rule of life? What are your spiritual disciplines that keep you in the way of self? WayMaker is meant to be this way of life that comes from chapters in Exodus that mention Israelites who were in bondage with bonding with God. Ann really wraps up answering Roberts’ questions with really good points. She says, “In the beginning of everyday, you have to decide, who do you say God really is?” She continues by saying, “If all of life really turns on the turn, you need to be oriented first and foremost in who God says that he is.”

Ann breaks down what her book WayMaker is all about in one word, sacred. She begins to share how this word relates to everything being said throughout the book by having each letter in the word, sacred, stand for another word for topic. This is how it is broken down in word form:

Stillness
Attentiveness
Cruciformity
Revelation
Examine
Doxology

Ann gives us a background of not only what word goes with every letter in sacred, but also what each on stands for and the underlying meaning behind it. Stillness is about being still every morning. Attentiveness is about showing attentiveness to these three main questions (two of these questions kind of go hand to hand with one another). Who do I say that you are Lord? Where am I coming from? Where am I going to? What do I want? Cruciformity is about writing these questions down and reflecting over them. How am I going to live cruciform today? What does sacrifice look for me today?

Revelation is about having a fresh revelation of God and saying Lord, I need a revelation of you. Also, by asking the questions: What has God revealed to me? From the scripture today, what scripture or verse have you spoken to me that is a fresh revelation? Examine is something that she wants to be done by the end of each day where you make time and space in your life to reflect and examine your own heart. A key questions Ann asks every time is, “what am I afraid of?” She puts emphasis on this question to ask yourself everyday as chances are that fear is driving in some place in your life. Doxology is about writing down 25 things that you are grateful for and living in a posture of gratitude. These are opportunities to thank God and live a life of doxology and praise. All this together spells out the word sacred which means to Ann as the way forward is always a sacred way. She ends by saying, “I have a way of life, a practice of life that always leads me closer with Jesus who is the way, the truth, the life.”

Find Ann’s books and more at annvoskamp.com.
Follow her on Instagram @annvoskamp.

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