We had come to a point where the maze owners had employees stationed to guide people to clues or the way out. I asked for help while I was stopped, and my son got very mad at me. We had tense words with each other in the middle of a row of corn, which was compounded by the fact that I had received a call saying one of the other teams had finished first. I later found out they took a cellphone pic and were gathering clues by looking at the map on their phone (Hey, that was cheating!).

The great thing about this adventure for my youngest son and I? We worked through it. In the middle of the cornfield. I told him how tired I was and the fact that I was getting a migraine. He was upset that I didn’t tell him earlier because he would have slowed down and not been so anxious to win.

This is progress for us. Serious progress. I told him I was proud that he was able to work together as a team with me and if he would give me a moment we could get those last two clues.

God revealed some amazing lessons through our shared experience, and I believe they can apply to raising children, especially teenagers.

Here’s what I learned during our corn maze adventure:

Being a part of a team means leading at times and following at others. It can be difficult to think of your teenager as capable of being a leader, but let him prove that he is ready to accept that responsibility.

Asking for help may be humbling but often will be part of the solution. Model for your children the act of asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re a loser but instead allows you to know your strengths and weaknesses better.

Finishing the race can be just as important as winning. My son and I crossed the finish line together with a better attitude and relationship.

Time spent together is a reward in itself. Our immediate family unit no longer lives under the same roof so whatever the activity, time is a precious commodity and not to be taken for granted.

Letting go of control and letting your family into your heart is worth the struggle and pain. For my adopted children, this has been a journey of 13 years with both struggle and triumph. I am grateful for every single step forward they have made because I know it has been hard fought.

God gives us opportunities to learn through every single situation if we let Him. I learned even more than my son that day in the corn maze and the lessons will forever be etched in my memory.

Parenting, like running the race, requires an investment of time and heart, but it will yield rich blessings in the end.

marty waldenMarty Walden is passionate about sharing her life, faith, dreams and adventures as a DIY, crafty, bargain hunting, homeschooling, memory keeping mom of both biological and adopted children. You can connect with Marty through her blog Marty’s Musings, email, facebook, twitter, pinterest or google +.

Publication date: October 2, 2013