Preparing For The Seasons Of “I Hate Yous”

Confession: I am a Parenthood fan. I started watching the very first season because as a Gilmore Girls fan, I will never be able to get enough of Lauren Graham. Who wouldn’t just want to follow Lorelei around for the rest of their lives? Six seasons later, I have never gone a week without missing an episode of Parenthood, this epic show that give me a glimpse of what may be headed my way.

This final season has brought so many questions and tears.

Tonight however, something struck me. Something which I was not expecting. 

Ruby is the teenage daughter to Hank. Ruby and Hank are supporting characters and really making a good storyline in this last season of the show. Ruby is left home alone and she lies to her dad, Hank and throws a pretty epic high school party. When she is caught, she tells her dad, “I hate you”.

As I watched the show so many emotions flooded over me. I have been Ruby. I have lied and manipulated my father. I have invited friends over to party in the basement of my childhood home on Sycamore Creek Dr. I have been Ruby. When I was caught, the only words I knew to express I was feeling ashamed were the words, “I hate you”.


My childhood was far from perfect and I rebelled and said those words so many times. To my father. To my mother.

It stings my heart now to relive those moments when I looked my mother in the eyes and said, “I hate you”. It stings because she is not here now for us to be close and live in harmony like most teenage girls get to grow up and do with their mothers.

Like Ruby, I have said, “I hate you” to my parents. Like Ruby, I never meant it. I hated my situation. I hated being caught. I hated the humiliation. But, I never really hated my parents. My mom. And even my dad.

As I watched tonight I blinked and thought about my own childen saying the words “I hate you” to me. Their mother. You know, the one that has been there for every midnight fever, bad day at school, last minute assignment and literally used my body to give them essential nutrients for close to two years. (Pregnancy and the first year of breastfeeding- it’s amazing if you breastfeed for longer… I just count down the days until my children hit their first birthday or are ready to wean.) 

I think about my four children ages five and under and it is very difficult for me to think about the words “I hate you” coming out of their sweet little mouths. It’s difficult because we are in a season where they love me. They kiss me. They hug me. We are in a season where at bedtime we try to top each other with who loves the other more or who can blow the last kiss good night. 

We are in a season of “I love yous” but I’m too intelligent to believe this will prevent us from a season of “I hate yous”.

season of i hate yous

When that season comes, I hope I will be wise enough to remember my children are just trying to communicate, “I am hurting”.

In the season of “I hate yous” I hope I remember the season of “I love yous”. Like God is screaming in this moment right now, “REMEMBER, they love you”.

Remember they love you because of the moments when that baby smiles like you light up the room for her. 

Remember they love you because of the moments when your toddler wants to hold your hand. 

Remember they love you  because of the moments when they say they want to marry you and you are their best friend. 

Remember they love you because of the moments when they beat you to infinity or “more than anything that God made”. 

I hope to prepare for the season of “I hate yous” by remembering the season in which God has me right now. I am not above the season of “I hate yous” I will absolutely not be a cool teenage parent. I will be a parent and that alone will bring on the piercing wounds. 

I believe God is giving me now so I can prepare for the stings of “I hate yous”. So I can prepare for the breaks of my heart. 

Now, I am storing up all the “I love yous” for the moments when I could be standing in front of my teenager hearing the “I hate yous” just like Hank and Ruby.

Maybe it will sting a little less if I can prepare for them now.

Maybe God wants us to remember the nows and store them up to prepare for the moments of “I hate yous”.


How Saying No Is Leading Me To More Yes

If you have happened to cross my path in the last ten years you might have seen a whirling tornado of lists and calendars and book studies swoop by you. For the past decade I have immersed myself in busyness; being involved help me feel in control and together.

The more involved I was in activities on campus, at work or in the church the more I felt in control of my moment by moment. If I planned out every second there were no surprises and I kind of like it that way.

My involvement in just about everything not only gave me control of my moment by moment but it also gave me significance.

“Doing” has become a god for me and little by little I have found myself finding my ultimate significance in my successes and failures.

Just to give you a small picture of what this tornado of lists and calendars and books studies looks like- here are a few of the things I said yes to last year.

My God
My marriage
My three sons aged 3, 2 and 1
Women’s bible study
A mentoring opportunity with an older woman
Leading a discipleship group of 15 faithful and godly young women
One on one discipleship with a sweet friend
Teaching Sunday School to preschoolers
Classroom Coordinator at Preschool
Women’s Retreat Planning Leadership Team
Trained for a half marathon
Started a blog

Okay, seriously, right? I know it looks crazy but once you sit down and write all the things down that you commit yourself to in a year it can look overwhelming.

I know you probably do just as much as I do.

So what?

Well, I have a distorted view of myself and my gospel. I have made my involvement big and my God small. My pendulum swings too hard when I rise and fall.

I want to be steady when the waves come and still be steady even if the waves don’t come at all.

This year I am saying no to all of it- obviously with the exception of the first three: My God, my marriage and my sons.

This was so hard especially when there was a ministry fair at our church and I could see myself walking down to the rows of tables and writing my name on every sign up sheet.

Or when I am not really sure if there will be someone to step in and lead this group of fifteen faithful young women and I love them and want them to continue to grow in the knowledge of God.

It is tempting for me to get involved. To be in control. To have my hands holding up the world instead of letting go and trusting that it is God who holds up the world.

Saying No

So I am saying no.

So I am going to stop doing.

I am going to make myself small so God can be big.

It seems both insane and lazy to me but I really think believing the gospel for me this year requires me to let go of everything and trust in the One Who is before all things and in Whom (not in Rachel) all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16)

Saying no will be a step of faith- to trust that I don’t keep my world from spinning around and I am not in control of my moment by moment.

Saying no will help me see that I do not begin and end any ministry. It is only the Alpha and Omega Who is the beginning and the end.

This year I hope saying no will allow me to say yes.

Yes to my big God who is pleased with me when my name isn’t on any sign up sheets.

Yes to my husband who is most likely tired of receiving leftovers from me because I am giving my best to everyone else and yes to more date nights.

Yes to my sons. Less putting them to bed early so I can lead a bible study or dragging them to nursery care so I can be involved in women’s bible study. Yes to their spiritual health and family devotional times around our kitchen table. Yes to discipline that is consistent and loving instead of exhausted and impatient.

Yes to my daughter arriving in December and yes to enjoying my last round of late nights feeding her and caring for her.

Yes to being available to be a better friend.

This year I feel a call to be still. (Psalm 46:10)

I am making myself small and trying to break the cistern.

I can already hear a loud exhale as I stop trying to hold up my world. Stopping everything is leading me to see Christ more clearly and giving me freedom to say yes to the most important things God has given to me.

My sweet family


You can pray for me as I take on this “year of just saying no.” Sneaky and tempting opportunities to get involved will be coming my way like wolves in sheep’s clothing.

You can also make a list of all the things you say yes to in a calendar year. Where is God calling you to make yourself small so you can see that He is big?

Please share this on Facebook and Twitter with your friends. Maybe someone else out there needs to hear that God is pleased with them even when their name is not on a sign up sheet.

He holds up the world- not us.