It is only with the luxury of time that I have learned to guide gently, but pray violently . To speak with kindness, and to pray fervently. I am not always successful at being gentle with my teenagers, but I try. They are coming out of their cocoons, and they are delicate. Their delicate new wings require a light touch from my hand. My eyes haven’t always been open to this . My passion, my zeal, my love for them is bigger than the sky, and at times that has pushed me into a not so gentle mindset. But the Lord is always gentle with me, and it does not reflect the magnitude of his extravagant love. So today, I will speak softly, guide gently…and violently pray for my teenagers , waging war against melodrama, and insecurities, body image, cold shoulders, and all the other things that come with breaking free of that cocoon of childhood.