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The Petco Experiment


Tim Elmore blogged an article in recent weeks that has had me undone about my need for safety. He says we let our kids risk too little, we rescue them too quickly, and we rave too easily.


Ummmmm, well,…yes….I do Tim. Now….there is no condemnation for this chick because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where my help comes from….but…it was definitely something for me to ponder.


So…I did an experiment. This is hilarious. I hope you’re ready for my insanity.  I have a seven year old who owns as his personal pet a tarantula named Freddy. Many of you might remember it was the big reward for listening at school.  Well, Freddy needs 4 small crickets every two weeks. We proudly take our 44 cents into Petco and purchase them as a little family and its always fun to watch Freddy pounce those little buddies. You’d be hungry too if you hadn’t eaten in two weeks.



So after reading the article I thought that maybe I should let Davis go into the store and purchase the crickets on his own while I stayed in the car …right at the front door in the van because no doubt about it my kids gets very few chances for risk.  I could practically see him the whole time. He’s seven…this seemed reasonable. Now when we were little that would have been a no brainer for our parents. I rode my bike to the neighborhood pool BY MYSELF in kindergarten (there was a pay phone and a two lifeguards on duty) BUT STILL!!!! I had three quarters, no sunscreen and a towel around my neck…2 quarters for a coke and one to call home. ARE YOU KIDDING? BUT…that was real life 30 years ago.


This is how it went down….the tension builds as I prepare him to launch. He walks in and is so excited. I am confident OPERATION CRICKET PURCHASE will go smoothly. But the cricket transfer was just out of sight…after a couple of minutes that cute little face should have been walking back toward the counter…NO Davis. Still NO Davis…..I prepare ZERO DARK THIRTY rescue mission in my head as I seriously feel my anxiety rising that some clerk has him tied up in the fish tank room. SERIOUSLY….this is where my brain went!!!!UGH!!!! WHY? I hate the devil!!!

Four minutes in and my hand is on the door of the van ready to invade PETCO to rescue and here he bops…money in hand and bag of crickets…looking like he won the lottery.


So…why do I share this?  This is why…..I think that Satan has our number when it comes to fearing things for our children that paralyzes us and them. And…..the second point is that fear is a relationship killer. It kills dreams and it causes us to put God in a packaged present with a bow that looks like we wrapped it southern style for a friend’s wedding. I’m done….I don’t want my fear to kill my children’s dreams. And in the words of Beth Moore, I do not want to protect my children from GOD’s glory.


So in an effort to push through that and trust God…we are buying some more crickets!

You in?

What has helped you retrain your brain to trust God and not yourself with your children?

Here’s the article I mentioned.


Courtney here – if you haven’t had a chance to get to know Rachel and her story. Please take a moment to watch this incredible story. One of the strongest women I know.

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  1. Awesome story! And good for you for overcoming fear. My husband and I were having a similar discussion recently with another couple on this same topic, and the other dad said it best: Fear is NOT a fruit of the spirit. A few years ago, when I had the same epiphany you did, I started letting my son (now 8) experience a little more freedom. At first, I often felt how you described. However, through prayer and practice, those fears gradually subsided. Every now and then, a fear will start to overwhelm me, and I have to catch myself and remember who it is I trust in to protect my children. When you think about it, I would much rather have HIM watching over my children than ME trying feebly with my teeny little human abilities to keep them under MY control. And, ultimately, when we give into fear, we are not trusting in Him. Which begs the question: who are we trusting in? Ourselves. Well…that never turns out well! 😉

  2. this is such a great story rachel. i too wrestle with this. i get frozen with fear and i just need to move and take some steps. thanks for being a part of lil light o’ mine. what an honor. i have LOVED watching your journey and sooooo excited about your next phase. 🙂 need to add “engaged to the amazing rod brown” on your bio! woohoo!!!

  3. trusting God with our kids….this has been a huge struggle in my story, but He is so faithful to remind us over and over that he holds us all in the palm of his giant hand!

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