So- I don’t often write about my experiences with a gorgeous, vivacious, possibly dramatic 9 year old girl that I call my precious daughter.
But today, I’ve been wondering…
Last night I drove home from church pretty late (as I was sorting clothes for our community clothing exchange- honestly, so fun!) and my mind turned to praying for my daughter.
9 has not been the easiest of times for her. She alternates from insane giddiness (with giggle fits late at night as she reads in her bed) to seriously feisty, “none-of-my-brothers-listen-to-me-and-do-exactly-as-I-say” outbursts.
Last night she collapsed after school in her bed, bawling because her brother and his friend wanted to play with her and her friend on the school bus– but the girls wanted “alone girl time” and the boys “just wouldn’t leave us alone.” (Can we say Classic?)
(The funny thing was, just the week before, she had collapsed and cried because “my brother wouldn’t play with me, he only wants to play with his friends…why is he so cruel?”)
(Can we say Tension?)
Living with that angst isn’t new to me. I’m a first born girl, born of a first born girl… so I get it. (Maybe I struggled with bossiness?)
I see her total desire to be right, to be responsible, to be grown-up and live her dreams running parallel with her need to be a child, to be cuddled, to be forgiven and carefree.
She hasn’t learned yet how to live with the tension in her heart of all the things she could be, wants to be, and will be living beside her limitations, immaturity and steep learning curve.
(Not to mention the “puberty” word that is just around the corner…)
It made me think of myself as a grown woman- and of tensions I feel as a mom.
We have moments where we know that we were divinely given our children, because they are perfect for us. We feel inspired, loving, and like total goddesses of our homes. We teach them, nurture them and guide them with wisdom and feel like we can handle what we’ve been given.
But then there are moments (or seasons) when we struggle intensely- didn’t we know what to do before? Where did all our skills go? How was it that 5 seconds ago we were ROCKIN’ parenthood, and now we are blowing it? We must be completely under-qualified- who thought we would be good at this mothering thing anyway? Obviously we aren’t ready and will never be ready- O God! Please rescue us from ourselves!
Don’t we often hold this tension so tightly to our hearts and become discouraged?
Our limitations will collide with our expectations and it can cause a little 9 year old meltdown in our hearts. (Maybe this only happens to other first-born moms…I bet you last-born moms are so much more chill than I am…:)
What are we supposed to do? How do we navigate these seasons, the growth curves? We can say all the right things, and remind ourselves to be patient, but let’s be honest- we live in a world of tensions- “be free to be yourself, express who you are, pursue your dreams, but don’t put your kid in the backyard with out being an arm length away because some major disaster could occur…” These collisions seem to hit hard each day- making living life way trickier than it should be.
When Olivia doesn’t know what to do, she talks to her mom. (Or waits for me to come and talk with her- or I wait for her to talk with me because I know she needs me…)
Ephesians 4 in the NLV sounds a lot like the way I talk as a mother with Olivia…and makes me think that this is the way our Heavenly Father is speaking with us…
He holds us tightly and lightly because He is growing us up in the responsibility He has desire to release us to, but He knows that growing up is hard to do, so He lavished His love on us as we trip along.
He speaks the truth to us in scripture, and He comforts us when we have trouble digesting the truth. He know our lives are riddled with collisions of ideals vs. realities and He gives us the gift of faith to see us through.
He has been where we are, He is where we are going. Jesus grew up too. He knows how hard it is for us to journey to maturity as moms. He doesn’t take that journey from us and give us an easier one, rather- He comes with us. He helps us. And He cheers us on. (Just like we do with our little ones.)
Ephesians 4:23 Let your minds and hearts be made new. You must become a new person and be God-like. Then you will be made right with God and have a true holy life.
So my sweet daughter- I will grow up with you. I will not let you feel like you are alone in this maturing process, for as you grow and struggle, so do I.
Together we will find that we are being made new people– just as you will no longer be my sweet baby, but my lovely woman daughter, I will no longer be a baby in Christ- I will be a grown up woman who can navigate the tensions of life and seek help from the One who always has what I need.