I almost held my breath for the wonder of it.
When she was a toddler I cried and wondered if she'd hate me when she became a teenager...
She might if not for grace.
Her two-year-old temper sometimes terrified me. I was afraid it was a sign I was a bad mother. I was even more afraid that others would think it was a sign I was a bad mother. This dangerous cocktail actually did make me a horrible mother some days. I tried to control her. Control is a love killer. Especially is in a strong-willed, vibrant heart.
I loved her sparkling spirit as much as I was afraid of her temper! I loved exploring and learning with her. Seeing the world through her eyes brought a whole new dimension to mine.
Once in a while I would think this was a kid to whom I should offer choices...so I would offer the pink or green? Others I respected told me this was such a bad idea. I was failing to teach her authority. I was afraid they were right and I was wrong. Fear. Lurking everywhere.
I would go back to control. We'd both end up crying and angry. Very angry.
I was really afraid that she would hate me some day. Sure she did hate me on those days.
I knew parenting wasn't a popularity contest, but I knew this wasn't working either! So we flip-flopped back and forth. Fun and fear. Fear and fun.
Along the way I learned some things. What my heart told me wasn't all wrong. Control would breed hatred. Choices would bring out strength in a leader-heart. Choices have consequences which breed empowerment. Control was easier in the short term. Consequence is a patient teacher.
My guinea pig child. She has borne the brunt of my learning curve. Some days she still makes me feel crazy, but not often. Many days I suspect I make her feel even crazier--hopefully, not too often.
I try to figure out how to inspire her to clean her room. She tries to figure out how to disagree respectfully.
Yet we laugh together. We really love each other. We like each other too. I'm filled with wonder and worship.
This is a gift. A gift made possible by grace. Amazing grace.
For every time we've fumbled...or outright blown it horribly...there's forgiveness and grace.
There's a big Love at work in our hearts.
I cannot, must not, will not, let fear live in this beautiful place.
I treasure this sensitive and spirited girl.
For all the years yet to come, there's grace.
The Lord who made you and helps you says:
Do not be afraid...
For I will pour out water to quench your thirst...
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
and my blessing on your children.
They will thrive like watered grass,
like willows on a riverbank.