Friday, March 9, 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

Tangy apple frozen yoghurt tingled my tongue.  She added disgusting gummy worms to hers and told me who was doing and saying what at school.  I got the low down on what's really going on in town.  We moseyed on to the mall and looked at clothes--laughed at the ugly ones, bought some cute ones.  I said one thing, she thought I said another...unspeakable thing...and we laughed.  For a long time, we laughed and laughed.

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 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.

Isaiah 44:2-4


  1. Love this post. Thanks for sharing and encouraging. Choices over control... yes, choices over control. Gotta love those guinea pig children... and all that grace.

    1. Kids, grace, and the promise that He'll pour out His Spirit on our kids. That comforts me hugely!

  2. Ah, thanks Michelle. It's a little scary to be in this place of figuring things out and hoping that at the end my guinea pig will still love me and know she is loved too...and keep her strong character...sometimes when i'm giving her a choice between two things that are acceptable to me she turns it on me and gives me two choices that are acceptable to her "No mom, YOU choose!" This wasn't in the book! :)

    1. Oh, Amy! That makes me laugh. H was around three when she crossed her arms, stomped her foot and said, "I no choose!" We laughed so hard. That might have been the day we realized how important this would be!