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Posts Tagged ‘Daughter’

English is my first language … okay it is my only language. Except that I am female … so there is an ‘other’ language … it is non-verbal, and sometimes believed to be a transcendent language. It is the language of how we feel.

(This is where my hubby will skip down to the bottom of the page to see if there is anything really worth reading in my post today 😉 He loves that fact that we females think with our feelings. That poor man, he has to live with three, highly hormonal, estrogen-filled, instinctual, gut-feeling, eye-leaking, heart leaning ladies! Imagine if we were to all be PMS’ing at the same time? But what is worse … and far more common, is that when one of us finishes PMS’ing, another starts … three weeks running. That poor man has only one week a month to live peacefully in his own home. But, I digress …)

I know that I am ‘normal’ as a female, in how I think with my head as well as my feelings. I am also using enough brain cells when I am thinking with my head, to know that how I ‘feel’ is not always an accurate representation of reality. There are so many times that I have met a new person, and ‘felt’ a certain way about that person (negatively), only to be (happily) proved wrong later on.

All that said, is it not the most delicious experience in the world when you come across that person who speaks your language? When they ‘know’ you, get you, understand your heart? To me, it is like a piece of heaven on Earth when that happens. And, it happened just last night!

I fell into bed late one night, knowing that sleep had already started to fall on me. But, because I was, at that time, a slave to work-related emails, I picked up my phone to see if there are any responses to emails I had sent. And, like good, ol’ fashioned ‘snail mail’ I saw in my ‘in’ box, not a work-related response, not an account summary (aka BILL), not an ad from a store, but a note from one of my daughters! It was the equivalent of receiving a letter from a loved one in the mailbox (which, of course, it is).

The following, was what I opened …

"Is there any way I can help you in the next few days?
Your helping me so much & are already so busy so I was just wondering.:)"

The words I read made my heart skip a beat! And it wasn’t just that her email reminded me of how bad grammar can be passed down from generation to generation! It was how her email spoke to me of how she understood where I am was, at that very moment … she got me … she was not just speaking my language, but she was ‘hearing’ my language too.

My response to her was that she already did help me, just by asking if she could … she blessed my heart, and my soul and my mind … because I knew when I read that short but sweet note, that she saw, that she heard, that she ‘felt’ where I was at, and was willing to offer assistance.

Woohoo! I rested peacefully that night! I went to bed with the confidence that someone else under my roof understood where my moccasins were at, and she was willing to walk in them for and with me. And, it was good!


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This past weekend, with hubby out of town and my son at camp, I got to spend more time with my daughters.

I just love my daughters!

They give me flashbacks to my own growing up from adolescent changes, to emotional outbursts, to struggles with appearance, to the joys of learning and doing new things.

For whatever reason I never expected that we would have daughters, so to have started our family with two daughters was a delightful surprise for this mom.

Although I loved them from the moment I first knew they were growing and developing in my womb, my most delightful years with them, so far, have been their teen years. I love being able to walk with them through the minefield of maturation, and I have learned so much from them in this phase of life.

Those teen years are also fear-filled ones for parents of girls … ask any father!

As they mature and grow they also become increasingly vulnerable to heartaches, abuses and violence.

Protector becomes our most instinctual role in these years.

In the past week, my

mother heart

has been breaking …

Almost three hundred,

3oo,

300

teen girls were snatched under the dark of night, and taken away from their school … the place that was to help give them a future.

I am no political expert, not a scholar, not knowledgeable about the clash of cultures in Nigeria, but

I am a mom

of a teenage daughter

and I cannot fathom what the moms of these daughters are going through, are thinking …

But, I know this

I would be asking

how can this happen?

what is she going through?

how can she, they, be gone almost two weeks …

and no one knows where she is?

and no one seems to be looking for her?

I’d be crying out to the world, saying what if she was your daughter?

“It would be sad if we lost our instinct and our courage to love and protect.”
Emeli Sande

 

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20140403-200052.jpgNo, she is NOT getting married! But, it is her birthday, this weekend.

Seventeen years ago I could not wait to be freed from the weight I carried. It slowed me down, interrupted my sleep, and sometimes made me nauseous.

Now, as she is about to turn seventeen, scheduled to do her road test in order to drive independently, I am looking ahead again …

with not a bit of eagerness for the time to fly.

As our second child gets giddy thinking about her birthday, I think of the fact that just over a year from now she will be completing high school.

I was ‘cleaning’ my phone recently and found the photo on the left. I had been sorting through clothes, and she decided to do a fashion show … starting with my wedding dress. My first thoughts, as she ‘bride walked’ down the halls, and into the rooms of the house, was …

man, I can’t believe I thought I needed to lose weight when I got married

this fits too well.

I remembered her trying my wedding dress on when she was six or seven, and absolutely every part of it was excessively too big. She had to hoist more in her arms to walk, than what was covering her body. Now, this dress fit her height as though it were cut for her. The sleeves touched her hand where they had touched mine. Sure there was still excessive fabric here and there, but, overall, her size is no longer premature for such attire.

Now, don’t think I am rushing her youth away! As one who married at twenty, I know the struggles that accompany marrying young. I am simply seeing her now,

as she is.

She is as much a young woman as a teenage girl.

She is able to have control of a motor vehicle (with mom in the passenger seat).

She has the weekly responsibility of a job.

She is able to (gulp) date.

She is contemplating post secondary education, and a career.

She is no longer my baby girl …

Ya right!

SHE will ALWAYS be MY baby girl!

No matter how well adult life fits her!

Happy Birthday Red! Enjoy your childhood song (though I know you soooo prefer it when I sing it to you 😉

 

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Ecclesiastes3_1-2

The beautiful poetry of the contrasts in Ecclesiastes 3 is almost like a lullaby, gentle and predictable. Beautiful, though it may be, this portion of scripture is also a reminder of the ‘ying and yang’ of life, of blessings and curses, of beginnings and endings.

The first comparison, “a time to be born, and a time to die …” is the most basic beginning and ending, and it is here that I want to spend some time.

After months of begging, those who were born to me have finally started to hand me their ‘guest post thoughts’ for me to share.

Today, my middle daughter,

the people-loving,
driver-learning,
last-minute planning,
gentle-hearted feeling,
I’ll-try-anything-once,
favorite red-head daughter is sharing her thoughts … on being born, and dying. I think she has brilliantly reflected on this reminder of the cycle and circle of life … of course, I am her mom 😉 .

Reflections on Ecclesiastes 3:2a

“A time to be born and a time to die.

For us as humans, we all have a time when we are birthed into the life God gave us, and then another time where we all will die. This is the same for each and every person on earth, every living thing God created.

Ever.

So, we aren’t the only ones who have to go through this circle of life. We aren’t the only ones who are gonna go through life, saying hello and goodbye to others. We will all feel the brute of death, and we will all feel the joy of life- and those are what make our lives so meaningful and important.

To think that God made each and every person you come across, that he’s made people you will never meet ever in your lifetime, that he’s planned out who is going to come into your life- it is that fact that should truly shock you, and leave you awestruck.

God has created so much for his children. So much for such little praise. He always provided, even in the smallest of ways. And we still never notice how unending his love is for us!

God’s love is truly unfathomable, and most of the time, we don’t give him a second look.

God made the sun, moon and stars. He created this place, earth, that we call home. He created US.

He birthed the sun into it’s seemingly infinite existence, and yet it will cease to be when he comes to bring his children to heaven. Isn’t is ironic how he also gave his one and only son life, just so the son could die in order to give us a continuance of life in heaven? All stories have a beginning, and all stories, no matter how many sequels, prequels, and series there are.

Your story is the only exception. His grace has given you an infinite epilogue.”

“Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.”
Ecclesiastes 3:15

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Sweet 16

Today our youngest daughter turns sixteen … wow!

She was a child we never thought we would have, having suffered four miscarriages after her sister. When I was pregnant with her, we understood what it is to pray without ceasing, praying that God would allow us to hold her, to wonder at her form.

And He did.

When she was born with a blue lifeless body, we both thought we had a new road of grief to walk.

What we did not know was how very independent this child was, or would be. When she finally took her first breath, she cried, and didn’t stop for two years! I remember thinking, in those really stressful, late night sessions of crying, “God I love her, but could you please give me a chance to like her.”

And He did.

When most children become more of a challenge as the terrible 2’s roll around, our fiery redhead became a joy. Just in time too, as we were surprised to be expecting again (be careful what you pray for)!

Although that independent streak is still very, very present, she has become a young lady who I truly do like.

Each of our children are unique, and with each I have a unique relationship.

Cris at Nokomis

With Cris, the relationship is all about laughing and giggling. We share a love of silly sitcoms, McDonalds fries (you have to know that started in utero), walking and beauty in nature. We also share a struggle to keep focused, a desire for order, and the phrase, “I changed my mind.”

Cris adds humor unwittingly to most dinner conversations, and we wonder if perhaps redheads are the true blonds. Although that is changing, and wit is becoming a strength for her.

She spent our recent Spring Break whipping our butts each night over Dutch Blitz … something her brother may never get over.

She and her sister share ‘snugs-n-nugs’…  giving the two of them something to share in together.

She is the child who seems to me to have the most equal amount of characteristics of both her dad, and myself. It is always a scary thing to look at the beautiful child who you created, and see the same weaknesses staring back at you. Of course she also possess strengths too … often they are within those same weaknesses. I am thankful that she got so many strengths from your dad!

Cris, I still hope you dance.

I hope your carefree spirit will never die, or worse, that it will be smothered out by reason and maturity.

I hope that you always see good within people who are suffering from their own poor choices, those people need someone like you in their lives to show that the mercy and grace of God.

I hope that you always show interest in people much older than you … I know that you love to love them, that you love to learn from them, that you ache for the loneliness that can be part of their days … they need you to be the warm smile, the genuine hug of affection for the God who wants to bring them comfort.

I hope that you continue to have many friends, of different genders, ages, cultures and faiths … continue to love the daughters of Eve and the sons of Adam …

 

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It’s that time of year again … School picture time!

These are the photos that, no matter how nice the clothes, no matter how clean the hair, no matter how rested you feel the photos will always look worse than the year before. But maybe I am just speaking of my own experience!

When my two school-aged kids brought theirs home, I looked at them not as the one who had them taken, but as their mom.

When I looked at the photo of my son, I saw the baby we had prayed would make it through pregnancy, the one who used to want a snuggle after school, the one who says ‘I love you’ every day. I saw a young man who loves football, his dad, his friends, his music and God. I saw it all in the blink of an eye and thought, this is good, oh, how he has grown to be like his dad!

Then I looked at the photo of my youngest daughter, and I saw the baby who did not stop crying until she was two years old, I saw the toddler who wanted a play date plan before her eyes were opened every morning, I saw the girl who knew how to make people smile, and who never sees differences when she meets someone new. I saw a beautiful young woman who loves people of all ages, animals, thinking about the future and her Heavenly Father. I saw it all and thought, this is good, I can see me in those eyes.

It took me back to when her grade two pictures came home, and then and there I saw within this child who everyone said looked just like her dad (including me), a reflection of me. For all those first seven years of her life I figured I had merely been the vessel that got her here, but that day I saw something of myself in her image. Actually it was almost a mirror image of my own school photo at the same age.

I remember so well looking at her photo that day and searching for my own to compare my memory with the reality of looking at her photo and mine. Once I found it, the similarities were astounding to me. This child, this child who I thought my only contribution to her being was in housing her growing unborn body, looked so strikingly like me. I stared in amazement and although I had always looked upon her image as beautiful, now I looked upon her image with awe, and with a new joy. She reflected me! She was undeniably mine!

My daughter has always been, since conception, an image of me, but there was something about seeing it with my own eyes that gave me delight.

I wonder if that is what God feels (delight) when He looks at us, His children. We have always been, since the beginning of time, an image of our Creator, but He sees Himself in us when we reflect who He is, His love, His mercy, His grace, His compassion. And when He sees, not only the physical reflection of His image, but the reflection of His being, His heart, He, like me with my daughter, delights in His Creation. And maybe He whispers, “you are good” as He did after each act of Creation.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27

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Today I write to, and about our oldest daughter, who is embarking on an adventure away from us. It is not the first, nor will it be the last … but there are no tears.

I have often been teased (goodhearted) about not shedding a tear at her high school graduation. Really, although proud of the hard work she did, graduating was not an academic struggle for her. Oh, she worked her tail off, but graduating was never in doubt for her.

As she prepares, and boards the plane tomorrow for the East Coast (a reversal of her parents from their Easterly homes, to our present Western one), not a tear will be shed. Oh, she has worked hard all summer, some weeks working twelve hour days, but she is going on to a new adventure, one that will include extended family who she has never had the benefit of daily contact.

Over the years, though, there have been tears …

“Let my stories be whispered”

From when you were just a young child, I have been learning to lay you back into the hands of your Creator (A Most Desired Child). This lesson will continue to my dying day, and with many tears.

“I took the path less traveled on”

I remember a few years back, when you decided to go on a mission trip with your church youth group to Tijuana, Mexico. I was so excited for you to have that adventure, to help orphaned children and for you to see how God might use the gifts and talents He has given you.

But …

I was scared you would be murdered or raped or traumatized or kidnapped. So, I drove you to that train station in Seattle. I tried to absorb every last moment with you, fearing it might be our last. I hugged you, told you I loved you. Then I had to watch you walk … away … staying strong. Until I walked from the station, with tears streaming down my face … asking God to go with you.

And then when you told me, just a year ago, of your desire to go to India, to work with the children of Calcutta. I listened to your dreams, asked the right questions. But, when I was alone, the tears streamed down my face, as I asked God to give me the strength to let you live your life. And, one day, I will stand at the airport, holding you and telling you I love you, uttering best wishes, and watch you walk away to board your flight that will take you to the mission of Mother Teressa and the Sisters of Charity, and tears will stream down my face, as I ask God to go with you.

“this life is as fragile as a dream”

That night in April, of 2008, was a night that God tested me. As I stood at the back of a church, knowing only that you were in there, somewhere, after the floor of the church had collapsed (Starfield Concert). After the frantic search, the long drive home, the holding you in bed … I collapsed on my knees and thanked God for giving you to me for another day … and the tears were streaming down my face.

“Cause in this life you must find something to live for”

When you were only three, I remember your voice, as we both knelt at your bed, and you prayed to give your heart to Jesus. I remember feeling such privilege to be there to kneel on that holy ground with you … and the tears were streaming down my face.

And, He goes with you now. You ‘know’ all that that means … and He is something to live for. I need to shed no tears, because this is a new beginning, and He goes with you.

Go with God … or, as they might say in the East, adieu ma fille chérie.

“I’ve always heard, every ending is also a beginning, we just don’t know it at the time … I’d like to believe that’s true.”

This is what we raise our children for …

I think, my firstborn daughter, that you can read between the lines here … think of it as my melody for you these next months. (and there was the shedding of tears in the writing of this post … but they were, selfishly, for my loss in the ending of this phase).

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