Monday, February 24, 2014

Raising These Girls

I've read recently that God gives us the parents that we need.  I know that we are not supposed to question His authority, but really?  Just what was He thinking?  I won't sit here and rehash all the eww that I had to grow up with.  All the pain, heartache, blah, blah, blah that it was.  I mean, we are as adults, a product of our upbringing regardless of how we changed.  Yes, this means we could have grown up in a very strict, Christian home and become complete crazed partying lunatics or we could have grown up in a home with parents that were never there and vowed to become the most attentive parents to our own children that we could.  Like I said, in one way or another we are all a product of our upbringing.

However, in order for God to give us the parents that we need, He has to give them the children that they need.  Yeah, it kind of works that way!  Here I sit reflecting on that very thing.  You see, for as long as I can remember I always wanted someone who would love me unconditionally.  I can remember telling my grandma this when I was about 19.  I don't remember what she said, but I can imagine it to be full of the insight that only she could provide.  Grandma's are kind of awesome that way.  Then when I was with my first husband I remember pleading to the Lord for the very same thing.  I don't remember what He said, but I am sure patience was something I needed to learn.

Then, on April 22, 2002 I was given the most beautiful gift.  A little girl.  A precious bundle of pink that hardly made a sound and smelled of hopes and dreams and a future yet to be had.  Finally, God had given me someone who would love me unconditionally.  Then, because either He thought I was extra special or He has the MOST amazing sense on humor, He followed up that bundle of pink with 2 more!  YES, people, 3 of them!  I have 3 girls.  This house has so much estrogen up in it there isn't a man alive that will want to be in a relationship with me!

And yet, I think more than anything, God knew exactly the children I needed.  I grew up in a home where I had a mom who was gone a lot.  I know she worked and did other things.  Yet, one of the things I always wanted the most was a relationship with her.  I see friends my age who call their mom daily, seek their advice, go shopping with them, lean on them for just about everything, etc etc.  In a way I'm jealous of that.  I was about 12 when my grandma told me, after I asked why my mom didn't love me, "she simply never learned how to love."  I don't know the truth to that.  I think people express it in ways that they want it to be shown to them.  I'm sure she did her best.

But it is ok because God gave me 3 beautiful people to become the right mom to.  I won't deny what I learned.  I learned to take care of myself.  I learned to take care of others.  I learned to be self-sufficient and self-dependent.  I learned that, in life, you only really have yourself to rely on, that no matter how much you want someone else to take care of you, no one will.  However, what I want to show them is that I will take care of them.  And then I want to teach them that love is - dancing in the kitchen, manicures at 9pm, popcorn for breakfast, crazy hair days, chocolate ice cream, giggle fests, and dressing up just for fun.  I want to teach them that TV is not necessary and books will paint prettier pictures.  I want to teach them that the out doors is their best friend, that sunshine and rain can bring a smile to your face like nothing else.  I want to teach them that falling down is ok as long as you gave it your best because I'm there to help them up.  I want to teach them that I'm human too and mistakes are ok and that we are going to learn this thing called life together.   I want to teach them how to pray and count on God.  I want to teach them that going to church isn't the same as being in church.  I want to teach them that Jesus is always there. I want to teach them how to be better than me.   

The most important thing that I want them to know is that even though their daddy didn't love me enough to stay, I still love them more than words will ever express.  I want them to know that they don't need a man in their life, but if they should get lucky enough to find a good one I pray he is the one God designed just for them.  I want to teach them how to take care of themselves and think for themselves and to love themselves - the perfectly imperfect yet absolutely beautifully and carefully designed works of a loving God that they are.  I want to teach them how to wake up each day and do what needs to be done and at the end of the day be ok if it wasn't a win. 

Finally, despite all that, I really just want to teach them how to love and be loving.  How to stand up for themselves and respect others.  I just want to teach them that they are unique and wanted and so very much loved by me.  Then, when I am done teaching, I hope we can still be friends.  I know I have the hard years in front of me, but I've got God on my side while I'm raising these girls.

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