Proverbs 29:17 Well-behaved children bring delight to the heart of their parents.
Growing up in a family as the only girl until I was 16 made me unique. I had three male cousins and one brother. The dynamic created was one of younger vs older, not so much gender related among us cousins. Within my immediate family, I developed a kind of hatred of the term "son". No one calls their daughter "daughter", so why "son". Son became something of a golden term, one of hone and something I could never obtain. My Mother was the only one that used that term, my Aunt couldn't (she had three sons), my grandparents didn't. I didn't have a nickname that inspired such glory.
I wanted a daughter when my husband and I started talking about starting a family. I didn't want to fall into the trap of having a "son", I wanted to be a different Mother. I wanted to make sure my daughter knew love and knew she was loved. 1 Samuel 1:27 "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition the I made to Him." And so God heard the longs of my heart and gave me the gift of a daughter.
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is not variation or shadow due to change." Every good and perfect gift comes from God. To which I want to say, "Then we get ahold of it and change (mess it up) it."
The infant months were blissfully trying. We came home from the hospital with a beautiful baby girl and a basket of high expectations. And also my Mom. I do not know how new Moms without a Mom to help them do it. My Mom slept in the baby's room and kept her quiet for as long as she could, she brought her to me to feed, took her back and changed her. My daughter bonded with my Mom. I saw it happen and was helpless to it. Being hormonal, I cried. My Mom also saw it happening and so she left for a few days (so I cried because of that too--she abandoned me). The bond was still there; however, my daughter understood my position in her life. I was the feeder, changer and rocker. My Mother was everything else in my daughter's eyes.
Toddler years it and hit hard. Whoever coined the phrase "terrible twos" needed to issue a warning that they don't always end at three (four, six, ever--kidding). There needed to be a phrased coined for the Mothers of the terrible twos, frazzled Mom just doesn't have a good ring to it. We earn our Sainthood during the toddler years. We are so eager for them to walk and talk that we fail to realize the consequences. Ephesians 6:2 tells children to "Honor your father and mother", but in verse 3 Paul explains why "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." [Okay so Facebook lies to us by telling us that horrible children (ones I know are horrible) are saints and well-behaved. Behind the screen of that Facebook page is a mother who wants it to be true so she types it.]
Allow me to tell you about my gift from God. (I use that term as a reminder that she is a gift no matter what stage or mood she is in.) She survived my mothering and is 19. Just writing that age seems wrong. I gave birth just a few months ago, seems that way. When she smiles, hearts everywhere melt. As she grew, adults in her life understood certain smiles meant she was up to something (it was the eyes that did it). As a baby, she cackled. I mean her giggle started like a distant roll of thunder building up to a full blown cackle, hiccup inducing laughter. The more she laughed, the more we laughed. She was mischievous, she desired the laughter and would do just about anything for it. A counselor told me once to stop laughing and she would stop her outrageous behavior. It didn't. All it did was take away my humor. All mothers believe their babies ae beautiful, I am no different. As she grew, she became adorably cute. Not a striking beauty but cute--beauties are unapproachable and know they are beautiful, cuties don't take pride in their beauty so they become more approachable. My daughter is smart and funny. She is a delight to be around. A joy in my heart.
God gave me a gift. "Ephesians 1:16-17 "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, I keep asking that the God of our LORD Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.' This verse became my prayer during her "Freedom" stage. Even though I did not know the scripture at the time, it was my prayer. Defining the "Freedom" stage for those who have young children, this is when they start driving. Each stage you master, sets you up for failure during this stage. Toddler does something wrong, you take away a toy as punishment; a pre-driving teen, you take away electronics. When the car is taken away, two people suffer for it. You punish your young driver, but you also punish yourself. This stage, unfortunately, is not one that ends. You see, when they learn to drive, they also learn to spread their wings to fly. In two short (trying) years, they fly away to college. They may return, but things are not the same. My precocious child has become an adventurous young woman. One who is full of life, who is faithful to her friends, who is wise beyond her years (at times).
This blog is a love story--one between a Mom and her child. When I became a Mom my identity changed. I was a daughter, sister (until he died, but that's another blog) and a wife. I became a Mother, there was my sole identity. I took pride in that identity; however, over the past couple of years I have come to realize that my identity should not rest on a person. My focus has been being the best daughter, the best sister or the best wife I could, until I became a Mother. Then all other identities disappeared and I focused on being a Mother. Starting Grace Additives is a signal to my shifting identity. I am still all those things, but they take a back seat to I a child of God, a Christ follower.
So where do you find yourself? Where is your identity? Where do you find your delight, your joy?
1 Samuel 15:22 "God delights in the obedience of HIs children more than in sacrifices. This is a reminder to all of us--parents and children alike--that God delights in us when we are obedient to Him. Whether we are parents or children, our focus should be delighting in the Lord. Obediently reading scriptures, praying and spending time with Him.
Here's to delighting The LORD.