That’s what my girl says when I say something out of the ordinary. And this time when she said it, I cringed a little because it obviously meant we weren’t on the same page.
Earlier that day, I’d looked in my pantry and discovered somehow I’d purchased 9 cans of pumpkin. After shaking my head a little, I decided we were gonna make some pumpkin muffins. And not just some, but a lot. And not for us, but for our neighborhood. I had tons of flour, eggs, and everything else needed. All I had to do was bake and I thought it was the perfect opportunity for my girl and I to make others smile. She scrunched up her face. “Give them to the neighbors we don’t know? Seriously??” She acted like it was the most foreign concept ever.
We made the muffins, passed them out, had a great time and met some great people (who were thrilled, by the way) and I made a decision right then and there. My girl needed to not only hear what was on my heart when she asked a question, but other times God places something there. And she needed to hear it often. We needed to be more connected.
The Good and the Hard of Connecting with Our Girls
I have tried really hard to be available not just physically but any time she has a question or a thought. I wanted to be a soundboard for her and I wanted her to feel safe with me.
And while that’s good, I realized it wasn’t good enough.
She needs to know what God’s doing in my heart too. And that was a bit of a daunting discovery. I am very introverted. I am content to just let thoughts mull around in my head and get processed without any help. It’s not always the best idea, but it’s what happens most. Things change, however, when you have a growing small person watching what you’re doing and absorbing and learning. If I didn’t start speaking up more, what was there for her to absorb? How was she going to understand that her mama is a child of God but is imperfect and still growing if I didn’t show her that? If she never knew my processes and some of my struggles, what would she do when she’s confronted with her own?
A few weeks have gone by and it hasn’t been easy. I see her reading her book or watching her movie or coloring or playing with her toys and am tempted to just leave her be, but I’ve slowly been trying. I have started more sentences with, “Hey, so here’s what I’ve been thinking” and the really awkward “So I was praying and…” But I’ll be honest, it’s HARD. It’s hard to be vulnerable like that and share thoughts and ideas that aren’t perfected or complete. It’s always been that way for me. But it’s been good.
I was so glad to see this month’s prayer calendar was about praying with our girls and not just for them. This is a great jumping off point so we can have many more honest and open conversations. She’s not a baby anymore, and if I’m not careful, she may not come to me with her thoughts and questions if I don’t start coming to her with some of mine. I’m still the mom, she’s still the child, but now she’s seeing me in a new way. It’s a little scary and very much a work in progress, but it’s really good and I can’t wait to see what God does through this.
How would you like to be more connected with your girls? Have you discovered any tips that make it easier?
A Prayer for Connection
Dear God, we are so grateful for the little lives that you’ve given to us. Help us to realize how much they need to see us as your children so they can know how to be Your children too. Help us to really connect and create everlasting bonds that can lead us both more into Your presence. Amen.