I have three girls about as different as you can get.
Abigail is the typical oldest child — responsible and mother hen-ish. Audrey is the middle triplet but her strong personality moves her to contend for firstborn status. Emily, the youngest (only by 2 minutes), likes the comfort of the familiar and is hesitant of change. When they were little, the day in/day out routines were exhausting.
No matter how many children you have, 1 or 100, the toddler days seem to never end. Even if preparing meals, washing laundry, and picking up toys feel like Groundhog’s Day in eternity, the extent of drama doesn’t get anymore complicated than “let’s share”, “let’s all be friends”, and ‘do you want milk or juice?”
Now the girls are in the tween and big kid years. Let’s just say, life is getting a bit more complicated.
Abigail is adjusting to life as a 6th grader. Middle school. She experienced her first homecoming attendant vote where she was nominated but didn’t get voted into the court. However, since she’s on student council, so she still gets to get walk in the presentation which made the sting of not winning easier to handle.
Audrey wants her own way, and when she doesn’t get it, she tries to control the situation. If she can’t control it, she gets very angry. It can get ugly. We are both learning how to handle this.
Emily’s first writing homework assignment brought her to tears because perfectionist tendencies are starting to surface. Together, we broke up the assignment into managable steps, and she conquered it!
And, this is just the first week of school….ACK!!!!
So, let me turn to my How to Raise Confidant, Well-Adjusted Daughters manual I received from the hospital when they were born. Wait a minute……I didn’t get one! You either?
Seems like I’ve traded toddler drama of sharing and making friends with tween drama of popularity contests, control issues, and perfectionism. I don’t know if I’m ready for this. How can I effectively pray for them when I’m not even sure I’ve resolved the same issues in my own life??
Lord, Give Me Wisdom
The first thing I did was tell them I know exactly how they feel. I told Abigail about how I didn’t win Most Talented in high school. I told Audrey that she must learn to treat other’s the way she wants to be treated. With Emily, I helped her process her feelings and give her the language to express it. Whew….Ok, that’s a start.
As much as I’d like to sweep the issues away, I realize that I must walk with them through it and give them the skills needed to handle it the next time it comes around. Instead of just fixing it for them, I need to hold their hand through it. Instead of leveling the mountain for them, I need to hook arms and climb with them over the mountain.Instead of leveling the mountains for our girls, we need to climb with them! #PrayersForGirls Click To Tweet
However, I know there’s a deeper issue.
Underneath those mountains of popularity, control, and perfectionism are the longings to be affirmed and loved. Even deeper is their need to understand and know they are loved by the Creator. Remember, I said I was still working my way through these issues? Yeah. Well, what has radically changed me is learning and understanding just how much God loves me. While we may never be fully rid of these issues on this side of eternity, what I hope to help them discover is that their ultimate need is found in being loved by the Savior. And, you are not gonna find that in a “how-to” manual…..you gotta go straight to Him!
So, as I climb the mountains with my girls, I’m gonna keep telling them how wide, how high, how deep and how wide Jesus loves them. When they are looking for popularity, I’m going to tell them to search for His love. When they are needing to control, I’m going to tell them to surrender to His love. When they attempt to be perfect, I’m going to tell them to rest in His love.Our girls' greatest need is to understand AND believe they are loved and accepted by Christ. #PrayersforGirls Click To Tweet
A Prayer for Wisdom
Father, You know how much all of us girls are in need of Your Love. Please give me the wisdom to lead my girls through these rocky roads of growing up to receive and rest in Your Love. In Jesus’ name, Amen