A Prayer For My Girls

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recently, I've found myself constantly praying this for my girls:
Please help me clearly see the gifts you have given my children.  
Please equip me to cultivate those gifts.
I pray this fervently because I know that sometimes our gifts are our destruction.  
I know that sometimes it is our God-give qualities that unravel us.

She stands in the bathroom, on her step stool.
Bare feet.
Pink nightgown.
Brushing her wet and tangled hair.
She doesn't want help.
She wants to do it herself.

I can tell that she doesn't like me watching her struggle with the comb and the knots
so I sit on the edge of the tub and act interested in my chipping nail polish.

She doesnt want to fail.
She wants to do this well and she wants to do it on her own.
But it's not working out.
She's huffing and puffing.
The brush gets thrown.
She crumples onto the floor.
Defeated, angry tears come.
From a messy heap she squeaks out 
"Mommy, I need help"

And I'm there.
I spray the tangle spray.
I show her how to hold the comb.
I gently loosen the worst tangles.

...and I step back and sit back down on the porcelain...

She tries again

s u c c e s s 

such a small body bursting with such pride

She is like this in every aspect of her life and she has been since birth.

In my hazy memory it seems like she cried until the day she could sit up on her own.

Her first crawling adventure took to her to the part of the room furthest away from us: the front door.
I should have taken it for the symbolic statement that it clearly was

In a stumbling walk she pulled herself up the small steps at the park.  
She sat down at the slide and shouted her disapproval as I put my arms around her waist to guide her down.
Wiggling from my helping hands, she went down on her own.

At  her best, she is determined and tenacious, persistent and ambitious.

At my worst, she is stubborn and obstinate, strong-minded and bullheaded.

It is clear to me that one of her God-given gifts is her independence.

I pray for her to be wise so her independence will guide her down the narrow path, not away from it.

I pray for her to be a leader so her independence will bless others.

I pray for her to be gentle with herself so her independence will not be destructive
because it can be...
...and I know that from experience.

I roll my eyes and shake my head but I know she gets her independence from me.

I know the ways it has been a gift in my life:
following my high school dreams to an unknown place full of unknown challenges
fiercely standing for what is unpopular yet right
facing choices and making difficult decisions

I know the way it has been destructive in my life:
avoiding help even when I need it desperately
pulling away from people who want to be a part of my life
going my own way even when it is unnecessarily difficult
rejecting advice that is wise
on and on
the list is long and I know this gift has been brought more destruction than good.

I think that's why I plead for my girls.
Let me be wise enough
to know their gifts
to show them how to extract the blessings
to warn them of the dangers.
Let the lessons root deep.
Let them be more wise than I was.
Let them be more wise than I was.

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