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Shelley Says...

on June 20, 2012

What I Wish For My Daughter

I never thought that what my parents always said would actually be true…"each year goes by faster than the one before". But alas, it is true. Reminds me of a line from an old Anna Nalick song that I loved - "life's like an hourglass glued to the table".

For me, the passage of time really started making itself known in a real way when Caroline started kindergarten. And each year has indeed "gone by faster than the one before." Thanks mom and dad. You're always right.

It makes me think more and more seriously about the things that I hope are true for her life. What I wish for my daughter.

I think most parents first response would be "I just want my kids to be happy and secure." I wouldn't disagree at all. Yet, this is no easy task. In some ways we think we know what will make them happy, and try to "help" them along. However, it's a blurry line sometimes between what we THINK will make them happy, and really just what will make US happy. Pushing them to try new things, to not give up, but sometimes, just letting the chips fall. And it's our call. My call.

So, instead of "I just want my daughter to be happy and secure" - maybe my first wish for her should be "that I don't screw things up for her with too much or not enough of my own agenda." That's a weird wish, but a daily struggle none the less.

Whatever side you err on-pushing too much, or not enough, (because we all err right??) don't forget to always tell them how incredibly awesome they are, beautifully made, and how you can't believe God bless you with them. Because that's just the truth.

My second and honestly only other wish for Caroline is that she would love and serve God each day with more resolve than the day before. That she wouldn't wait until she was middle aged like her mother to begin to see life through "big picture" eyes. Or should I say "God's picture" eyes.

I think this is one thing in life that actually can happen sorta like "osmosis"… the intangible transfer of habits from mother to daughter.

In other words, if she sees me reading God's word enough- she will eventually (and has already) want to read it herself. If she hears me wrestling regarding spiritual concerns to my friends, she will do the same. On a 9 year old level, but wrestling all the same. I could list a thousand examples, but I don't want to sound like I'm living it out around this house anywhere close to perfectly- so I'll stop there. It's just something to strive for- to use everything you can as a lesson to teach them something new and incredible about our Creator. If you are conscious of it- I swear you can find something in just about about everything that happens throughout your day.

It's the most important thing we can teach our kids- some call it the "Golden Rule", but it's really God's rule at the end of the day. To love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength- and our neighbor as ourself. It's surprising how that one commandment can encompass so much. That's why it's the most important I guess.

Treating people with kindness and always giving the benefit of the doubt.
Knowing there is someone and someTHING you need, even more than mom and dad.
Recognizing that everything we have comes from God.
Doing our best with the gifts and talents we have, not to get ahead or be better, but for God's glory.
Being envious of no one, realizing we already have so much more than we need.

and the list goes on….

Every single one of the things I wish for my daughter falls under either the 1st or 2nd part of that commandment- loving God, and her neighbor as herself…(She has the neighbor part down, at least in the literal sense. I'm pretty sure she loves our actual neighbors as much as herself. So that's a start…)

Small commandment. Huge responsibility.

I read this post in it's entirety to Caroline before I sent it in to be put on our website. I explained to her that someone at our record company had given me the title "What I Wish for My Daughter", and asked me to use that as a starting point for a blog entry.

I only stopped once, to ask her if she knew what "resolve" meant. She said "Yes. Courage."

And in so many ways that's true. You can know something in your heart, but not have the courage to carry it out.

So maybe that's my last wish for my daughter - courage to be who she knows she should.

Happy Mothering,
Shelley

Comments

Shelley,
This is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing what's on your heart. I grew up listening to your music since I was a very little girl, and you should know that the truths that you sang in all of your songs resonated in my heart as I played my cassette tapes over and over :) Someday in the near future I hope I'll have my own daughter to pass these truths on to.
Thanks,
Sofia