Friday, March 13, 2015

Chasing Time

I am preparing for Ava's ninth birthday party.  She picked a spy theme and I am having so much fun planning this one (do I say that every party?;).

Her turning nine is really hitting me as I plan.  She is half way to 18; half way to being an adult.  How is that even possible?  So many of my friends with teenagers or college age people remind me to savor the days for time is short.  I am really feeling the shortness of time this week.  I look at this beautiful little girl who is quickly becoming a young lady and it seems like just yesterday that I was dreaming of who she'd be as I felt the flutters of her first movements in my womb.

I think when I was in the throws of baby and toddler years, people telling me to savor the days felt frustrating.  I was exhausted and just wanted to get to place of sanity and sleep.  To savor hard days feels insane.  But I feel like Ava's age now is a sweet spot for me.  She still looks up to me, she admires me, she cares deeply for my opinions and teachings.  She has a soft heart.  I am in a sweet spot of being able to parent and not simply keep her alive and teach her not to stick her fingers in the light socket.  I am in a sweet spot of being able to reach her heart and teach her truth of who God is and who he wants her to be.  I am in a sweet spot of seeing a beautiful young person really emerging.  I get to see the way her heart is growing in her love for other people, the way she desperately wants to do the right thing, they way she loves her siblings and us.  I get to see a humble heart that apologizes easily.  I get to see the creativity of her mind go to new places in writing and art.  I get to see so many glimpses of good things coming for her!

  But in that sweet spot, I also see her flaws, her insecurities, her hurts.  I see the way she has a tendency toward anxiety, toward people pleasing, toward perfectionism.  Right now, she wants my voice to help her grow in these areas, but I am painfully aware that there just isn't enough time.  I see her struggle and I am desperate for her to "get it" so she doesn't have to learn the hard way that perfectionism slowly kills our souls.   I feel like she is at a crossroads in life and the parenting we are doing now is vitally important.  I LOVE parenting her and yet I realize yet again as she approaches nine that we are not enough.

I realize my own fears are creeping back into my heart and mind.  The what ifs loom as I see her human fragility.  I am painfully aware of lost opportunities; I am painfully aware of times I was so exhausted I didn't seize an opportunity for bedtime conversation, or couldn't handle one more question.  The fear of those lost moments affecting her entire life can loom large.  I realize my own perfectionism is reeling it's ugly head yet again.  I realize no matter how deeply I love her, she is going to have struggles in life that I have to watch her hurt through.  It is infinitely harder to watch emotional hurts than physical ones; they tear at my heart in ways I couldn't have imagined and I appreciate my own mama all the more.

I have to once again take my daughter to the foot of the cross and surrender her there.  She is not mine and I realize in loving this sweet spot I have begun to cling too tightly, to hold desperately trying to capture the time that is fleeting.  I have to confess, I have not just savored these days, I have attached to them.  Oh how I need Jesus!  How my sweet girl needs Jesus!  I realize anew that I desperately want to save her from hurt and yet in doing so I would rob her from the absolute comfort that I myself have found in Jesus.  I cherish every painful moment in life because they have been the sweetest times with my Savior.  Above all, that is what I want for her- to know how desperately he loves and delights in her.

I am so proud of Ava and I am so thankful for the relationship I have for her.  I want to savor, to dance, to laugh through this stage as long as I am here, but I also want to release her to the next stage when the time comes.  I want to love her enough to release her to whatever God has for her ahead.  I want to release her to be human and make mistakes; I want to love her enough to accept those mistakes and not make her feel like a failure when she makes them.  I want to love her like God does and I am not enough.  I can only do that through Jesus.

Lord, help me parent not on my own ability and power, but through you.  Holy Spirit guide me.  Let me know when to speak and when to shut up and let you speak to her in different ways.  Oh, Lord she is yours.  Help me be faithful in praying for her and listening to you and obeying YOU in how I should parents her.  I don't want to be a good parent, I want to be a godly one.  She sees my imperfections Jesus, but help her not just to see those imperfections, but to see you at work in them.  Help her to see you in me.  Fill me daily so that I can love and guide her in your ways.  Thank you for this beautiful little girl with a soft heart.  Lord, give me what tools I need to guard that heart.  Give me wisdom and peace.  I pray that she would never go a day in her life questioning if she is loved by us or by you.  Thank you that YOU are the Potter and help me to leave the clay of Ava's life on your wheel.  Thank you that you know her completely and love her and me more than I can even imagine.  Thank you for the gift of each day that I have with her and for the profound honor it is to call her daughter.  I praise you for all you are doing in each of us.  May our lives glorify you.

1 comment:

  1. This is so good, Kim....many things I wish I could do over again....can't. But I know God's grace is more than sufficient to cover my mistakes, my lapses......... <3 Paulette