This tween phase of parenting has rattled my writing. When the girls where younger and the real world was farther away, it was easier to write about parenting jobs I was good at. Picky eater? Try these five things. Of course, long term, nothing worked with my picky eater and we still haven’t overcome that hurdle. Need to instill character in your toddler? I knew exactly what 5 kid books you should read. Of course, now that they hear everything (do you ever wonder how they heard that?) and read everything and take loud note of all discrepancies and my personal inconsistencies, I wonder if I have enough character to teach them.
There is comfort in training the little ones and watching them teach their stuffed animals about Jesus, in listening to them apologize sweetly, and in helping them learn the basics of making a bed and watching them rejoice in it. Lessons are absorbed easily and there is a sense of getting it right. And the middle of your lessons never meet rolling eyes or distracted nods.
Now, and forever in the forseeable future, all that training, all those lessons, I don’t know when they will resurface. I don’t know if I should let her struggle, give her advice, intervene, or just pray. No amount of teaching can make a tween girl feel comfortable going to school with a black eye, or predict her strength when a nasty rumor gets spread, or her honesty when she accidentally spots the answer key on the teacher’s desk. And so sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to write for you. Because I don’t know what I am doing.
I don’t know how to protect her from cyberbullying, or how to prevent eating disorders, or to stop sexual predators, or how to find her a best friend when one can’t be found, I don’t know when to push her and when to encourage her, when to intervene and when to just step back. And not knowing makes me freeze. So I for months now my presence here has been limited. I had no words to share. I’ve considered setting down this blog and picking it back up when I am an empty nester and know if what I have done worked!
But here’s the thing. Our God, He knows what my girls need. And what your girl needs. And He can stand to watch her trials because he knows the purifying it brings. He didn’t make us mothers because we would be instant experts at the role. Mothering is path that leads us to our knees seeking Him because there is no one size fits all in this mothering gig; we can’t figure it out alone. So even though I feel inadequate to write about raising girls, fear of inadequacy shouldn’t stop me from writing the stories God fills me with. Stories aren’t about perfection but about learning, encouraging and connecting.
To overcome this writer’s block, one of my goals this year is write at least one original post each week. I will no longer listen to the voices that tell me I don’t know enough or have nice enough pictures (the ones on this post are 5-years-old ). And now I’ve told you. So you can hold me accountable. And I am so thankful for you, who read the stories. May God use them to encourage you.
Sharing today with Jill Savage and other Hearts at Home bloggers on the topic of Loving our Dreams/Goals.
And if you haven’t already, leave a comment here to win a copy of Dannah Gresh’s One Year Mother/Daughter Devo.