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Growing with Her: An Ode to my Daughter

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In just a few days my baby girl will turn 1 year old. I cannot figure out how time can move so fast. I have been able to enjoy everyday with her- some feeling longer than the others but somehow the days don’t seem long enough. I want more baby snuggles, more awe-filled moments, more of the firsts. Yet, here we are, in the swings of the most joyful heartbreak. My baby is a toddler.

If you are a parent you will understand this next statement:
She may be growing up but I find that I have grown up with her. This year that I’ve spent loving her has pulled on my weaknesses and demanded strength, magnified my fears and nudged me (not so gently) into faith, and it has required me to let go of every doubt I have in myself because she needs a Mama who is confident in whose she is. I didn’t realize so much growing up could still be required, yet here we are.

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And this is what I’ve learned:

My weakness vs. His Strength
I was so weak in so many areas. I still carried wounds from the past, I made practical immature decisions, and man was I selfish. I didn’t know any of those things until she came. I didn’t realize that I still warred with words spoken about/over/to me about my abilities to mother or that God would never allow me to be a Mama. It was my deepest heart’s cry and as much as I believed, I doubted. I didn’t have the strength to battle those thoughts until her eyes locked into mine. Those words and thoughts, along with other areas of weakness, required a fight in me for her sake. Oh, such beauty has come from those places. Even though I was weak, God, in His goodness, was strength for me. He promised it but living in that promise brings me to my knees.
Not only was I weak in emotional areas, I was weak in practical areas. Self discipline wasn’t something I walked in. Financially, physically, and even spiritually, I was flaky at best. I had wisdom poured into me regularly but I chose to respond foolishly and blame my past. This year tested every area of lack and brought opportunity *read: requirement* for better. I HAD to begin to tackle these areas of chaos and allow wisdom from others who knew success to be my guide. My daughter needs my responsibility… she needs me to have my junk together. I’m still growing but I’m leaps and bounds from where I used to be. Such grace.
Growing up with her has highlighted my weakness but it has even more so magnified God’s strength in my life and His love for our family.

Faith vs. Fear
This sweet baby of mine is the greatest love of my life. It’s a love that’s married to responsibility and opportunity to raise a child and fill her up with more love than I’ve known and watch as that ignites the world. The moment I held her I knew I would die for her. I also knew I would die if anything happened to her. I’ve said before that the opposite of fear isn’t faith, it’s love, but love sure can hold hands with fear. I had to learn that true love was trusting in her Creator and He loves her better than I ever could. My faith has to be in Him. He is steadfast and sovereign and has ordained every footstep she will ever take. I can’t love her better than He does but I CAN love her better by trusting Him. Her precious heart has provoked me to greater love for God and sparked a necessity for deeper faith in Him. Fear accomplishes nothing. It’s me accepting true faith that will allow her to reach her potential and change the world. She will change the world- I won’t let my fear hold her back.

Insecurity vs. Confidence
One of the most evident areas of change in me has come in the area of insecurity. I know where I don’t measure up. You need to know why I’m not equipped, enough, preferred? Well, honey, I can give you a list a mile log. But, Harper needs something more from me. I define significance for her. I tell her where she can find confidence. That means I had to re-define where I gain my confidence. My daughter has my eyes and will, more likely than not, have traits similar to me. As I recognize her gifts and quirks and call her equipped and desired I’ve somehow begun to see parts of myself lose insecurity. As I speak life over her and tell her that she was fearfully, purposely, and wonderfully made I can’t help but realize I was too. God knit Harper and I together in our mother’s womb. If she was on purpose, so was I. What I believed to be flaws are actually things God likes about me. I may have birthed Harper but her life is birthing newness in me.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times, my daughter is a healer. I know it because she is healing my heart day after day. I am so blessed to be her Mama. She makes life so sweet.

Please join me in wishing her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week!

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I’d also love to hear what areas of growth you’ve experienced on your parenting journey. Let me know in the comments.

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