Recently, I've been putting an extra effort into building the confidence of my third child and oldest daughter with a special mother-daughter project. I want her to always know that she is a unique, loved, and cherished Child of God. I want her to know in her bones that God has a plan for all of the beautiful ways He made her to be just the way she is.
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In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not exactly enjoy my growing up years a whole lot. I knew in my head that God and my family loved me for who I was, exactly as I was...but I didn't believe it in my heart. I struggled, like many young women, with the idea that I was not good enough as I was. I made many efforts through my teen years to attempt to change who I was by adapting my looks, personality, and beliefs to be as socially acceptable as possible. I struggled with a lot of the vices that can go along with those efforts.
I was a "good" girl who didn't want to be on the wrong side of anything. I was a perfectionist who would rather drop out of an activity, choose something no one believed I could do, or put forth no effort, rather than do my best and only come up with second place.
In reality, I think this is a pretty common experience for most young girls.
Yet, as a mom, I want a better experience for my own daughters. For all of my children really, but knowing the unique struggles of growing from a young girl to a young woman, I feel it most strongly when it comes to my girls. Admittedly (probably due to the fact that I have buried two of my five girls) I also struggle with wanting them to grow wings ... rather than keep them in the tight fashioned cocoon of my protection. That's my issue though and I don't want it to become my girls' burden.
Yet, how do I help them learn to fly?
Because they do need to fly. Leaning a little further on my cocoon analogy, before a caterpillar can become a butterfly they must consume a particular diet based on their species-specific needs. What is the species specific diet for a little girl? I've come to realize that it is a solid dose of scripturally rooted truth about the God who created us with and for a purpose. Who made us just as we are, with unique skills and talents that can change the world with our big dreams.
Not a building of the ego based on false praise, but a nurturing of the soul built on an internally developed sense of dignity and worth. Not a box that they must fit into, but a world that is open for them. A world that needs both who and what they are.
That's what real girl power is.
In the Be Yourself journal for Catholic girls, Amy Brooks, has gifted me a beautiful tool to build Kylee's girl power and nurture our relationship at the same time. To sit down together once every few days and talk about one of the journaling pages, or discuss one of the saint quotes/pages is a way to connect no matter how hectic our schedule gets. As she navigates the rocky waters of her tween years, my heart knows how important this is.
I would love to keep her little, and yet she continues to grow in grace each day.
It is a beautiful and humbling thing to observe.
|On a recent day of epilepsy appointments, Kylee generously shared her journaling time with Lucie.|