Our girl is getting so big. Yes her feet are bigger, her arms are longer, and she now needs 6 or 6x for her long almost-five-year old legs.... but what I really mean is she's maturing.
Wow. That's a word I didn't see coming for a while. Ten to twelve year olds mature while little girls just grow right?
Last week she had a friend's birthday party she was so excited to attend while over-communicating to us that we did not need to stay. This was for little girls. No parents. She must have verified ten or so times that we were going to drop her off and pick her up when the party was finished. She let us know that she would not cry for us or miss us, she would be "okay and have lots of fun". Hash-tag independence. Nick looked a little rejected, I figured she was tired of being with mom all week.
She also arranged (by herself) a sleepover at Grandma's house. When we got home that day she marched right up the stairs and declared she needed to pack. And pack she did. About a week's worth of clothes and shoes for a one-night sleepover. When I started checking her suitcase she was exasperated that I would doubt her packing capabilities.
Last night she helped me with dinner. As she finished grating the zucchini noodles she began telling me about when's she "big like you mommy" and gets married she will cook dinner for her husband "every night". I could just sob a moment. Why is my four-year-old thinking about marriage?
Then after church last night we made a quick store run. Just her and I went into the store together so she convinced me to let her push the half-cart because she knows how, and she would be good and real careful, and promised to listen and obey. She was true to her word and I praised her for doing so good, following me carefully and handling the cart well.
"I'm cool" she responds.
"Your cold, honey? I'm sorry" tugging her sleeves down further for her.
Sigh, "Nooo, I said I'm 'cool' because I'm driving the cart!"
Sigh. Our girl is getting so big.
And I don't know if I'm ready. Honestly.
Am I equipped for this? All the conversations, and training, and emotions, and life changes ahead? Have I been shaped for what's coming? I feel so inadequate for this critical task of parenting.
No, I do not have the answers for the 1,001 daily questions of life she brings to me... Lord, give me Your grace and wisdom to answer a few.
Soon her little girlish-ness will become adolescent. Followed by pre-teen and then teenage Hadley. And sooner still her teenage self will mature a young ... I can barely throw the word "woman" onto the end of that because I can't (or emotionally don't want to) imagine life that far down the road when my little girl is a beautiful full-grown woman who makes her husband dinner ever night. Wow.
Will I have taught her enough? And well?
As life is rushing by us and I find myself wading through the waters of "what is important" versus "what's more important"... am I teaching her which is right? Do my actions and attitudes reflect the words I've spoken to her and the love of the Savior I'm leading her to?
Will she live her life to the expectations of friends/ family/society or her own selfish desires? Or is she learning to seek first His Kingdom and the joy and peace found in using your giftings to the glory of God?
Am I teaching her do's and don'ts that she will one day abandon upon leaving the nest, or is she learning to love Jesus, and His truth, and that obedience is born out of a loving intimate relationship with Him? Will she trust the Bible as her guide and the written answers she seeks rather than an obligation on the daily agenda? Which am I teaching her? What does she see in my expression and desire (or lack of)?
Will there be a time when she prays not only because it's what she's been taught, but because it has become second-nature to communicate with her Heavenly Father? Will He be the first she runs to or her last desperate resort?
Our girl is getting so big.
And as she grows, developing into that STRONG and courageous girl God created her to be, I sometimes see tiny glimpses of what God has put in her for His purpose and His Kingdom. And in His absolute wisdom (albeit beyond my understanding and reasoning) He's asked me to be her mother and shape these virtues... because He's got big plans for our girl.
But if I attempt to shoulder this burden... responsibility... BLESSING on my own... I. Will. Fail.
So tonight I am encouraged and placing my trust in these promises....
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.