Leading Our Daughters to Divine Love

She is isn't what I thought she was when the midwife placed her in my arms 15 years ago. She stole my heart, that's for sure. But I had this mistaken notion that she was mine - really and truly mine - made for my kisses and for the formation that I would give. I held the vulnerable child and was overwhelmed with the intensity of the bond and the vague idea that I never wanted to be apart from her.

The initial blow to this vision came the first time she threw a tantrum so hard that she connected her foot to my jawbone. I saw stars... and stars fell. I wrapped her up in my own body to help control the storm. When I felt her strength, I was afraid. Is this my child? Before she was born, I was the mother of one kid who never threw fits. Never. My mothering pride fell with this second fiery spirit... but she grew in spite of me. I learned the hard way that she was not my tiny bit of property to mold into another version of myself. Rather, she was a person apart from me, for a Divine vision that was not mine to know or own. 

That kick was a wake up call. I was given notice: You are not me, mommy... and I am not you. Step aside. Step aside... But don't forget to hold my hand...

I learned a few things over those early years. One was to get out of the way when that foot flew. Another was how to help a girl redirect the fierce emotion that grew out of a strong and fiery spirit. She grew in beauty and strength, learning to direct that will toward the good and beautiful. I watched in awe. And shed more than a few tears in pain and love...

I remember when she stood poised to race atop the pool blocks and the mother next to me cried out in anger: "She shouldn't be there. My daughter has no chance against this monster who doesn't lose." Two years later she stood at the service line on the volleyball court with her arm raised, ready, and the mother behind me spit out lies that housed her envy: "She's a beast. She obviously failed a grade. Shouldn't be allowed to play. Our team has no chance." Monster. Beast. If I thought I had known anger before in my life, I was being schooled in my error. The anger rooted in a mother's pain and fear is a terrible thing. It wasn't the last time that the worst side of women and girls would tear at her strength and my heart. I thanked God every time for the gift of homeschooling... to be able to retreat back into a safe place and nurture her heart until it was ready to step out again. 

Early lessons... early lessons in what happens when God makes you amazing and the world can't handle it. How does a girl learn to navigate that hatred? How does she keep standing at her full height and beauty when the world is always trying to take her down a peg? And why? Why do we do this to each other? Why do women take from each other that spark of beauty that God ordains? Where can we find community that will cherish the hearts of our daughters? And our own hearts.

Oh, the tears I've cried for this girl... not my girl... when I have seen the vultures circling. And I don't know any other way to save her except to give her back to God. In my care, but not mine. And what does He asked of me as her caregiver? He has temporarily placed her in my arms... what will He find when it is time to give her back?  I pray that He will find that I have kept her in His Word. That I have never tried to wrestle her out of His grip so that she can be more mine than His. 

His girl. His treasure. Please, sweet Jesus, keep the girl in your Word. I want her to dance in Your grace and mercy forever and cry "I have found Him Whom my soul loves." 

When Jenna of Blessed is She offered to send me those words for my girl to wear, my heart leapt because I knew that it was not simply an opportunity for a beautiful shirt... but a great grace. A welcoming into community. An opportunity to remind my daughter of her worth and to introduce her to a broader community of love. 

Blessed is She is a community of women rooted in the Word of God and His holy Catholic faith, clinging to Him, lifting each other up to greatness in His beauty. My girl is a woman, yet not a woman. She is the child she used to be and the woman she will be. It is a continuum and she belongs in this community. Mine... not mine. My daughter... and my sister. A child... a young woman. 

She sits at the heart of my home and diapers babies, surprises the family with beautiful food, and will learn to drive a 12-passenger van. She also dreams of being a doula, caring for the broken, photographing the life-altering moments, sharing joy through the work of her hands. She waits for God to open the doors to the future. 

The Blessed is She ministry is now offering Tees for Teens in Love with the Lord and when I asked my girl/not my girl if she wanted to participate in something like that? She immediately said yes. She loves the Lord and I beg your prayers of protection for this young woman who fiercely desires the hope and peace and joy that He promises. The day is not far off when she will have to choose Him without me to watch over her shoulder. And that is the day when I pray God will send her community... like you. 

That won't be so difficult if she already belongs. When does a girl stop being a child and become a woman? There isn't a set date. It doesn't happen in a moment. It is a slow blossoming. And one of the most important things we can do for our teen girls is to take them by the hand and invite them into a community of loving women seeking the Lord.

Would you like a Blessed is She tee for yourself or a girl or woman you love? You can enter to win one in the giveaway below or go now to the Blessed is She website to take advantage of the current sale. In addition to t-shirts, there are beautiful journals, prints, and sets.

Today, I'm praying for all your girls; that their feminine genius will shine out of love for the Sacred Heart. May the Divine Mercy protect them and strengthen them as they blossom into the fullness of His joy!

{Blessed is She Tee Giveaway}

...entries are now closed...
WINNER: Christine W.

Entering is very simple....

Just visit the Blessed is She shop and leave a comment telling me what your favorite product is. Yep. That's really all. 

The giveaway will end at 11:59 on June 30th, 2015. The winner's name will be selected via random drawing.

Posted on June 22, 2015 and filed under Womanhood, motherhood, teenagers.