I cradle him in my arms and kiss him repeatedly. The next boy cuddles on my lap, and caresses my hand. Our girl, all grown up in her seven year old skin, sits quietly on the couch next to me.
With deep, fulfilling, desperate love, I long for my children all equally; without question or hesitation. I tell them this often, and try to show them in different ways how they are uniquely special.
I was tougher on my firstborn daughter. I had higher expectations maybe? What is it about mothers and daughters, we clash at times? Butt heads? Our emotions collide and we wound one another without realizing it.
About a month ago, our daughter had been in a funk of sorts. Bad attitudes and angry and emotional outbursts. The more we tried to fix it, the more it seemed she’d fight against us. My husband and I were weary and desperate for an answer.
And so I prayed for wisdom…
The answer came, one chilly morning as my daughter Riley and I stood next to one another waiting for the bus. For some God-ordained reason, I hugged her; but I didn’t just hug her quick. It was long, and I had to force myself to be extra affectionate with her.
That was a lightening bolt moment for me as a mom. For she looked up at me, and smiled. The kind of smile that goes deep within and I saw a spark in her eye that I had not noticed for months.
I saw her relax, and her shoulders slump, and she immediately asked me, “Mommy, have I been good lately? I really want to be a good girl for you.”
In that moment, her spirit melted as I showed her affection and words of affirmation.
And it was like the heavens opened, and God gave me clarity on this issue.
For the past month, I have been purposeful to show her extra affection, grace, and words of hope and gentleness. She is responding beautifully!
The more I talk to mothers, they breathe a sigh of relief and say, “you struggle with that too?”
This parenting thing is no small endeavor. It’s MIGHTY, a worthy and high calling!
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
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