Sunday, February 12, 2012

a princess heart

three daughters.  some days that feels like a lot.  three girls. make up and hair bows and ballet flats everywhere.  three girls ranging from awfully small to rather tall...and all ours.  and just this past weekend 2 of them with birthdays.  i wish you could hear bella tell you herself, she is four and she is bigger and she is proud.  there must be a notable difference between 3 and 4 least in bella's mind it is vast.  and the oldest, emily, 16 now.  a sweet sixteen surprise party and a driver's license all in the same week.  what are we to do? how did all this happen? i look at her --look up to her these days -- and am left feeling a little wild.  wild-eyed and amazed.  amazed at the young woman she is becoming.  has become.  she'll hate that i wrote that, but that's okay, because this mother is absolutely, undeniably and irretrievably amazed.  it was, i swear, only yesterday when she was starting kindergarten, learning to ride a bike, snuggling on my lap, blowing bubbles, sounding out her words and scraping up her knees. she, all big brown eyes and a thick mop of dark hair and small.  so small. where has that smallness gone? 

it is hard not to feel the weight of mothering three females.  i count it a privilege, a gift, a treasure, a tremendous ride. i wouldn't trade this title or task for anything---they know that,  you probably know that too.  but oh my, there are days.  oh yes, there are days.  if you are parent to a girl, you know exactly of what i write.  you know the battle for their beautiful know the tremor of their tears and the passion in the possibilities.  you know the high heights and the low lows.  oh, you know the frightening sweetness of it all.

we celebrated this past weekend with a princess party for bella.  bella's ball.  one prince and several princesses were in attendance twirling with a small girl turning four.  it was complete with pink carpet, tiaras and some dancing.  a royal celebration to be sure.  and right in the middle of it all, right in the middle of the chaos and cake and crafts, i remembered a post i had written years ago....a post about bella before she was ours, before we had even met her.  december 22, 2009 " a princess on the other side of the world" (millions of words ago in this blog) was the christmas after we had begun her adoption.  we were only a few months into the journey and several close friends threw a party in bella's honor.  it was one of the loveliest things i have ever attended and it was all for her, a girl on the other side of the world, with absolutely no idea she was the honored guest of that evening.  the party provided a chance for rick and i to tell her story and to celebrate what God was weaving together in our family.  i was so overwhelmed with the beauty and hope of that night i came home and wrote about the princess on the other side of the world.  the one we hadn't yet met.   the one for whom we would someday throw a ball.  and we did.  just this past weekend, in fact.  life happens like that.  one day a dream and the next day a checklist of details and decisions. i can hardly keep up.

something else struck me this weekend in the midst of all this girl celebration.  in the midst of all this princess-y stuff i started thinking about how we desire to raise our girls as daughters of the King.  i tell my girls, each one, emily, sarah and bella:  you are a princess...a daughter of the Living King.   i want them to believe that... to embrace it.  but in this skewed and screwed up world, this is not always an easy message to teach.   as a mother, i battle the "it's all about me" attitude and the "take care of number one"  talk coming from every direction.  that is not what i want my daughters to embrace.   not just because it is ugly and worldly, but because it is not the real princess way.  in fact, it is exactly opposite of a true princess.

a real princess is regal and righteous and respected, but the goal is not self-focused, as it sometimes seems.  instead a true princess is surrender-focused...servant-focused.  oh, what a battle we fight! everything of this world seems to shout messages of entitlement and self-centered living.  i am not sure i was fully prepared for the bombardment and battle around raising girls.  it makes a mother want to scoop up her females and head for high land...or for some pure and simple country living.  i've even been tempted by deserted islands and remote, non-english speaking villages. however,  those aren't options at this point,  but staying on my knees is.  staying on my knees and staying in His Word, that is where i find the weapons and words necessary to fight for my girls' hearts.  when the whole world demands, "me first!"  Jesus is quietly and clearly speaking of a different way: "the last shall be first, and the first shall be last."  ~ matthew 20:16  could that message be more opposite to the words of the world? though Jesus came as King and Ruler, He modeled perfectly the Servant-King.  "for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."  ~ mark 10:4.

Jesus came with every right to a crown and a palace and some jewels, but had none of it. demanded none of it.  needed none of it.  it is easy for us girls to get misguided about the things we think which give us our worth.  (boys and men, you are by no means exempt, i just happen to be speaking to the females here).  our true worth, however, comes not from our possessions, but from our position. it comes from being sons and daughters of the Living King.  psalm 45 explains,  "listen, o daughter, consider and give ear:...the King is enthralled with your beauty...all glorious is the princess within her chamber."  God is enthralled with us.  we don't have to fight for our rights or demand our desires.  He, as Ruler and King and Sovereign Father, has given us our worth and deemed us all glorious...and He, by His example, has shown us the glorious way of real royalty...the one who surrenders...the one who chooses to serve.  the one with a princess heart.


Aus said...

Good morning Jody - what a great post!! Happy Birthday girls!!

and Jody - if you have any doubt about what wonderful girls you guys are raising (and I know you don't) - go back and look at that first picture of your three daughters together - look at the feeling in those expressions - and then feel the love and joy that those kids have - and just for a second or too feel really good - you've earned it!!

hugs - aus and co.

Simply LKJ said...

Happy Birthday to the girls Jody!! Bella has grown leaps and bounds since we last saw her. Heard about the move, we will miss you guys and wish you the best!

meghanlee said...

How beautifully said Jody! We ARE His princesses and we need to wear our crowns proudly and with confidence. We are His beloved daughters, His Brides. You know this and I know this, but how so very important and necessary for our sweet daughters to know and feel this as well. Thank you again for your wise and beautiful words...