Saturday, October 11, 2014

a letter to mamas of young girls everywhere ...

we see them ... out there in our backyards, on our driveways, at our kitchen counters.

they are young and beautiful.

sometimes amusing.
sometimes awkward.
sometimes even (though we'd never admit it) kind of annoying.

they are little girls growing from tiny to tall ... from toddler to teen ... from innocence to understanding.

and we can't imagine how they will ever be anything more than just what they are at this exact moment.
it is hard to see how they are changing and what they will become.

some days it's a slow process. painstaking.
other days, and they grow a foot and change moods like a pair of jeans.

and we are left watching and wondering and waiting.

these young girls.
all full of possibility. potential. promise.

last night, my college-aged daughter and i got to go see her best friend, annika, in her volleyball match. annika's playing D1 volleyball for georgia tech. (that means she's really, really good).
we sat in the stands and cheered her on like she was flesh and blood. these girls have been friends since 1st grade -- i suppose that's about the same.

annika's an amazing athlete and it was so fun to watch her play at this new level of college volleyball. thrilling, in fact!
afterward we hugged, took a few pictures, even got annika's autograph! she's like our own little superstar.

and driving home ... i couldn't help but remember annika and emily playing "pepper" with the volleyball in our backyard way back then.
many years ago.
two little girls honing their skills. giggling and goofy. zero control. chasing wild balls. i can remember one afternoon them coming sweaty into my kitchen to ask, "mom, do you think we'll make the team?"

they did.

and now these girls are 18.
annika playing for georgia tech.
emily, just a year ago, closing out her  own volleyball career with a senior year state championship.

both girls, with these big moments.

and yet i can see them, clear as day, in our backyard on buttercup trace. all legs and arms and enthusiasm. as a former player and coach, i loved watching these girls get better, but, i'll admit, i had my moments of wondering. did any of us think they'd not only make the team as 6th graders but grow up to experience a state title or an athletic scholarship?

mamas, i know sometimes you see your own
little girls and you wonder about them.
who are they?
what are they?
what will they become?

it's exciting, but it's also intimidating.
there's so much life to get through. so much living to be done. so many hurdles to encounter.

and i'm not just talking about the hours in the gym, but the bumps on the road and the pain in the process.

for several years, i had the chance to disciple annika and emily in a small group at our church. and i'll be honest, there were times when i didn't get their jokes or grasp their attitudes or understand why they were so ... so middle school-ish ...

there were times when emily didn't want to talk to me ... (or listen).
there were times when i couldn't help notice the eye roll or the pre-teen embarrassment.
there were times when i wasn't sure they'd ever move beyond the stage of food in their braces and fart jokes.

and then i see them last night hugging on the court. beautiful young women. one friend performing, another friend so proud. and my heart swells to see it.

to know THIS is what those little girls in my backyard have become.

we cannot foresee the big accomplishments and grand moments ... we cannot promise them state titles or athletic scholarships ... as mamas of young girls we can't do everything, but we can pray and hope and believe and encourage.

and we can be encouraged.

tonight, i wanted to share this little slice of their lives with y'all as a reminder ... God has something grand for your girl. whether it be out on the court or encouraging from the stands ... He's got something great planned for that gangly little gal bouncing a ball out on your driveway.

i know some days it's hard to see it.

but, i encourage you, hold faithful to the promise God has for your precious girls. He's every single day making, molding, and shaping them into something beautiful.

with love,
signed the mom of an almost all grown-up girl


Alexandra Kuykendall said...

Thank you I needed this today. One of those days when all four of my girls are a bit annoying (and I will admit it). To remember the greatness here in my own mess of a house.

Jane Klingenberg said...

Thanks, dear Jody! I needed to read this today, too.
Brought tears to my eyes.

Bless you!

Jane Klingenberg

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