I left off from my first post about raising daughters and healing generational wounds with a question:
So, where am I after all of this processing?
The word “intentional” is used so frequently in today’s vernacular until it almost sounds cliché. Yet, being intentional has a sense of urgency to it, and for certain, time is no longer a luxury that we have as parents. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are not in a war against flesh and blood; verses 13 and forward then go on to describe our required armor, much of which covers the heart and mind. So, with my family’s hearts and minds at stake, I don’t mind stating my conscious commitments, whatever else they might be called:
I say again: our mothers need grace. They taught out of who they were and what they experienced. Even as home educators, we do the same. If we are truthful, we teach some things out of our hurts, our pains, and the sensitive places that we have not turned over to Christ yet. So, as a home educating parent, I am compelled even more to know me, and to understand explicitly “where” I am when I speak with our children. My words need to undergo the examination of whether they are about the kids, or whether they are about me. Moreover, are my words, and the meditations of my heart, pointing them toward or away from Christ?
I am committed to talking, but also to more listening. It is not easy. As I shared with a friend whose children are younger, there is an age where you are no longer the coolest thing in your kids’ lives, and they don’t necessarily want you around. The fact that you might not be wanted does not mean you are not needed. Funny, from the original Madame Noire article that prompted this 2-part post, the whole conversation about “being fast,” aka expressing our sexuality as females, is an ongoing discussion in this house as our not-so-little girl becomes more in touch with the true power of her attractiveness. Though my language might differ from my mom’s, I speak often about the uniqueness of being female; if I refuse to talk about it, the world is waiting to share its message. But I also talk to the Father more and more, and I watch and listen with vigilance while He helps all of our children make their adjustments.
Social media is a strategic enemy in keeping our children’s hearts. I am not just talking about what networks our children might enjoy; the issue begins with us as parents. As a small business owner, I realize the power of social media as a tool for merchandising as well as message. But as I pray about being a good steward of all my resources (including time), I am sensitive to being more present with my family and less compulsive about checking in, gadding about and putting my most ideal life “on blast.” I am also aware that it is difficult to get angry at a teen who nearly bumps into walls while on the phone when I am unwilling to part with my own devices.
Finally, I am working to forgive others as well as myself. If I can accept that my mother did the best she could as an older, divorced woman with four mouths to feed already, then I can see myself differently. I can embrace my own worst moments as just that—moments. And when the time is right, I can share those moments—my “but God…” stories. Those dark moments don’t outweigh all the victories in my life, nor do they define who I am. They were demonically crafted to keep me from fulfilling my calling. If I see those “but God…” stories for what they are, I can grow and become better—as a sister, a wife, a mother, and a teacher.