My little girl is blooming.
No longer a baby. I am no longer needed in the same ways. My lap is not needed as often. My entertainment is not required as often, she can play on her own now. No longer do I read the books, she reads them to her babies. No longer do I lift her into her car seat, she crawls in herself.
It is bittersweet.
It is a glorious thing to watch your children grow. My purpose is to teach them to require me less. It is a good thing that my Abby can introduce herself now and not hide behind my knee. I want her to thrive. I want her to grow. I want her to learn. I want her to make friends.
Along with these milestones comes the realization that with every passing year my daughter will require less of me. It makes me sad. I love that little girl. I am so proud of the little woman that she is becoming.
She is tenderhearted. She is smart. She is empathetic. She is funny. She loves deeply. She loves makeup and dresses. She loves to talk. She loves to dance and sing songs to me. She loves to love.
It is a holy task to be a mother. I know that my children are not really mine. They belong to someone else. God has given them to me as as gift to my heart and as a holy task. Raising children is not for the faint of heart. I'm only three years in, and already I know that this will be the most significant journey of my life. My children are my heart. They are the best of me. It is not that they are perfect, it is that they are my gift from God.
I am reading a book called Captivating. It is about discovering how God created woman, and a woman's heart. It is so good. It begins with pointing out the importance of a woman's heart. The Bible tells us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Prov. 4:23)
" 'Above all else' Why? Because God knows that our heart is core to who we are. It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions. It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course, our love. ...Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you."
The book continues by looking at the creation story:
"...whatever it means to bear God's image, you do so as a woman. Female. That's how and where you bear His image. Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities--as a reflection of God's own heart...."
I think of my Abby as I read this book. She is a little woman in the making. Her heart was created by God. She is a reflection of God's own heart. And it is my (and John's) job to develop her heart. It is our assignment to guard her tender heart. It is my job as the woman in her life to teach her about what it means to be a woman. I am her example. Like I said, being a mother is a holy assignment!
I want her to know how valuable her heart is, to me and to God. I want her to always be confident in her heart, to follow her heart, to give her heart to God, to guard her heart, to give her heart to good friends, to give away her heart to those in need of a friend. Don't even get me started on her heart as it pertains to BOYS! Fear. Fear I say!
I know that I cannot do this alone. But I can pray for my Abby. In fact, it is the most important thing I can do. I can love her and I can pray for my little girl blooming.