Friday, June 21, 2013

Courage

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7 

 
This has been a familiar verse to our family, especially to Ivy when she is afraid and needing an extra boost of courage.  This summer I still see her spirit of fear, but it's not debilitating like it has been in the past.  I see her wrestling it, doing self talk, trying to overcome whatever is holding her back.  She is maturing in this way, but I think my response has also become more mature.  As an adult you think your years of maturing are over, but I notice myself growing as a mom, wife, friend, teacher, etc. each year.  I have not pushed her with a harsh almost teasing tone like I sadly admit from the past, but rather I have encouraged her, praised her, and given her a hug when she feels defeated.  

I have spent lots of time praying for this growing baby girl bump.... I am excited to meet her and see the perfect ways God designed her to fit into our family. 
 
Sometimes we expect our children to fit in a box.... brave, obedient, outgoing, smart, funny, strong..... this box that we define for them rather than the box that God gives them when he fearfully and wonderfully creates them in our womb. We are to accept them and love them- unconditionally- and help them work through the stuff in their box that is difficult while we sing praises for the easy stuff.  I am learning and Ivy is growing.


This year she finally agreed to do swimming lessons.  She has watched as many of her friends have taken this road before her, but she has been a little nervous.  This summer she has been excited about swimming and really learning to swim.  At her first lesson, I praised her for her courage.  She was willing to learn and try everything from floating on her back in the deep end, to swimming across the pool learning to take breaths and "scoop" the water while doing big kicks, and even jumping in the deep end and realizing she knows how to swim back to the top and swim to McKenzie.  She was proud of this victory.


She has overcome her spirit of fear for so many things. This summer alone she has learned to ride a bike without training wheels, go down a water slide at a friend's pool, complete tasks independently that she was fearful of before, and even simply walking into a new situation without a friend always by her side.  I have told her over and over it is normal to feel shy and nervous but it feels so so good to get past those things! This year she is feeling that feeling of reward when she does something she was once afraid to do.  


Tula isn't afraid.  Isn't it funny that God gives us one child that I beat a dead horse not to be afraid and then I just wish I could teach Tula that somethings are scary- walking through a parking lot without a hand, running around the edge of the pool, talking to any and every stranger she meets, putting all her fruit snacks in her mouth at once.  Having more than one child has helped me to find a parenting balance because of their differences.... I am sure adding Joss to our family will even teach me more.


I am thankful for all these girls are teaching me during the summer months at home.  When I have this all day, getting to soak every part of them up, I really learn a lot about myself as a parent and I have time to seek wisdom in the ways I teach and guide them.  It isn't all a walk in the park, some days are rough and I put them to bed exhausted and feeling like I totally failed them as a mama, but oh the good times outweigh the bad and for that I praise God.


I am thankful for my partner in this parenting thing and in life.  We walk hand in hand learning and failing together.  We pick each other up, pray for our family, and work together to raise our girls in a Godly way.

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Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!