M.I.A. (Mother In Agony)-Re-Post

“Earnest Prayer” by Artist C. Michael Dudash

My daughter is experiencing “growing pains”.
I, her mother, am as well.
I must confess.
 I hate it.
I long for the days when, 
while standing at the sink washing dishes,
two little arms clutched my leg and
two Junior Mint eyes
 stared up at me-
full of adoration.
As opposed to,
eyes rolling.
Where has the time gone?
She is eleven. She may as well be eleven hundred.
She is as foreign to me as a far-away country-
she may as well be
 geographically.
It feels that way.
Distant.
It’s as if someone has kidnapped my daughter and left
in her place, a rebellious teenager.
Stop!
She is not a teenager.
Was I like this at eleven?
I squint, as I try to force an age related memory out of my aging, uncool mind.
It seems such an awkward age.
I remember that feeling.
Awkward.
All too soon she is rushing away from me and into-
the danger years.
I remember those.
“This too shall pass” does not suffice.
Well meaning advice, from the
judge and jury crew
is not helpful.
Grace is needed.
Grace received.
Grace remembered.
Grace remaining for the days ahead.
I need more.
I remember, her nursing at my breast.
Precious, needy, hungry.
Contentedly,
peeking up at me
with one eye.
Always watching.
Now, a closed door.
Unseen.
I hate it.
I remember stroller walks on brisk days,
and seeing two eyes
peering through a snugly afghan,
draped over the canopy top.
Her eyes always watching me.
My eyes always watching her.
Connected.
Today our conversation turned to confrontation,
She disappeared again,
to the haven of her room.
A million miles away.
Door closed.
Shut out.
Yeah, I’m having growing pains.
Some days I’m not sure I’ll make it.
I ponder where I have gone wrong already,
and how I’ll redeem the remaining time.
Some days I fear the worst is yet to come.
Then I think back to hose little eyes
and their history of watching me.
 I ask for more grace for the day,
and for the love I don’t possess,
apart from the One who is Himself
Love and whose pool is never dry.
It is on this One –
utterly dependent,
I rely.

©Dawn Paoletta 2011-2013


*This is a re-post originally written and posted on 10/22/11.

Linking with my friends at dVerse for OLN!

Also linking with these communities of bloggers:
My Daily Walk in His Grace
Imperfect Prose 
Cozy Reading Spot

Between the Tween and a Hard Place (5 Minute Friday-In Between)

*******

Just right now, I am between leaving one dream behind and waiting to see another unfold.
Releasing old goals and allowing new goals to emerge.
In between all of the dreams and goals is one reason to step back and renegotiate.
Her curls drop down heavy and I see miraculous.
Her eyes look back at me, reminding me of Junior Mints…dark chocolate brown.
I’m enraptured with her smile and at twelve I still am in awe of her feet and toes.
See, I am still amazed at this miracle, baby girl, on the brink of woman.
All of my between is reserved for this one tween.
As I hope and pray the days away allowing myself to be remade for this day, this time, this need.
Right here, right now.
This child won’t remain…
in this brief period of my life called in between.
********
I write for 5 Minutes with the rest of these crazy ladies at Lisa-Jo’s Place:
Then it takes me 15 minutes to actually pick a picture…
Five Minute Friday
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You Can’t Hide Yer Lyin’ Eyes (Or Hair Color): Tales of Tween Years Gone Awry

I prayed for my baby girl to have curls. I don’t know why I did, but I did. You know the prayers you pray that are a little out there and then God decides to remind you how He really is listening… to everything? Check. She had a head of hair from birth. Actually a long tail at the nape of her neck. Her curls were and are the kind that inspire poems. My hub and I used to recite one in particular that you’ve probably heard: “There once was a girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead-
when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.”
Hmm…fast forward 12 years.
I am not a slave to fashion by a long shot. I rarely wear make- up. OK, I confess. I never wear makeup. She wanted to wear makeup in elementary school. I do not fuss to get ready to go anywhere. I’m a shower, dress and go, girl. She takes 45 minutes to get in her pajamas. Longer to dress for the day. Longer still to pick and find shoes.
She went through years of wanting straight hair. Her much more patient Dad, painstakingly straightened that head of hair. It was beautiful still, this thick, glorious mane. 
Currently she is fine with her hair, curls and all.
But…
not the color.
The perfectly fine, beautiful shade of brown, that I love.
God’s perfect choice for her.
I barely go to the hair dresser either. 
I cover the grey periodically. 

How is this my child?
1st grade: “Mom, I want to color my hair green.”
No.
5th grade: “Mom I want to dye my hair pink.”
No. No.
7th grade: “Mom, I want to bleach my hair blonde.”
No. No. No.
***********
We are heading out of the house to her Chorus program. Yesterday.
“Mom, can we stop at the store so I can get some gum?”
Sure.
“Can I go in by myself while you are in the Post Office?
“No, I will let you go in by yourself after the Post Office since it’s on the way, if you want to run in then and I will wait in the car.”
************
We arrive at the local Drugstore “Let me give you some money, Honey. I want you to get a drink for Chorus, too.”
“I brought my own money.”
“Oh, are you sure you have enough?”
“I have enough.”
I am sitting in the car feeling, quite good about this progress. She carries a Navy Blue Bag with white stars over her shoulder and I sit in the car thinking that my girl is doing so well. Here she is going into the store on her own for a pack of gum. Something she hardly does. She rarely, no, never, carries a bag but thought she should TODAY to to carry her gum, money, chorus folder etc. I am suspicious of nothing and enjoying a blissful mom moment that will go up in a puff of delusional smoke soon. 
***************
We arrive home from Chorus, my sweet Tween wants to shower. Sure, no problem. It’s early but I like this pro-active approach she’s sporting. She had a shower yesterday morning but she sometimes pushes the shower frequency limit so this is another sign of progress, right? She’s getting it, I think to myself. Perfect. Personal Hygiene victory!
Into the bathroom she goes.
Enter the theme from Gilligan’s Island here…
It was like a three hour tour. I mean shower. 
Repeatedly we knock on the door and inquire. Dinner is ready.
She finally comes out and slips quickly down the hall to her bedroom. 
****************
“Mom, can you come here?”
I stand outside her door, “Yes?”
“Mom, promise you won’t be mad.”
“What are you talking about? Open the door.”
To which she replies, “Promise me, you won’t be mad.”
“Open the door, now.” I say in an increasingly impatient tone.
*****************
I am looking at my daughter, who has wet hair and and wears on her face the look of fear intermingled with victory.
Her hair is now a shade of orangey, blonde.
I decide to let her live.
At least long enough to hear her defense and the details of this latest scheme. 
****************
There are only two questions going through my head.
What would the amazing Recovering Church Lady do in this situation?
What would my hero in motherhood and life Sharon Linder do if this was one of her girls? 
What would you do if it was your Tween? 
(Mean or derogatory comments will be deleted!)
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On Learning To Honor My Mom at 5 Minutes for Faith Today…

I came into Christianity with baggage in hand.
Actually dragging a baggage cart is more like it, loaded with an assortment of luggage, full of issues, pains and beliefs that had to be gently unpacked, sorted and released.
One of those issues my God wanted to address, was my tumultuous relationship with my mother.
As I studied His word and sought His truth, it wasn’t long before I started to realize this particular suitcase was full of complex memories, emotions and expectations.
It was the bag that was overstuffed, crammed and locked painfully tight…continue reading how I learned to honor my mother.
Please join me at 5 Minutes For Faith to read the rest of this special post in the series “Lessons I Learned From My Mother”.

I’ve turned the comments off here, in hopes you’ll join me there

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Look to the East {A Message for Weary Mothers- of which I confess I am one}

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For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? Romans 8:24

I’m looking across the table at my daughter and my mouth spills poison before I have time to retract the words. They tumble out, like scrabble pieces as I scramble them in my mind. 
Parenting. 
Hard. 
You. 
Make.
We are in a battle of the wills, and trust me, this mom knows she can’t win.
I wonder again, why?
Why, do I return to the thought it’s supposed to be easy
Perhaps it’s not supposed to be easy, but maybe at least… could it be steady?
Our boat is always rocking, and I find sea-sickness is the norm. 
I’m queasy.
What did I expect?
I wonder it all…knowing that it hasn’t been easy for those I know who have weathered storms but still made it safely to port again. 
They lived to tell. 
Will I live to tell?
I wonder it daily, how this story turns out and I am living in the moment, longing to know the end. Longing for the happy ending. Heart and stomach intertwined and Living Words swirling about within, gently chiding, “Why do you doubt?”
And I confess, broken-
I do, Lord. 
Forgive this weak child.
Some days I just don’t want to hear about everyone else’s wonderful, perfect, well behaved, thoughtful, athletic, gifted, wonder kids. Who also love God, read the bible daily and get straight A’s. Who follow perfect parents into white picket fenced homes and do everything, well…perfectly. Sorry, I confess, it makes me a little sick in my stomach. Sad, actually. I long for that which is not and faith reminds me to trust when my circumstances stare me down defiantly, spit in my eye and shout “No”. 
I remember  how I used to feel after I watched the Brady Bunch and longed for that which was out of reach.
Completely unrealistic…yet?
Only child, of a single parent, I yearned for something I could not name. 
I longed for a happy ending but did not even know what it should look like.
Beyond the grasping hand. Ever reaching. 
How do you perceive something you’ve never seen before?
How do you grasp that which is out of reach?
Never seeing, ever reaching. 
Yet hope lingers in the hearts of God’s children because He is the Author of Hope.

There is still God residue within, unseen.
Dormant seeds laying in wait. 
Winter may be cold and seemingly barren, but beneath the white, frozen blanket is
dark earth nestling seedling. Even one lone seed, buried deep. Longing for something it knows not…yet.
Still within the soil, hidden, hopeful yearning for light.
Heir apparent awaiting Spring’s thaw.
A happy ending in sight.
Oh, Mother, longing for your prodigal to come home-to you, to Him-
Look to the East, He comes with the dawn…
Take heart.
Lift your eyes.
His promises root deep.
Cling tight and let go
He is trustworthy.
He sees you.
His reach is everlasting. 
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:5
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Although our battles may not be exactly the same, we all have them. Let us remember to deal gently with one another, giving grace, upholding truth, fighting the good fight as God leads us individually and together. If we do this we will be too busy to judge one another, for each day will busy us with love and tears enough.
In His Grace, Dawn

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