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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No Ordinary Girl (5 Minute Friday-Ordinary)

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Credit
7th Grade. I am standing in a new school, in a new town, in the smallest state in the United States of America. Awkward. Alone. Self-Conscious. Who wears 7th Grade well? I didn’t. It came with tight jeans, hated hair, insecurities that bred while I slept. I loathed my life and felt oh, so ordinary. I walk into this new school which is to me “the big city”. I feel the eyes upon me. New girl. Awkward magnified. How I wish I felt…special. I ask the teacher what to do, as I swim in a sea of unfamiliar faces and halls and realize I am sinking. Just another face. The teacher is not so sensitive to my current circumstance but busy with a million mundane tasks, distracted. Still, she manages to direct me, only mildly annoyed. I stalk the halls wishing I could escape somehow through crevices in the hallway walls. The angst of one thousand ordinary moments longing to be something more than ordinary. 
I watch my daughter scale this period in life. She thinks I have no knowledge of puberty or adolescence. I see her struggle and remember too well the pain of the years. Some get by unscathed. Others, escape by grace, look back, head shaking, relieved that those years are but a temporary season. 
Come on over and check in on the writing prompt, write for 5 minutes and join the fun!

Five Minute Friday

 


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The One Year Be-Tween You & God Devotions For Girls {Book Review & Giveaway}

I really enjoy a well written devotional to start my day.When I saw the One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions For Girls I thought it might be a wonderful tool for my own Tween girl. I asked her if she would consider reading it and letting me know what she thought. When I received the book, I was impressed in the quality, durability and look. Let’s face it, if you actually use a devotional book for a year, it will take some abuse. The thick pages can easily be marked and hi-lighted without bleed through. I can only hope my girl will use it to that degree but it is good to know for those who enjoy being territorial with their daily devotions! The questions and topics are excellently done. The Trinity, sin, decision-making and worry are some of the topics as well as why girls are sometimes mean one day and nice the next! I am looking forward to spending time in the upcoming year with this devotion to springboard some conversations with my daughter as she goes through it. This would be a great Christmas gift or stocking-stuffer for your Tween! Below are our Mom-Daughter thoughts and a PDF sample!

Katherine’s Thoughts:  
My daughter is 12 years old. 
She gave positive feedback in three areas worth mentioning.
*She stated that she thought the devotions were stories 
and topics she could definitely relate with and appreciate.
*She said that the specific questions were interesting. 
In “Tween” language this means “not boring”.
*She thought the devotional book itself was very pretty
 and she also liked the style and presentation of the devotions.

Mom’s Thoughts: 
I loved the beautiful color and size of this devotional. I really appreciate the leather bound style for durability. It is small enough to be portable and just has an inviting feel and look. Most importantly the style of the devotions are presented in a question format, which sound so realistic for the age. This age and season is the time of questioning  for young girls and seeing these questions in print which are most likely already on the mind of girls is a great way to break the barriers that oppose truth and thinking. Each dated devotion poses a question to God and then begins with “Consider this…” which addresses the topic in a way a young girl might dialogue or think! The writing does not come off as preachy but instead more of a pondering. In the end there is a portion of God’s word to support the point titled “God Says…” There is also a pointed question for reflection and application called ” How About You?”
Over all I think this is a beautiful gift devotional which will challenge girls to think with God and learn to apply truth to their daily lives. 

Check out a sampling in PDF below:

Tyndale has offered to give a copy to one reader- please just leave a comment
if you are interested and I will announce a winner (random drawing)
on Friday, October 26th.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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