Lessons My Tween Daughter Has Taught Me
I’m picking her up from camp and I hear her quietly say to her friend beside her, let me ask my mom. Then she turns to me and says “Mom, can I please loan my friend some money, she really wants to buy this and she doesn’t have enough?” I stop and think about it, asked some basic questions- how much, for how long, etc. Right there… me thinking through it… why was I thinking so hard. It was her money, well technically it was my money that I gave to her to use for her camp experience. Clearly she had money left over and she without hesitation was willing and wanting to help out a friend. There wasn’t some deep thought process involved, instead it was love and kindness, friendship and generous that soared to the top and made this a no brainer for her. What a beautiful expression on her part. I wasn’t going to stand in the way, I was going to learn from her!
As I looked through pictures, I pointed out that one of the other girls had the same exact shirt that daughter had. I didn’t think much of it until I heard “No Mom, that’s actually my shirt I let her borrow. She needed something to match the leggings she wanted to wear that day.” I paused and thought, would I do that? Would I loan a friend a shirt just because she wanted something to match not because she needed too. The answer, yes if she was a very close friend. Just a loose acquiesce probably not. But that didn’t stop my daughter, this wasn’t a bestie or even a close friend. The idea of sharing your clothes, belongings, money all while thinking first of the other person… well, it really is a lesson. It seems like we as adults can add in so much “additional” thinking that just isn’t there when you’re younger. The reality is- we often “learn” to add in that extra layer. But what if instead “learned” from our kids’ simplicity?
Of course we’ve shared with our daughter the foundation of faith. Yet recently I was in awe at how she seemed to grasped a concept that I have been struggling with. I believe as a mature Christian you come to a place where your prayers are surrendering to God’s will. Sharing your heart with Him, making your requests and pleas but ultimately realizing HE is in control and knows what lies ahead. There has been something going on within our family, something completely out of our control. We are emotional,physical and spiritually invested. I know what I want, what our family wants, I know what looks black and white right and wrong in this situation. I know how devastating things would be if God didn’t answer our prayers. But my daughter, knowing all this… prayed the other day… “God your will be done…” there was more prayer before that sentence and more after but that was really the just of it. The concept of whatever happens, the comfort she felt in believing those words.
There it was, this internal struggle I have of knowing and wanting and requesting, sometimes even begging… for God to hear my prayer. She’s already grasped it, the step outside of herself to surrender to His plan. Wow!
I’m amazed at how I watch my daughter I see her fearlessness in everyday situations. How she approaches animals, people, new social environments and so much more with a calmness. She takes the situation for what it is, not how I see it. I realized by watching her I ADD fear into so many things, too many really. Not only a mom fear, but a fear that comes from “what ifs” and past experiences. Here’s the thing though, I watch her enjoy moments to the fullest. Fear really does rob us. I mean let’s be real, most of the time those “fearful” thoughts produce nothing. They don’t protect, they don’t add anything, and we’re flat out told in the bible DO NOT FEAR. For me, it is one decision at a time to release the fear. And if I don’t… it could influence her, change how she views and processes things in the future. Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about eliminating safety and precaution. Those are necessary. I’m talking about all the extra we add into the mix that usually doesn’t need to be there.