You’re becoming…

Dear Lauren and Lydia,

I feel the ground shifting beneath our feet. There are moments these days when we all aren’t on the same page. Which feels strange…but I know it’s normal.

I’ve raised you two to be independent, strong, thinkers, able to process and come to your own conclusions on things. I’ve raised you to be smart, wise, and intuitive…to trust your gut.

What’s happened is that you’ve become those kind of ladies. The kind that you’re dad used to tell me was different from the rest.

He told me that quite regularly…”Ruth…you’re different than other girls.” It was mainly because he knew I had thoughts and opinions and wouldn’t be afraid to express them. We were equals in conversation not me the lesser and him the greater.

So of course…now that we have 3 of us in the same house all not afraid to express thoughts and feelings…well we are not always on the same page. There are times when tensions sit and lie around at our house that don’t feel comfortable. Times when I want peace and there is none to be found.

I try not to panic about it.

I try to be alright with the journey. I know the journey is what matters anyway…not so much that we all end up at the same conclusion.

I will always love you.

Always.

Love your momma who is trying to just give a lot of space for all of us to be what God has made us to be.

You’re beautiful

Dear Lauren and Lydia,

This past weekend you created a really special event for you and two other girl friends. Lauren you set up an appointment for all of you to get your hair done, nails, and make up. You even paid for a good part of it out of your own hard earned summer pay.

It was a homecoming of sorts. Just without the dance and without the boys and the drama.

Last year you went to the school’s homecoming and it was fine. But I remember you calling me early on and asking me to come pick you up from the dance simply because it wasn’t a fun time for either of you. In fact, most girls I talk with are really into the getting ready, dressing up, taking pictures, eating dinner and just being with friends far more than the dance part of the night. They just tolerate that part so they can enjoy the other parts of the evening and do what everybody else is doing.

So…this year you decided to change it up and just create your own event.

It was pretty much perfect.

The weather cooperated and wow we had an amazing time taking pictures. Over 200!! Dinner at Tony’s was amazing and we laughed so hard…some of us on the way home even had some issues we had laughed so hard :)

Even at 11pm Lauren, you were still in your dress, singing and dancing in our living room to Disney songs all of you still laughing and talking, no one ready to be done yet.

As I went to bed that night I realized the main thing is…we girls…we want to know that we are beautiful. We crave that. We were made to feel beautiful. As I look at the pictures of that night I realize you both were feeling beautiful and it shows. Almost every picture is awesome!

That’s what happens when we feel beautiful and delighted in. That inner beauty makes the outer beauty shine.

That night as I woke up a time or two I wondered about myself at your age. I don’t think I felt very beautiful. Probably not all that unusual for a teenage girl. But still it stands out to me. It just wasn’t the kind of thing my parents expressed. Maybe just a different time. We were a Christian family…maybe talk of beauty seemed vain or prideful.

I don’t even remember on my wedding day having my parents say anything about me looking beautiful and I know I’m loved well. Maybe they said it and I just don’t remember. But it doesn’t stand out to me in any way.

I’ve struggled with the whole beauty thing my whole life I think. The whole…am I worthy of any special attention? Does the God of the universe really delight in me? I’ve felt incredibly ordinary in so many ways. And in some ways I suppose that’s good…keeps me humble…but on the other hand it also keeps me insecure.

The way you two radiated the other night is the way God wants me to radiate daily in His presence…knowing that I am special and dearly loved, fearfully and wonderfully made.

No two girls are the same. Every one of us are amazingly unique. I just hope you know far earlier than what I have that you are beautiful inside and out. You are loved. You are amazing. You are uniquely you and nobody else can take your place. You are worthy of noticing, of standing out in the crowd. I’m not worried about you getting a big head or becoming arrogant. I could never see that happening to either of you. I do worry about you not knowing how special you are…because I know myself well. So girls…just know you are incredibly special. And if you ever forget…just remember this moment of time when you felt beautiful and I hope it will come back to you…

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Some humble pie

Dear Lauren and Lydia,

I did it again last night. I took a moment when I was tired and done for the day and did the very thing that I would scold you two about and tell you not to ever do. It happens. Just because I know what is right and wrong, best and not good doesn’t mean I always make the right choices either. Maybe sometimes I act like I do.

Lauren you made a poor choice. A really small poor choice…but the kind that feels like sand in my shoes. The kind that feels really irritating and frustrating, especially at the end of the day when I’m tired. I addressed who you are instead of the choice you made. I called you a name just out of a complete lack of self control on my part. I hurt your spirit.

I’m your mom…I hate it when I do those kinds of things because honestly I work all day long most days trying to build you two up and encourage you to be all you are made to be. And then in a single moment of frustration I have this insane ability to rip down every thing that might have been built up otherwise.

So I woke up this morning and thought…”I can’t believe I did that again. Why Ruth…why couldn’t you just respond with kindness and patience and deal with the matter? Why couldn’t you just focus on the solution?” I got up, and fixed the problem right away…it was really no big deal. In fact the reality of how easy of a fix it was leaves me even more puzzled at my reaction last night.

All of this to say…I’m sorry. I did apologize last night…but I knew it fell on deaf ears. I even told Lydia about my mistake last night. And then I crashed in bed for the night.

I am a morning person. Most of this kind of stuff happens at the end of the day for me. The time of day when my reserves on love and kindness seem to disappear. I get frustrated…especially with little stuff, little chores not complete after being reminded, little poor choices, etc. It’s no excuse. Doesn’t matter what kind of a person I am, my response should be love 24/7. I am in no way letting myself off the hook. But I see in the light of the day what happened clearly.

I am human. A woman in need of daily grace. Grace from God and second in line…grace from you two. Eventually…grace more and more from Dane.

I can’t erase or delete. I can’t really go back and fix, beyond solving the problem. Words spoken are like that…they hang there even if sorry’s are said. All I can do is move forward and try to learn more about why I respond the way I do sometimes and make the changes that need to be made.

I love you two. All the time. Even when I’m frustrated. And if I ever say anything harsh or call you something inappropriate I don’t mean it…in fact almost as quickly as the words are spoken I want to pull them back in.

Today is a special day for you two. You’ve created this whole ‘homecoming’ thing that is all your own. Your getting hair done with two friends and nails and dressing up and going out for a nice dinner tonight and taking pictures. I get to be with you and enjoy it all. I want to start this day by telling you…your imperfect momma loves you. She may really screw up from time to time and not give you all you need…but she still loves you. She’s struggling to stay above the current herself on most days, especially by the end of the day and occasionally in her efforts to help you two swim she may pull you under just like a drowning person pulls the life guard under even though the life guard is there to help. Not because they want to or have evil will…just a natural reaction.

God is my life guard. He sees me when I’m drowning. He reaches in and pulls me out even when I clobber him up a bit or seem to fight against him. Sometimes I think I’m you guys life guard. And maybe as a mom I am just a little…but honestly, more and more we are swimming in the same ocean of life, trying to stay above it all for ourself. The older you get, the deeper we go, the less I can ‘save’ you.

This morning…I’m just reminded that anytime I think it’s my job to do all the saving I’m delusional. You need grace and so do I.

Please forgive me. Please trust that I love you…even when I screw up. This is real life.

Love your momma who feels a little broken this morning.