Monday, March 11, 2013

my fountain dancing child

Chris and I knew very quickly that we were raising a little spitfire of a girl..."a fountain dancing child."  We didn't/don't want to crush her spirit...her wild, independent, crazy, unique, hilarious, one-of-a kind spirit.  So thankful that my friend Stephanie posted this on my fb wall tonight.  We made a decision a long time ago to do everything humanly possible to "not sweat the small stuff" (some of the small stuff is big).  We have run many sprints in parking lots, Target, the neighborhood to keep up with her fast little self.  We do things differently here in the Wheeler casa...and sometimes that has left me feeling like I am doing something wrong.  She doesn't sit still, she speaks her mind, she makes jokes, she is sensitive to the core, she only wants to wear one pair of pajamas, she doesn't want anyone to feel alone, and she doesn't mind wrecking a house in 2 minutes flat.  I love her so much for all of those reasons.  Chris and I believe that God has a huge story for our sweet girl.  She is fighting through some crazy things that no 5 year old should have to go through.  But, I am so proud of her.  I am proud that she is my daughter...and I'm not afraid to jump in the fountain with her.  Chris and I are about to print this blog, laminate it, and put it everywhere in our house.  Love you all.


I don’t want to raise a good child

written by Lysa TerKeurst

My daughter, Hope, is a senior this year.  And she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the “normal” box.  A lot out of the box actually. 

She withdrew from traditional school.  Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in on-line college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend the month of January serving in Nicaragua doing missions.

This didn’t surprise me really.  Because Hope has always liked charting her own course.

When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained.  And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering.

One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch.  All of their kids sat quietly eating cheerios in their strollers.  They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their snot.

Not Hope.

She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller.  So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she wiggled free.  She stripped off all her clothes.  She ran across the food court.  And jumped in the fountain in the center of the mall.

Really nothing makes the mother of a toddler feel more incapable than seeing her naked child splashing in the mall fountain.  Except maybe that toddler refusing to get out and said mother having to also get into the fountain.

I cried all the way home.

Not because of what she’d done that day.  But rather because of how she was everyday.   So determined.  So independent.  So insistent.

I would beg God to show me how to raise a good child. One that stayed in her stroller.  One that other people would comment about how wonderfully behaved she was.  One that made me look good.

But God seemed so slow to answer those prayers.  So, over the years, I changed my prayer.  ”God help me to raise Hope to be who you want her to be.”  Emphasis on, “God HELP ME!”

I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart.  I started sensing He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.

Maybe God’s goal wasn’t for me to raise a good rule following child.  God’s goal was for me to raise a God-following adult.  An adult just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along.

I don’t know what mama needs to hear this today.  But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with 3 simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:
1.  Don’t take too much credit for their good.
2.  Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
3.  Don’t try to raise a good child.  Raise a God-following adult.

And all the mamas of fountain dancing children said, “Amen!”


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