she prayed

no one but me is looking at the book. . .
More thoughts from the midnight hour.
I have good kids, I really do, but sometimes I despair of ever being able to take them out in public, or even just leave them unattended in their own bedroom.  I get that raising children is a journey, not a destination, or whatever, but I'm the kind of person who really enjoys seeing a little bit of fruit along the way.  I can take the long view, but please throw me a bone now and then.  The only bones kids seem to throw though, are usually at your head.  (Or heart: Ava told me today that I was boring!  You know what's boring?  CANDYLAND!)  Children are famous for their two steps forward, twenty-seven steps back.

surely you don't mean me!
Anyways, as I was up with the baby, I was dancing with my worry over my daughter's personality, specifically her tendency to do whatever the heck she wants as soon as my back is turned, and sometimes when only my side is turned.  What strikes fear deep in my heart is how very familiar this trait is to me.  Not that I had a horrible childhood, far from it, but I did experience pain at the intersection of my stubborn personality and real life.  I don't want my daughter to go through that.  I fear the choices she will make if we do not get this self-absorbed shortsightedness under control.

making applesauce (aka: making fruit scraps)
And the question comes to me, do I blame my own mother for the pain of my choices?  Well, no, of course not.  Do I look back and think, my mother really should have gotten me under control?  No; I'm pretty sure she tried her hardest.  She tells of a toddler so determined to have her way that her little bottom was about as red as it could get, and still, that child persisted.  I fear for my daughter because I know my own personality led me right out on a knife edge of destruction.  Instead of a suburban soccer mom (sans minivan) who crochets and makes her own vinegar, I could have been a pot-smoking, two time Judge Judy guest, without a healthy relationship to my name, and watching reruns of elimiDATE at night.  Or worse, if you can even imagine worse than that.  (I'm totally kidding people.  I would never watch elimiDATE reruns.)  Hmm, I may have lost sight of my point.  Oh yes, do I blame my mother?  And on the flip side, do I credit my mother with the fact that I did not descend into late-night TV hell?

fruit scrap vinegar
Here is the epiphany.  It's even better than my life-is-like-a-road-trip light bulb.  I think I do give my mother credit for the way my life is today.  I think she did keep me from a life of sadness and loneliness.  Not because of any lecture, or punishment, or encouragement, or parenting book read, but because of this one thing: she prayed.  Much of my mother's mothering has been lost to the haze of time, but I hear her voice clearly today, in quiet bedside petition, "and please help Danielle to hear Your still small voice."  And here's the bridge: when I was the most lost, when I looked around and realized I had made a gigantic mess of my life and I had no idea where to find a broom, I heard the voice of the One who made me.  I heard Him telling me how precious I was to Him, and how much joy He had planned for me, if only I would just listen and stop trying to live my own way.  So maybe as a mother I should worry a lot less about figuring out what to do for my children.  My mother probably didn't feel like she had it figured out, but she did the one thing that was crucial in the long run.  She prayed.

Ava slicing mushrooms, 21 months


  1. I love your blog! :) This really hit home for me tonight when I read it. Logan's actually going through a really good spell right now, but a couple of weeks ago I was wondering if we would need to ship him off to military school soon...well maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but this was a great reminder of what's most important thing I can be doing for him.


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