Saturday, January 30, 2016

If I Ever Have a Daughter

If you know me and my husband you know that kids are pretty far into the future for us. I know accidents happen, but excluding a birth control mishap or a literal act of God kids are still at least a ways off. So, before you read the rest of this make sure to take in this disclaimer:
**I am NOT pregnant OR trying to get pregnant. Not yet.**

That being said, I think a lot about what kind of parents I want us to be. I think about the kids we will have one day. I know that it's kind of frowned upon to pick a gender you would prefer, but I really want a little girl. I want a boy, too ... the best case scenario would be to have both. But I know I will be disappointed if I don't end up with a daughter. Even still, that terrifies me. I know each gender has its own struggles. Guys and girls both have expectations put on them by society and there are different issues depending on whether or not you have an X or Y chromosome, but I can't empathize with boy struggles. I know what kind of issues my daughter will face as she grows up. I know how much she will struggle with her self-image, no matter how confident she is. I know how much she will struggle with where she derives her sense of identity and purpose. I know how much she will struggle with impossible beauty standards.

If I ever have a daughter...these are the things I want her to learn:

Your heart is the most precious aspect of yourself. Do not give it away easily. 
One day there will be a boy. He will be cute, sweet, charming ... everything you think you want in a guy. Chances are, you will be too young to fully understand the concept of love and that's okay. Part of how you figure all that out is through experience. I can talk until I'm blue in the face about relationships and unconditional love and what mistakes not to make, but the fact is that there are some mistakes you have to make on your own in order to learn. I hope you don't make my mistakes, but at least if you do you know I'll understand. Just promise me that you will guard your heart. Guard it like your life depends on it. Guard it like you only have one to give away, because you do. Once you give your heart and soul to another person, there is a piece of it you won't ever be able to get back. There is an innocence associated with it that disappears forever. And no, I'm not talking about sex (although it's true for that as well). Be careful not to confuse infatuation with love. At first, infatuation always feels like love. It's tricky like that. Time is the ultimate test. When in doubt, always take things slowly. Better yet, take things slowly even if you don't feel doubts. Infatuation has a way of blinding us to the truth. We ignore red flags and issues. Always be cautious. Also, chances are the boy you date in high school is not the one you will marry. It happens, but it's so rare that it isn't even worth considering. So, at least for a little while, focus on having fun and making friends. There's a lot less to regret that way.

In your friendships, always give more than you take.
This isn't an excuse to let people walk all over you, instead make sure that you aren't asking for more than you are giving. There is a reason the bible says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." If you want your friendships to be deep and meaningful, you are going to have to be there for people. You are going to have to listen, really listen, not just wait until the other person is done talking so you can say what you want to say. Sometimes, if your friend is going through something, you are going to have to make more of an effort than they are to keep the friendship alive. However...

Not all friends are worth keeping.
Realize when you are being taken advantage of. Understand that there is nothing wrong or dishonorable about walking away. If you have a person in your life who turns you into someone you don't like, walk away and don't look back. If you are the only person in the relationship doing any giving, walk away. Don't be a doormat. It is possible to be compassionate AND assertive. Some friendships are not worth keeping. And that is okay.

Remember where your worth comes from.
You are a child of God. He knows you now, before you have even been conceived. He already loves you. Your worth comes from your relationship with Christ. It comes from above and it comes from within you. There will be days when your identity is found in what others think of you, or what you look like, or whether or not you have a boyfriend. That's okay, as long as you know the truth. You may not be able to act on it all the time, just strive for it. Everyone has an identity crisis. Everyone struggles with judging themselves based on societal standards. Every Christian in the world has issues with finding their identity in Christ. This isn't a concept you figure out and then never have to deal with again. This is something you have to struggle for every. single. day. It never ends. Some days you will feel the peace and comfort of knowing that your worth isn't measured by the size of your hips or the admiration of someone else. But some days you will struggle. Just don't ever forget that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't ever forget that even when you can't find something about yourself to love, He can.   

I love you.
I don't know you yet. I'm not even ready for you yet. In fact, the thought of you terrifies me a little. But I'm already thinking about you. I'm already praying for you. Your dad and I are already preparing for you financially. And I know that if I can think about you and picture what you'll be like now, then I can't even imagine how much I'm going to love you when you're here. Even if we only have boys, all of this still applies, I just might phrase it a bit differently. You will be cared for. You will be cherished. You will be loved. I know I can make this promise now, even before I am ready for you, because I have great examples of what that looks like from my parents, my mother-in-law, and each of their parents. I won't say I can't wait to meet you, because in all honesty I would like to wait just a while longer, but I can say that I love thinking about you and picturing you. I can tell you that I know the day you come into the world will be one of the happiest days in my life. 

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