It is not about me

I was hit hard this morning as I changed Abby's diaper, put deodorant on her aging body and made myself address her future. I do this on a regular basis, but had to fight past the big girl I see with my eyes and the baby girl she acts like, so I could think about the paths she might take. I found myself once again being thankful that the Lord gives me one day at a time, even though I think I want to see the future, I know I can only process today.

Big girl baby
As a few tears slipped down my cheeks I prayed for this big girl baby child that has so captured my heart and changed my life. I was in the midst of my prayers for her in my usual manner with a great deal of silence because truthfully, I don't know what to ask for other than strength and peace for me and health and contentment for her. I pray often for the courage to allow her to be who He created her to be instead of the porcelain doll my heart thinks and feels she is. On occasion I mourn for the big girl I wish she could be and the mess of a child she often is instead. I'm so overcome by my love for her that I just want to curl her up in my lap and make time stop. This week we are sinking with the reality of her getting older before our eyes and what that looks like for her future. We have to make decisions for her because she cannot make them for herself. We've counted the costs, we've analyzed and talked many things to death.  Now we have to be still... be silent... listen for the voice of the Lord and wait on His timing.

Loss of a dream
Today I found myself telling God that I've counted the costs for her... but not for me. I didn't know what effect her growing up would have on my heart. How my emotions would handle a new loss of different dreams for her. The preparations for her future is vastly different than anyone I know. I've never been here before, nor do I know anyone that has. We don't have a trek to run on (as her pediatrician reminded me on Friday). He said she is writing her own book. Although we always aim for her benefit, it's hard to know for sure what is the best road to tread.

Then that still small voice said...
"It's not about you."
At that moment, like so many others before it, I was reminded what parenting was all about. We do what is best for our kids regardless of the toll it takes on us physically or emotionally. It's about prioritizing our lives in a Biblical manner. So, what is the Biblical hierarchy? I'm always brought back to this, the bigger picture when it all gets to be too much.
God first...
think how off track we get when this falls below our spouse, children, work, and play as it all too often does. Think about where our lives would be if it remained in its rightful place...
Second is my spouse. "But he can defend for himself," I say. Imagine the gift I give my girls as I nurture that relationship to make it stronger. Think about the reality of raising kids alone. Placing this above them is indeed for their best interest too. I often fight this as I do the Lord in His rightful place, but I can attest to the blessings of doing it right during the times when I do it well. It is awful hard to leave a crying baby in the arms of a babysitter so we can go out. I've hated it! I fight to keep my emotions in check behind the truth of taking the time away... alone... together. I've learned that as a woman I've been gifted with great emotions, but like many good things He gives, they too can be bad when they rule my life. So, I invest in my marriage as I take time with him, as I choose to sit on the couch next to him (speaking his love language) instead of running off to clean something (speaking my love language).

My conversations with the Lord often go this way. I'm moved by the circumstances in my life and He brings things back into perspective as He reminds me of the bigger picture. Sure, these decisions we have to make for Abby are tough and they chisel away at my heart, but when I put it into the "suck it up" box and shed my tears I know this too shall pass. Something else will take its place, but we'll address that challenge when it comes too... but not all today... He only gives me grace for today :)

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