Mothers and daughters. It’s a complicated thing.
Her children arise and call her blessed; Proverbs 31:28a
Yeah, that ain’t happening in my house. My 14 year old daughter loves Jesus, and she’s mature enough in her faith to understand that her relationship with God should affect the way she treats me. But oh, the hormones and insecurities and growing pains and emerging wings. At times the sass and disrespect just explodes out of her like a balloon blown up past capacity. Other times I can see the battle waging inside of her as the war continues between us. And I am no innocent in the matter. As much as I love her (it’s so painful at times), her words and tone can prick my pride like nothing else. Anger, confusion and hurt feelings = more hurt feelings – hers. What hills are worth dying on? What can I let go for the sake of harmony and what will lead her into a life of crime and sloth if not dealt with? When should I apologize and when should I insist that she?
Being a mom to a daughter is hard. Just last week, I said these words to my beautiful girl, “How are we going to rewrite this story so I’m not always the villain? You know I am FOR you, right?” I know I’m not alone. Every time I bring the subject up with friends or acquaintances (anyone who will listen, really), I receive sympathy, understanding and similar stories in return. Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh has put me on the path of rewriting the story. Written by a mother/daughter duo, they draw from their own personal anecdotes and Helen’s doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology to provide a resource that is both relatable and helpful.
Advice From This Book on Mothers and Daughters
One of the biggest wake up calls from this book is that,Luke 12:12 tells us that “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” And the solid advice from the book that goes right along with this scripture is to “Intentionally speak slower than you normally would so you can make sure you aren’t saying things too quickly for your mind to register.”
While praying to “ask Him for clarity and guidance on what [I] need to do to break away from and begin a new path…” I’ve realized that my normal parenting style – that of lecturer – may not work well at this stage in my girl’s life. I view every infraction as an opportunity for a lesson. And while that may be true, teenagers hear lectures about as well as we hear the teacher in episodes of Charlie Brown. With 14 years of instruction already behind us, leading by example may be the better route. Especially in the areas of love, respect and forgiveness. The authors point out that “Forgiveness isn’t just an act we walk through; it’s a way of life we choose.” My takeaway? Apologize and ask forgiveness often. The tutorial is in the living illustration.
I’m working to “Let down defenses and pick up unconditional acceptance.” After all, my daughter is pretty amazing. She plays volleyball, makes A’s, loves Jesus and loves to tell others about Him. She can sing, act, and is a fiercely loyal friend. She feels things deeply and gives her Mama all the feels. And even if she wasn’t all those things, I would still be so proud to call her mine. She is one of God’s great gifts and I’m so grateful to have a front row seat to see all the ways He will use her.
The authors and Harvest House Publishers generously provided me with a copy of this book for review and they extended their generosity to you! I have one extra copy of this book to giveaway to a lucky reader. If you are not a current subscriber to my blog (I rarely email more than once a week with the new post), click subscribe and sign up. That’s all you have to do to enter. If you already subscribe (thank you!), leave a comment on this post. I will select one reader from comments and new subscribers randomly on 4/18 and mail the book to you!
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