I'm constantly thinking that my little girl isn't just here for me to take care of her and to have fun with. There are so many lessons and reflective moments that happen while watching my precious daughter grow. I'm reminded about the simplicity of childhood and how I was and felt as a little girl. It's strange to me that I can watch her play and somehow still feel so connected to the little girl that I once was. I'm reminded of silly fears I held onto as a child when I see Emma screaming because she thinks there are tarantulas in the blue bonnets (I was terrified of black widows for a good portion of my childhood)! I see her in her happiness and sometimes in her sadness and want to protect her. I want to shield her from all of the things that I remember hurting me as a child.
But then I have to stop and wonder...who would I be right now if all of my bad memories were gone, if nothing hurtful had ever happened to me. Would I be a strong woman and mother? I can only imagine that the answer is a definite "no." I think that we are so much more connected to the bad things that are a part of our past in a "good" way than we can even imagine. Bad things are bad...but if we trust in the Lord and allow Him to work in each situation, they turn into good things in our lives. The experiences change us and make us stronger. I know it must be so hard for Him to allow certain things to happen to us, His children. I can feel only a glimpse of that as Emma's mother - but I'm thankful for motherhood and the ability it gives me to see life and the world around me in a clearer and more Jesus-like way.
I'm constantly praying for the strength to LET life happen to Emma. I pray for the wisdom to be able to protect her when I need to, and let her experience some pain along the way too. I have to let go. That's hard for a control freak. Really hard. But no matter how much control I THINK I have - it's all a sense of false security. God is in control and I have to learn to trust Him more.
I'm thankful for life's lessons in the everyday and I'm thankful for friends - far and near. There's something so natural and sweet about watching young girls become friends. I love the way they hold hands and hug like there's no tomorrow! I love how they giggle and play. It's so sweet and it reminds me of all the good times I've had with dear friends. I'm thankful that God has blessed me with some amazing people to share life with. I'm also so very grateful for the little reminders to laugh and giggle a little more than I do.