she talked quietly, sure that her daughter could not hear the retelling of the weeks events. i could sense the heaviness of her heart. this weight of motherhood is too big at times. too big for those of us who feel so much like a child ourselves. how did i get to thirty-four? how did i get to adulthood? decision making? so often i still feel like the child wanting someone else to make decisions for me. wanting someone else to speak for me.
a homeschooling mother who loves her children with all of her might. she rebutes the common statement "you can't shelter your children forever" with such wisdom. she responds gently in love,
"the disciples spent three whole years of their adult lives with jesus. since he was their rabbi i can only assume they followed him every day. it was after three years, of their adult life, that they were sent into the world to make disciples of other people. why shouldn't i shelter my five year old until they too are ready to go and make disciples of other people?"
she tells me how her eight year old daughter was not being treated kindly by the neighborhood children. eight years old wanting to be eighteen. aren't we always desiring to be something we are not? the older girls thirteen and fifteen tease her little one. she hears them. her mama heart inflames. she battles the flesh. she wants to tell those girls what-for. that's her baby they are talking to. that's her baby they are mistreating. do i defend her and risk embarrassing her or let her handle it and risk her thinking i don't care. wondering why didn't i stand up for her? she wonders.
moments later her daughter darts in the house and bursts into tears, her heart in pieces. she says to her mommy, "why didn't you say anything?" my friend, full of grace, walks out to the culdesac where the older kids are hanging out. she calls the one that was unkind over to speak to her quietly. she tells her how she has loved getting to know her. she tells her how she is happy she is part of their community. she tells her how much her girls admire her. she tells her that they like to encourage one another and use words to uplift. the girl listened. the girl responded to grace with repentance. the girl showed love to my friends daughter by picking her up and twirling her around.
i listened hard and tears filled my eyes. grace. such marvelous grace.
we share stories because we are students becoming teachers becoming students over and over again. i tell her constantly that god gave her to me so she could trod along the path first teaching me the way i should go.
i am sure i will encounter this with my children. i'm certain of it. i'm also certain that had she not shared this story, when my time came, i would not have handled the situation with such grace. i would have told that kid what-for. i promise. but now, because of her, because of grace, i will know better. i will choose a different way. i will bless both my child and someone else's.
lets share our stories and travel this road of motherhood together.