I love my children all the same. They each have their own special and unique qualities that totally captivate me. While I feel responsible for each of their upbringings, I do feel an extra responsibility towards my girls. Not to sound so anti-feminist, but I do feel it is my job as a female to lead them in their identity/social roles as females...how to act like a lady, modesty, how to run a home, etc. They are at an age (especially Ella), where they imitate all that I do. It is flattering and TERRIFYING in the same breath. They are already, at this young age, identifying with me more. Yes, Andrew's role is HUGE in the their lives as well, but it's just different than mine.
So today during my 30 days of a Thankful Heart series, I am thankful for God giving me these two precious girls to be a role model for. (Don't worry Jacob, your post will come tomorrow!!)
Andrew and I refer to them as our Jane and Elizabeth Bennett characters from Pride and Prejudice. Both equal in physical beauty, yet their spirits are so different. Ella is our Jane: She is ridiculously beautiful, kind and shy, compassionate, and more reserved. Audrey is our Elizabeth: equally as beautiful, yet much more spirited. She stands up for herself and is quick to vocalize her opinions. It has been challenging for me to know how to mother these two different personalities. Ella is more like Andrew and Audrey is more like myself. I have already had to learn to embrace the fact that Ella's shyness is not a negative thing...it is a wonderful thing, yet it is challenging to help her feel confident in herself. Her meek spirit keeps her out of trouble. She is the one who I doubt I will ever have to worry about behavior in school. I do sort of dislike the label of being "shy". She's not antisocial...just more of an observer. However, her sensitivity has challenged me. Her sensitivity makes her so compassionate towards others, but it also means we deal with a lot of tears. People hurt her feelings very easily. I hate that for her...but, I also know that this is who God created her to be. And the world could certainly use those who feel deeply and love deeply.
And then there is Audrey. Oh dear! She is so sweet, yet has a mind of her own. She is definitely the same as I was as a young girl and still am in many ways today. I don't want to tame Audrey's zest for life and her free spirit. Her free spirit has enabled her to be the most self entertained of the 3 of my children. She could play with princess figurines for hours happily on her own. She is self driven...the clash, however, is when her drive goes against what I need her to do. I know her desire to be completely independent will be a wonderful quality later in life. That girl will stand up to a bully...I see her daily stand up for any injustice her siblings have imposed upon her (ie-taking a toy she is playing with). My parents will often remind me that I was their only child that "talked back". I was a very good arguer when I felt like I was not being treated fairly. I want Audrey to be a strong woman and embrace that amazing will and drive she has in a positive way. She'll probably be President of the Student Body one day. And just like the world needs compassionate females like Ella, the world will also need people who stand firm and strong on their beliefs in the Lord. My prayer for her (and both girls really) is to stand strong for the Lord and lead others to Him with her spunky personality!
I am thankful that these two girls challenge me to be a better woman myself. Yes they challenge me as a mother in my role of leading them, but they also have taught me a lot about myself along the way. Children are amazing in how they can reveal your own sin in your life. My prayers lately have been for God to show me the Godly woman He desires for me to be...because I know I have little eyes that are watching and imitating and ears that are listening and repeating.
Thank you Lord for using those two girls to help shape me and mold me into the woman I know you desire me to be. I am in awe of how children of such a young age can be used for God's glory. We spend so much time thinking of how to teach them...and upon reflection, perhaps it's really them who lead us to the Lord and help us become more like Him. It is an honor to be the mother of these two little ladies. Thank you Lord for using these girls to lead me to be more like you! Thank Heaven for little girls!