The Wrong Wish

My precious girl has a head full of curls. Beautiful, bouncy curls that I just love to play with. She has a hard little noggin, so she doesn’t complain too much about the combing, brushing, or detangling.

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These curls. So precious.

Every time I brush her hair, I wonder how I can teach her to love her hair (and her other features). Too often, girls are so concerned about how they look, about being trendy enough, attractive enough, good enough. I struggle with feeling like I am not pretty, and I’d like to protect her from these feelings.

There isn’t something obvious from my past that I can pinpoint. Certainly my parents both told me I was pretty, or cute, or adorable, as a young girl. No one ever said I wasn’t pretty, but I struggle with it just the same. I know I’m not alone. Girls are always changing their hair, makeup and wardrobe trying to look just right.

I almost called my sister. She has curly hair (even curlier than Princess W’s hair). I was going to ask her what she thought could have been done, early in her life, to help her love her curls. She’s had a love/hate relationship with her curls for as long as I can remember.

But it hit me before I dialed, as I whispered a little prayer. I need to help her love Jesus. The more she experiences Jesus, the more she will accept how God made her. And the bible warns that worldly beauty fades (and the standards change all the time), but true beauty is more like a heart condition.

My new prayer is for myself, that I would focus more on my daughter’s heart and less on her curls, that I would lead her to love Jesus, and let His love consume her in ways that no amount of motherly, worldly, or self love ever could.

With ea h new revelation that i need to point my kids toward Jesus, I also recognize my growing need for Jesus, for His love, His forgiveness, and His acceptance. I cannot believe He was willing to die for my sins. I marvel that He is always with me, always guiding me. I am in awe that God picked me to be the mom of 4, stepmom of 2. I am humbled and overwhelmed and scared that I’m really messing up this big responsibility. I pray that He will fill in each gap I create, or miss, or overlook, or even ignore.

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Some Heros Don’t Wear Capes

Some heros don’t wear capes. In fact, heros are often overlooked because they work in the shadows, don’t require credit for their efforts, and are there when no one else is.

Heros come in all shapes and sizes. They are male and female, from any corner of the world. They are often nameless and faceless. Some are recognized by their job title, some by their uniform.

Often times, we mistake someone for being a hero because of their affluence – but I find that to be terrible hero criteria.

My hero wears reflective gear and rescues stranded motorists. My hero has grease on his hands and in his hair, but he doesn’t quit until the job is done. My hero spends his days and nights  working alongside a narrow white line to get others out of a bind.

My hero is too stubborn to give up, too brave to give in, too strong to cave under pressure.

I thank God for this man every single day. It is an honor to walk through life with him, to have him by my side, to conquer, struggle, fight, work, and live together as a team.

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Mr. W putting a tire on the Chevy rollback.

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It is Always Perspective

I’ve been thinking lately about marriage, and what makes a marriage good or bad.

Disclaimer: These thoughts do NOT apply to those in abusive relationships. If you are dealing with the trauma of an abusive relationship, these thoughts don’t apply and I pray you find a safe place to go and sort through and heal from everything you’ve faced.

I believe that marriage is what we make of it – as is parenting, as are our friendships, sibling relationships, and even work relationships. I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage lately, because I’m incredibly blessed to have a good relationship with my husband, and because I’m always observing and trying to learn.

I’ve learned that I can either view my spouse as someone else to pick up after (said with disdain) or as someone who I am greatly blessed to serve. We all do things for our spouses – are we doing those with grace and recognizing that serving them is an honor? Or are we allowing bitterness to take up residence in our hearts, making each task an unwanted chore?

I’m no saint – ask Mr. W and he’ll tell you that I’m not always the easiest to live with. But I do try to remember that he is my partner, not my child. I try to keep in mind that serving Mr. W isn’t a drag, but is a calling God placed on my life and a way to honor Him.

And Mr. W does so much to serve me. I pray for eyes to see every contribution, big or small, every act of kindness and selflessness. I ask God to help me remember all of the things that Mr. W does to help me day in and day out.

I know what it’s like to be unappreciated and undervalued. I know what it’s like to be cut down, to walk on eggshells, and to never be good enough. I pray I never make my precious husband feel this way. I pray that I would serve with grace, and recognize where I’m being served, lest I never say my spouse does nothing for me.

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Me. W helping Princess W ride the scooter.

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