Your daughter is growing up and you just noticed.
You realized that time is flying by, the years seem shorter and shorter.
We were outside packing for another trip and Elayna was standing next to me.
She was talking to Jeremy and had just carried a huge laundry basket full of bedding to the van.
I glanced over and saw her cute jeans, her cowboy boots and her long braid.
She looked stylish and adorable.
She looked grown up.
My daughter is growing up.
I looked at our shoes, side-by-side, and thought, “Just a few years left…”
Over half her time with us is past.
She is beautiful and young and amazing and brilliant. and she is growing up.
Her formative years are ending and her critical years are ahead.
Will she choose to follow in the ways she has been taught?
Will she continue to be teachable?
Will she listen to advice and accept instruction?
Will she trust in the God who loves her and allow Him to walk her through the many long, growing days ahead?
Will she choose friends who will help her in her relationship with God?
Will she stand strong even if she stands alone?
Will she be safe and cared for and know how deeply she is loved?
Seeing her sweet form standing almost face-to-face with mine, I breathed a prayer that all moms pray.
Lord, let it be.
Let her choose You. Let her listen and make godly choices. Let her follow Your Word all the days of her life.
My time is so short.
Her life is just beginning.
She is growing up.
And my mommy heart is pounding with the implications of that thought.
Will I handle her critical years with grace?
Will I hear her and step back and let her continue to grow?
Can I let go and let God have full control?
Can I accept her growth and watch her live?
My daughter is growing up… and I’m choosing to trust. I’m choosing to see the beauty in each day we have with her in our home.
How do I make sure as my daughter is growing up that she is ready to face the future ahead?
1} Every day matters – Don’t let a single day go by without teaching her something. Without sharing life with her. Without letting her see you, hear you, and learn. Even on the days you are apart, find a way to make that day matter.
2} Every moment is precious – Don’t lose a single one in anger or frustration. Don’t let the day go by without her knowing your love.
3} Talk about everything – Make the time. Make it happen. Sneak into her room and talk. Send text messages. Find cute emojis in messenger. Leave a voice message. Make coffee and take an hour just to talk about whatever she wants to talk about. Through all the words you’ll find new connections, memories and things to share. This is also where teenage parenting ahead happens.
4} Do Daily Devotions – This is where all the good stuff happens. Parenting, teaching, learning, growing, helping, encouraging, challenging… it all happens during nightly devotions. Every night. Parenting at bedtime is key to making sure our kids are ready to leave the nest.
5} Read books together – All the books. All the stories. All the fun adventures to have together. We really enjoy reading the same books… not necessarily together. Just having read the same books gives us something sweet in common.
6} Mother Daughter Date Nights – Something like this movie night idea is perfect.
7} Friendships Matter – What do you know about her friends? What is she learning or feeling about friendship right now? Does she need advice? A listening ear? A shoulder to cry on? Be involved in her friendships.
8} Say sorry – You won’t be perfect. Model saying sorry, forgiveness, humility and reconciliation. Parenting after you’ve messed up teaches lessons you couldn’t even begin to teach otherwise.
My daughter is growing up.
I feel the minutes ticking away.
But I’m thankful for the moments, the memories, the challenges and the amazing person that God is growing her to be.
What is something you do to stay connected to your daughter as she grows up?