My name is Rachel and I live in a house with just 1 blue toothbrush but a nice selection of pink ones. I love Emma Dawson - she is one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world.
I think we are very alike in lots of ways - attractive, intelligent, funny, humble ;) But it never ceases to amaze me how totally different our lives are simply because of the gender of our kids! It is astonishing. On tired days, I get out the felt pens and a mountain of printer paper so I can have a break while she heads to the park so her boys can run free, which gives her a break. Now I don't want to be too stereotypical here - yes boys can like dressing up and colouring too, and yes girls can like climbing trees and kicking footballs.
I have 3 girls - and I sometimes don't think they could be more different from each other if they tried. One is quiet and sensitive and likes reading and knitting and art. She doesn't like sweets, gets full marks on her spellings and would rather eat worms than be told off (and she is really not a worm eating sort of girl). One is loud and constantly interactive and lives in a world of make believe where there are invisible people and made up words and bendy boundaries. She doesn't understand the point of fruit and veg, she can't sit still when music plays and she has a memory like a goldfish. The other one is funny and strong and all about people. She is spontaneously thoughtful, the most physical and at the grand old age of 2 has spent more time on the naughty step than the other two combined :) But the things they share apart from the pink toothbrushes are the things that make them girls.
Parenting girls is a lot like parenting boys I would expect. You love them, feed them and cloth them. You teach, discipline and pray for them. Some things are different though - the evenings spent learning to crochet so you can help them to do it, the Saturday morning YouTube research to learn how to do fishtail plaits or top knots, doing the laundry in loads of darks, whites and pinks and the repeated use of the phrase "you have to keep still while your nail varnish dries". There are other mysteries too, like where all the glitter comes from and of course, Barbie and High school musical are on repeat. But there is one great advantage to mothering girls; us mothers are girls. And even though we may have daughters who are very different from the type of girl we were, there is still a familiarity and empathy as we watch them deal with the business of being female. We understand bad hair days and how school friends can be mean and the overwhelming confusion that is hormones and emotions because we have been there. Having said that I feel spectacularly out of my depth on a daily basis. I am so grateful to know God's help in raising my girls.
2 Corinthians 13v14 is Paul's prayer for his friends in the city of Corinth;
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
This is my prayer for my daughters but also for me as I parent them - that we might know the amazing grace of Jesus, the unconditional love of God and the constant friendship and help of the Holy Spirit. Girls (and mums) need grace. Grace is the undeserved favour of God or put simply, God doesn't punish us for all we have done wrong and fail to do right - He puts all that on Jesus so we go free. This is such great news, we get a clean slate. We get to start over. Our girls need to be accepted and loved when they do well and when they fail, whether they win or loose, whatever their size or shape, with all their strengths and weaknesses. I so desperately want my girls to know that they are wanted and loved and accepted whatever they have done. We are not perfect and neither are they. We all need to know God's forgiveness and grace.
As girls our identity and self worth is hugely defined by our dads - for good or bad. But whether we had a great father or a terrible father or no father at all, there is a Father in Heaven who made us and loves us totally. Our daughters need to know who He is and how He sees them. They are chosen and accepted, daughters of the King of Kings. Knowing His definition of them is crucial to them riding the storms of peer pressure and the ups and downs of life.
And then there is the Holy Spirit - when Jesus went back to Heaven He promised to send us "the helper". The Holy Spirit is such a friend in parenting - He can bring wisdom when you are out of your depth, peace and joy in the midst of uncertainty, patience when you are losing it. And what a friend to introduce our daughters to - He understands every fibre of their being, every emotion they feel, every thought, every question - and He has all the wisdom and power and resources of Heaven to bring into their little lives. How any one manages to do life without His help is a mystery to me.
I am learning so much in this crazy season of life while my children are young. How to depend on God for strength and wisdom when I'm way out of my depth. When I feel like I might pop just because I love them so much, I get a glimpse of how God loves me. And there's nothing like parenting to crush your selfishness. They teach me about unconditional love and surprise me with kindness. There is so much diversity and creativity in everything they do that makes me worship God because He's so clever.
My girls and I are only just starting out on this incredible journey but our prayer for you is that you and your daughters (and your husbands and sons too) might know the Grace of our dear Jesus, the massive love of God the father and the fellowship of His awesome Holy Spirit more and more. Amen.