A Mother’s Disappointment and Love

I wish I could say I should have seen this coming…but honestly, I thought my daughter would be more responsible.

I have a 12 year old daughter.  She is beautiful.  She is talented.  She is smart…and maybe not so smart after all.

Her school allowed her (without my permission) to have an email address.  I found out about this after she blurted out that she had to email her teacher a report for her keyboarding class.  I was not comfortable with her having an email address that I did not know anything about.  I checked up on her regularly…but nothing seemed amiss…

Flash forward a few months.  She and a neighbor boy are getting chummy.  She is 12 and we have strict rules!  I found emails between her and the boy where they are professing their love for one another.  Now…she is 12.  What does she know of love?  Not a damn thing.  And there in lies one of the main issues.  This is more than likely just a crush for her.  She’s known this boy for 2 years and they have been involved in many of the same activities.  Not an issue.  We know his parents…and we basically have the same values…  What happens when she no longer has a crush on him?

The second issue…is that she hid her emails between the two of them.  After I had already gone through her emails.  She moved them into another folder.  Well…the girl failed to realize when she left her iPod (which she is supposed to do) that when he emailed her at school that I would see it.  I was shocked.  I was upset.  I wanted to rage.

Then calm took over.  This is a very tricky walk for both me and my husband.  We can’t tell her NOT to hang out with this boy…he is her friend.  BUT…we can limit what kind of contact they have when they are around us.  No hand holding, no hugging, no kissing.  They are NOT boyfriend and girlfriend.  They cannot sit on the couch together unless they have two of our other kids in between them!  They are very good friends…and that is where it will stay until we say (or they grow out of it) otherwise.

I then flash back to my 12 year old self.  Did I hide things from my parents?  Heck yeah, I did!  I had already smoked my first cigarettes and got drunk for the first time by the time I was 12.  I was not a very good kid even though I got good grades and listened to my parents.  I had horrible influences from my brother and sister who were older than me…which is no excuse.  I failed them and me and God when I was that age.  Heck, I continued to fail them and God and me until I was in my 20’s.  I guess my child is so much better off than I was.

I do not want my daughter to be stuck in a “relationship” with a boy in the future because she said things she should not have said because she felt she had to say them so she wouldn’t make him “feel” bad.  What a horrible precedent to set!  Can you imagine all the relationships after that???  This sends a big message to me and her father that we really need to discuss with her what healthy relationships are…and what are not.

I will be looking for a co-dependency book for teens for my daughter so she can realize and recognize both good and bad relationship behaviors.  Ephesians 5:3,6-7 says:

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

“Let no one decieve you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (7) Therefore do not be partners with them.”

We want our daughter to stay as innocent as possible without being naive. How entirely impossible is that request?  We don’t want her hurt…nor do we want her to hurt others through her youth…because she does not know any better.  In these times of change and challenge, we cling tighter to the Lord our God and to one another so we can be each other’s fortress in the storm.

My daughter knew she had done wrong.  By keeping the relationship secret…and by hiding her emails.  So…not only is her email gone but her iPod is also gone.  She is not allowed to go on the internet without our knowledge…and to say my trust in her is a little shaky…well, that would be true.  She’s 12.  And she’s young…and she’s stupid.

I pray we can continue to talk with her about these things so she can grow and have healthy relationships through her life…

I thank my Father God for showing me patience and giving me peace.  Through Him ALL things ARE possible.

1st Runner Up in the Popularity Contest

Last weekend I was 1st Runner Up in the local popularity…oops…I mean the local karaoke contest.  Please read that as: I came in dead last.  I competed against 5 other folks who are originally from the area that I moved to. 

I love to sing…in my car, in my house, in my bathroom.  It is a HUGE stretch of the imagination to say that I love to sing in front of people and be judged.  To sing just to sing..fine.  To sing and have a group of (supposed) impartial people…not so good.  My younger daughter also competed in the kids portion of the competition and said she would go up there if I would go up there.  She did (twice!) and so I made a promise to her and could not back out of it.

Somewhere along the way, when people have asked me where my kids have received their singing from I always denied this part of my being.  Music is such an essential part of my life.  My heart and mind are always singing songs.  I would tell people that I could yell loudly and would just call it even.  Over the last few months and during this try out process, it was impressed upon me by my Father God that singing is a gift.  He giveth and He taketh away.  STOP DENYING A GIFT FROM ME, MY CHILD!!!  Okay, okay…I get it.

The first time I sang, the judges were not from the local area…in fact no one knew them.  The 2nd and 3rd times I sang, the judges were from the local area.  I placed 3rd and 6th, respectively.  I will take that 2nd place win (and first competition) over any other because I know the judges were impartial.

As I sat that night, trying to bite back the bitterness that was creeping up in my gullet…I realized two things.  1: I was never going to win THAT popularity contest.  It doesn’t matter how much I tried, how much of a show I put on…these people were not going to like me.  2: I went out and did what I could do to the best of my ability!

The next day, as I waited for my husband to get ready for church, I sat and drank my coffee and read my daily devotions.  Wouldn’t you know it, but my devotion had to deal with not searching for earthly accolades, but only doing what is right and what is worthy for my Father God.  I should only be searching for my rewards from my heavenly Father and no one else.  WHOA!  What a lesson to be learned!!!  It was as if my Father God had smacked me in the back of the head and said, “Listen, stupid!  I don’t care what those other people think…and you should not either!  You should be turning your face to me, searching with all your heart for me and ONLY looking to me for acceptance!  These mere mortals cannot promise you the riches of heaven…only I can!”  God wants me to depend on him soley…not search and validate my existence through humans.  DUH!!!

The second lesson learned from this whole experience came a few days later when I stumbled across Ephesians 5:18-20

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit (19) speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, (20) always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Double WHOA!  You see gentle reader, this hit me doubly hard.  I assumed (now I know different and how GOD wanted me to behave) that I needed alcohol to be able to get up there and sing.  I did not.  Father God knew that…and He wanted ME to know that.  I didn’t listen and still drank 4 drinks to get myself up there and sing.  Did I need it?  NO.  Did I not listen to Him.  YES.  :::shaking head:::  I want to smack myself on the back of the head!

So…in the end (and thank the Lord it is the end!) I learned a very wonderful truth.  My Father God loves me.  He loves me just the way I am, perfectly imperfect.  And I love Him.  The next time I want to be accepted or wanted…I just need to turn my face to His countenance and wrap myself in His good word.  I am a child of the Most High God and through Him, and only through Him, ALL things are possible!