Sometimes you just want what you want. Selfishness moves in where compassion once lived.
Sometimes the day has worn on too long. The heat too strong. And your emotions cave and a crying monster emerges who desperately needs a hug and an early bedtime. Not a punishment bedtime, we won’t even tell you that we put you in bed early. But we’ll just so happen to read an extra chapter of our bedtime read-aloud that day, requiring us all to pop into bed a little early. And there over the top of the book, I will watch you drift off before I even complete the first chapter.
Or sometimes. you just can’t put into words what it feels like to live thousands of miles away from those who used to live within a finger’s reach of you, for as long as you can remember.
Sometimes you need to tell me again how much you didn’t like Portuguese school, even though I also remember how much you couldn’t wait to go. Because today you remembered someone saying something mean and assuming you couldn’t understand it. Today you remember the harder instead of the good. The growing pains over the victories. And you just need someone to listen and agree with you, even if it’s not where we both know you’ll land when you think about it again tomorrow.
Sometimes all four of you have those kind of moments in one day. Or a series of days. And it’s tiring for us all. Emotionally and physically.
But then there’s the most-of-the-time that catches me. How we look back at your photos of just last year and you notice how your face has changed. How you have grown.
And I remind you how God has been shaping you this whole time. During those sometimes moments as well as those elated moments of joy during the most-of-the-times.
And I see that little girl in a phase of wrestling to surrender selfishness for loving compassion, pouring over a puppy when no one else is looking.
You are listening and internalizing, even if the battle is uphill sometimes.
I see a “me too” little girl finding her welcome place amid a new sister-and-friend dynamic.
Even when dynamic changes can come with growing pains.
I see a young girl growing into a confidence of self-control and responsibility not being an unwanted consequence,
but choosing instead to embrace them as a gift, even if it costs a sacrifice of selfishness.
Yes, I see your quiet efforts of increasing self-discipline and chosen obedience
even when responsibility costs the price of your perceived frolicking freedom.
My ladies, I am proud of you. I am really, really proud of you. Kindness, self-control and responsibility can feel like very sacrificial choices at times. And I am praying for God to continue to give me the grace to extend to you all as you learn these critical lessons. Oh the sometimes moments have happened and will happen again. Maybe even for another series of days. But I trust that just as He sustains me when I turn to Him to teach me how to love you better, He will continue to grow you through all that He has given you in this life. And I am proud of you. Keep wrestling to do right when wrong feels so easy. Keep fighting to be kind and gentle when roughness and selfishness feel so natural. And know that even in the rawness of the processing, I am still thanking the Lord that He has given me the gift of being your Mom.
I love you, little ladies. What a privilege to fight the good fight together.