Wednesday, July 13, 2016

High Tea (and other ways I date my daughter)

I've been thinking about ways to be more purposeful in my conversations with Isabelle. I know in a blink I'll be dropping her off at college and wondering if I had enough time to tell her everything I want her to know deep down in her soul. I often find myself catching my breath looking at her and realizing she looks less and less like a little girl every day.

I have so much to tell her; so much I'm still learning myself. What it means to be a woman. What true beauty is. Where real value is found. How to live out of an identity as God's daughter. In a world fighting against all of this, I want her to hear from me, clearly and often, that her character is more important than her curves. 

So over the past year Isabelle and I have gone out on special mommy/daughter dates. They've been different than the typical running out to go shopping or heading to Starbucks together to grab our favorite drink and play cards. I plan and prepare and pray for our time together.

We've had high tea at the Intercontinental and talked about where our value comes from. We giggled over petit fours and talked about identity and I might have cried a little. We've gone for facials and a skincare tutorial at a beauty counter to talk about the world's false image vs. true beauty. Isabelle picked out her first lipgloss (mama had to steer her to the neutrals) and talked about our quirks celebrated our uniqueness. We've had our nails done at the spa and discussed self-care and healthy body image.

I've used this book as a guide. Although some of it hasn't been a great fit for us (even Isabelle rolls her eyes at some of it), it's been a fantastic foundation that I can use to get good beginning ideas to fit our relationship and the conversations I want to have. Isabelle and I have even gone to a Secret Keeper Girl event when they were in town and loved it.

Isabelle is 10. Conversations revolve now around how to be a good friend, modesty, and Harry Potter. I'm praying this paves the way in the next few years for the harder conversations about injustice and boys and purity. The topics might change but at the heart of it the message won't. I pray God will give me wisdom to always talk about what it looks like to love Jesus and those around her.

I want her to be brave and kind. I want her to love Jesus fiercely and love others relentlessly. I want her to have the courage to be exactly who God made her. To be confident in her own skin and freckles and lanky frame. And to model that same confidence when wrinkles start to appear and her body carries more curves from babies.

As a mama, these kinds of conversations come up all the time. While we watch TV, driving in the car, and talking about our day. But I decided I wanted to be purposeful and plan out specific times that Isabelle would remember. Connecting them to special times we spend together; laughing over cheesecake or at the beauty counter, my prayer is that God would use these times for the truth to go down deep into her bones.  I'm praying she remembers just a little of what we talk as she braves the world these next few years as a young girl.

I want Bella to know if her identify is found in Him, nothing can shake her.

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