Saturday, August 22, 2009

Halee Jayden, Fear, & Grace

Halee Jayden is coming up on three and a half. Sometimes she's seems like a teenager in a three year old body. She's into fashion, she changes her clothes several times a day, (I actually moved her clothes from the top rack of the closet to the bottom so that she could reach her clothes on her own... it saves me several trips up the stairs each day :). She cries when she feels as if she doesn't have the perfect outfit on. The "sparklier" the better. When I do her hair each morning she always picks the clips with the most glitter. She's a sensitive soul. A harsh voice does not get through to her (It doesn't really get through to most people, does it?) But with Hal, the more joyfully I can speak to her, the greater response I get from her. She has been so into the way that she looks. We tell her that she's God's princess. She tells me all the time that I am pretty. :) And although it is true that she is B_E_A_U_T_I_F_U_L, we want her to know how much better it is to have a beautiful heart than it is to have the most beautiful dress or beautiful face.
We have a mantra around here,
Mama_"Hal, is it more important to have a pretty dress or a pretty heart?"
Hal_ "A PRETTY heart!"
Mama_ "Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the....."
Hal_ "Heart!"

Lately she has not cared much to learn new things. We have been trying to teach her how to brush her own teeth, how to get herself dressed, how to hold a pencil, things like that. And she gets over the top discouraged with each new task. When she can't find something (like her princess shoes) she cries.

But in the same breath, she's so easy to be around. She laughs way more than she cries. She's the funny one in the family. She's the only treasure who really does intentional things to try and make us all laugh. She LOVES to dance! She asks me to turn on "the dance" (that's how she asks for music) all day long. She loves spicy food. She'll eat Mexican food with hot sauce and spicy Thai foods. And her favorite color is pink.

With Hal (as with all of my treasures) I long to know her heart. I want to be the type of listener that is able to draw out her deepest thoughts, her most intense struggles, her greatest joys. But, since my blog is quickly becoming one of the few places where I feel so free to confess everything that is going on in my crazy girly head, I am going to confess how things really are with Hal.

Here it goes... Sometimes I'm afraid of her. (Stick with me here :) Don't get me wrong... my love for this little girl is strong and deep. But I'm afraid of her pulling the wool over my eyes and manipulating me with her actions. You see, I do not really have the gift of discernment and the truth is that I have this deeply rooted fear that one (or all) of my kids are going to pull a fast one on me, or manipulate me, or deceive me in some way. So most of the time I have my guard up (I really wish that I didn't, but I do.) And the way that this fear shows it's ugly face is in the fact that I am quick to speak and quick to become angry (even when I don't have the FULL story). More often than not I am super SLOW to listen. And the person that gets this side of me the most is my little Hal. She's emotional and several times a day she attempts to use her emotion to get what she wants.

Once again there are two sides to this whole predicament. I think there is blessing in training our kids to not get what they want through manipulation. But I also know that there is nothing healthy about training our kids with our own personal fears leading the way. This fear is something that I desperately need to relinquish to the Lord. But what exactly does that mean and how am I to truly let go of something that seems so deeply rooted in my heart?

Honestly? Most of the time I really don't think that I know the answer to that question.

But I DO know these few things...

I know that the Lord of heaven and earth, the Lord who created my little treasure, lives in my broken little heart.

I know that that same Lord is not the least bit surprised by my fears. He knew since before time began that I would struggle with the very thing that I do.

I know that apart from my Lord I can do nothing.

I know that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

I know that because of the sacrifice of His one and only Son, I am offered an abundance of forgiveness.

I know that My Lord put my Hal in my life for the very purpose of drawing me closer to Him.

I am constantly reminded that I am so so so so so in need of a Savior... and the the good news is... I have one... and He loves me... despite my sin... "While we were YET sinners, Christ died for us." That is the GREAT news of GREATER grace!

Tonight I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful for his grace as he grows me into his likeness despite myself.