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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thirteen


How did so many years pass? Can it be that I have a beautiful teenage daughter already? She turns 13 today and it is a profound occurrence to me. My oldest baby is 13! I remember measuring at the midwife with her. I remember seeing her on the sonogram when she was as tiny as a kidney bean. I remember all these things like it was yesterday.


 


But here she is today, a lovely beautiful soul full of life and questions and interests on the cusp of womanhood. I am blessed beyond measure by her and even more grateful to God for this wonderful life.


 


Because my life is changing - and my littles are fast growing - I have been reading on and off Paul David Tripp's, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. I put it does to finish a series I was reading and have picked it up again. Last night I read these words:


 



“We tend to approach parenting with expectations as if we had hard-and-fast guarantees. We think that if we do our part, our children will be model citizens. Yet in a fallen world, this is not always the way it works. We tend to approach parenting with a sense of ownership, that these are our children and their obedience is our right.”


 


“These assumptions pave the way for our identity to get wrapped up in our children. We begin to need them to be what they should be so that we can feel a sense of achievement and success. We begin to look at our children as our trophies rather than God’s creatures. We secretly want to display them on the mantels of our lives as visible testimonies to a job well done. When they fail to live up to our expectations, we find ourselves not grieving for them and fighting for them, but angry at them, fighting against them, and, in fact, grieving for ourselves and our loss. We are angry because they have taken something valuable away from us, something we have come to treasure, something that has come to rule our hearts: a reputation for success.”


 


“It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that these are God’s children. They do not belong to us. They are given not to bring us glory, but him. Our teenagers are from him, they exist through him, and the glory of their lives points to him. We are but agents to accomplish his plan. We are but instruments in his hands. Our identity is rooted in him and his call to us, not in our children and their performance.”


 



These were important words for me to read. I must remember - every day - that these blessings are not jewels in my own crown, but in God's. They are His and only here with us for a short time. Oh, how short it is!

It is just a mere blink of the eye until she will be considered an adult in the eyes of the world. She will always be my little girl though. She will always be that chubby little baby who crawled backwards; that little toddler who tried so hard not to smile for the photographer; that funny early reader making all those endearing mispronunciations; that lovely young lady with a growing desire for knowledge and wisdom. She will always be my girl, but she is His first and foremost. She is His child and deserves the kind of care and love that is my charge to give. May God give me the ability.



Happy birthday my sweet Hannah.


You are a treasure and a blessing and I love you.


14 comments:

CAgirlwithasoutherndrawl said...

Happy Birthday Hannah!


Thank you for posting those words of wisdom Kate. They really hit home for me as I have been dealing with my pride in several areas. Why do I want to be thin? Why do I want to have a super clean house? Why do I want my kids to obey my every single word? Not that these things are bad in and of themselves, but what is my motivation. The answers are sometimes very hard for me to voice. My pride is an ugly, ugly thing.


~Annemarie

JenIG said...

i am so sad that we are so far away. Hannah is such a lovely girl and i am so delighted that she and Ryann are such good friends. give that girl a huge hug from all of us!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kate, she is just so incredibly beautiful! And she looks Just. Like. Her. Momma!


Isn't it insane to be the mother of a teenager?? Now that my youngest is about to turn 9 I'm thinking there are two incredibly hard-hitting days: the day you first become the mother of a teenager (the day your first child becomes a teenager) and then the day when your LAST child becomes a teenager. In four more years, I'll be there. Isn't it sobering?


Hugs,

~Jo's Boys

ExGoatMilker said...

Happy birthday Hannah!


Dani

ReviewsbyHeidi said...

Kate~ She looks JUST like you~ such a pretty girl! My Ashley turned 13 last November, so I know how you are feeling today. Hard to believe she'll soon be 14. Goodness, how time flies.

Heidi

Copperswife said...

I remember Hannah when she was a cute toddler. And she was a beautiful flower girl in Corin's wedding, too! Where does the time go? Aaron will be 14 next month, and they were just little ones playing together yesterday, weren't they? Hannah is a beautiful young woman! Happy 13th birthday, Hannah!!!

andijeane said...

Your daughter is lovely! "Age of Opportunity" is one of my favorites.


I just gave you the "You Make Me Smile" award. You can pick it up here:

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/andijeane/398688/


~Andrea

jess4him said...

What a great post! thank you! :)


And happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!


I gave you an "award" by the way- it's on my blog.. :)


hope you're having a wonderful day,

love,

jessica

Momto5 said...

My son turned 14 this past May and it wasn't until then that I realized he was becoming a young man. I was cutting his hair one day and he was taller than me and he looked like such a young man at that point. It about knocked me over. Our second oldest will be 13 in a few months...


It is so hard to remember that they are the Lord's and not ours. I have to keep telling myself that especially as they get older and you start to loosen the strings a little and allow them to make some choices on their own.


Anyway thank you for the post...

Blessings,

Tammy

TC said...

Beautiful, beautiful children.


Wait until your BABY turns 13. That's a real shocker.

Dy said...

It doesn't seem possible, does it? And it's funny what a double blessing this is - she is blessed to have a mother who serves her home by serving the Lord and seeking His path for her children - you are blessed with such beautiful children who bring such joy to your life. There are few such precious gifts in this world.


What a lovely young lady, and I hope this is a beautiful year of learning and wisdom, love and joy, growth in the Lord and developing the strong roots of womanhood a bit more. Happy Birthday!


Love,

dy

PeterRabbitPreschool said...

Our children are still very young (ages 2 & 4, plus I'm pregnant) - and I love reading about mom's who remember "those days" when their own children were younger. It helps me treasure these early days.

Your daughter Hannah is beautiful!


-Katrina (Peter Rabbit Preschool)

barbieheart said...

Very wise words--thank you.


Happy birthday to Hannah!

Barbara

gmisch said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Hannah!


I too have been reading Paul Tripp's book. My oldest will be 13 in June, but much is already applicable! I have been humbled while reading about *our* idols that we need to put down, particularly the idol of respect. Maybe this is what I need to start blogging about. It's nice to know you are reading it too! What page are you on?


Grace in Alaska