Friday, July 18, 2008

Intentional

Ok. Who gave you permission to transform from a baby into....this?




Who said that you were big enough to ride a bike? To start repeating everything...and I mean everything...that you hear Mommy and Daddy say? To sit on the potty like a big girl?





Um...on the last one, I'm going to pretend that I'm thrilled that she's taken to it so well. Which I am. Really! But is it ok that there's a teeny tiny part of me that is sad that she doesn't really have a need for diapers during the daytime anymore? Because it's just one more step away from the world of baby and toward a whole new world that I'm not sure I'm ready for.

Mama Belle had a post awhile back that made me think. Her girls are a little older, so the things she is experiencing with them are quite a bit different than the stage that I'm at. But I think the overall feeling is the same. You want them to grow up, to be happy and smart and well-adjusted, but you're also left standing there, choking back tears and wondering just where all the time went. I want to be so intentional in raising Savannah. I want to absorb every minute, and yet there are so many times where I let these opportunities sail by. The days pass in their sameness, the everyday things we do start to run together, I get irritated and snap and yell. I sometimes forget that these days, right now, are the ones when she is learning and soaking everything in, wanting to be just like me and comprehending things far better than I realize.

Before Savannah, I had this weird idea that when I had kids, things would sort of fall into place. Traditions and routines would just create themselves. We would automatically read stories and do puzzles, plant a garden together, sing Jesus Loves Me at the top of our lungs. Effortless.

Boy, was I wrong. Everything takes an effort. Nothing just happens. I have to decide to take time out every evening before bed to read her Bible stories, and to answer her a million times that Yes, it's Moses in this picture. The potty training thing wasn't really intuitive; we had to sit down and make it happen. When I'm cooking breakfast and she pulls up her chair and says, "I help Mama!", it takes patience to let her stay there in my way, breaking eggs and spilling blueberries all over. It takes kicking my selfishness to the curb when I want to watch TV and she's begging me to come outside to play with her.

I'm overwhelmed by the responsibility sometimes, the thought that I get one chance at this and I could so easily mess it up. I seriously don't know what I'm doing most of the time. But I do know the One who gave her to me in the first place, and He reminds me daily that I can do all things through Him. And I'm pretty sure that includes raising up this beautiful little baby girl child to love Him with all her heart.

32 comments:

Smilingsal said...

Yep, it takes effort. But, it's the most rewarding job you'll ever have.

kaleytaylor said...

That was beautiful. Really. She is beautiful too.

And to quote BigMama today, this makes my 'ovaries start tap dancing all over my uterus".

Really. :)

screamofcontinuousness said...

That was really beautiful. And so good to hear. A lot of moms make it sound so easy and it TOTALLY intimidates me. But this, this is honest and real and lovely.

have a wonderful day dear blog-friend and hug Savannah one extra time for me, okay?

The Miles Family said...

She is ADORABLE!!!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

She is beautiful!

"Everything takes efford" how true... I think I thought it would just 'happen' on its own too...but it doesn't.

Thanks for this post :)

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

Such a beautiful post!

And I feel the same way about my kids.

And she looks JUST LIKE YOU!
How precious.

Rachel said...

well said, Jackie!

It takes much effort to live in the moment each day with your child and to create the memories you want for them and to nurture them in the ways you want them to grow.

Thanks for the encouragement and reminder.

I feel silly saying this, but I feel like Savanna has grown so much in the few months I've been reading your blog. She is beautiful!

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

Amen, Sister!

So many days I kick myself for not stopping and making it count. At the end of the day it's gone and it doesn't come back. It's so easy to get swept up in our own world and so easy to lack the patience to include them. Great post!

Cheri said...

It does take conscious effort doesn't it? ALOT of conscious effort. Even when you just don't feel like it anymore.

Like a lot of struggles - what is truly worth having is worth fighting for. A good marriage, happy children, our walk with God.

Worth fighting for every single one of those. But easy? Hardly ever!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh Jackie, that was beautiful.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Absolutely beautiful! I wish I could have a few of those days back that I just let sail by. Intentional parenting is so vital!

REAL ME said...

What a wonderful post!!!!!!!!

Elena said...

With my daughter being 10 months younger than Savannah, it so much fun to read about her accomplishments and growth. It gives an idea where Mary will be in about a year! God bless you

Wendi said...

Jackie,
First of all let me just say your daughter is gorgeous!! :) Oh my goodness, that last picture... how do you ever say no to that?? :)
I appreciated this post so much. I have those same bittersweet feelings as I watch my guys grow up. It's like relief and panic. :)
I especially struggle with letting go of my oldest - my K. He was so tiny when he was born and so helpless. I just want to hold on to him forever. I wrote about some of my feelings - similar to what you have expressed here: http://miraculouschaos.blogspot.com/2008/03/it-seems-that-k-has-always-been-bound.html
Once again, so enjoyed my visit here. :) Thanks!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Girl, you know I'm with you, getting a little choked up think about all the growing up and how much of who they are depends on ME. That scares me to death. I'll just keep trying to do my best and I know I'll do a lot of failing as a parent. I'll just keep asking my Jesus for help.

By the way, your daughter is beautiful! So sweet.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Great post...and gorgeous girl! What would we do without the Lord to help us on this journey. I know I wouldn't make it...as a mom...or as anything.

Colored With Memories said...

She is precious. I KNOW you are doing a great job.

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Bunny Trails said...

It does take work, but it will be so worth it. She is just adorable and precious! Love the shots! :D

franticallysimple said...

That is how I feel about my girl. It goes by so fast...

ttm said...

Aw, sniff...sniff... she's not a baby anymore! She's so adorable and you are a wonderful Mama. There's nobody else who could be a better Mama to Savannah than you!

Lisa said...

I think you put into words what so many feel about their kids getting older. I know I feel this way. It happens so fast, and without our permission. When I start to get upset about my girls getting so big so fast, I think of Hannah in the bible and how she knew before she even held Samuel in her arms that she would literally and physically be giving him to God in just a short, short time.

She really is too cute.

Gretchen said...

Beautiful post. Beautiful girl. Beautiful momma's heart. It IS effort. But effort that is so clear that you've taken. Effort which will and is bearing fruit. Effort that He gives us strength for each day. Blessings! xxxooogretchen

Michelle@Life with Three said...

She is so beautiful -- and so was your post. I always think of motherhood as the hardest job I ever had, but it's also the job that I've loved the most. The rewards are well worth the effort.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Genny said...

Jackie,
I know what you mean...they grow up so fast! It isn't cliche when people say enjoy every minute because it will fly by! It really does.

mamajil said...

I love this post! The time does fly by and its so important to savor the moments! I know what you mean when you say you sometimes feel as if you don't know what you are doing...I've often wondered why my kids didn't come with an instruction manual that would be so much easier.(lol) In our own strength the responsibility of being a parent is overwhelming I totally agree with you the scripture you shared We can do all things through Christ!! As you parent on purpose and put forth the effort you will be blessed with the fruit you will see. Its so important to start developing life long relationships with our kids from the very beginning of their lives!
You have a beautiful little girl! How exciting that she is growing up and what fun it is to see her accomplishments! You are blessed!

Becky said...

I was very sad when my 2 potty trained!! A sure sign they are no longer your babies!!!
It does go so fast!! My son will start 3rd grade this fall! Don't know how that happened!!

mamachristina said...

these pictures are sooo cute! i would be proud to have taken those. I can totally understand the catch 20 with them growing up and still wanting to have youy little baby. i am not getting my words out well today, so I will stop now.

Jodie said...

This is priceless Jackie. So well said. You just put a mother's heart on paper.
Beautiful post.

Casey said...

Goodness gracious she is one beautiful girl!!

I hear you on this... it is back and forth with me. I think I would be okay if he just stayed like he is right now. Sigh, I guess not really, but oh how my heart hurts a little to have to let go even the tiniest bit.

Erin K. said...

Um, excuse me? She's on a bike?

She can't be on a bike. Because that means that my baby isn't far behind. And my baby *certainly* isn't ready for a bike.

Right??

**sigh**