Raising a girl into a strong woman

hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny
— C.S. Lewis
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How do I explain to our one and only daughter that the teenaged trials in life are part of what will shape her as a grown up.  I can share the story with her how when I was in high school the summer before my sophomore year I went away to a tall flag camp. 

Since I was part of the tall flags team we had an opportunity to go away to a camp to learn new skills and compete with other schools. I went to camp with a friend of mine who I grew up with.  We had some serious history the two of us.  We were suppose to room together.  That was the plan.  However if you can believe it, there was actually a cool, cute way hipper girl who was at the same camp, a grade ahead of us who my friend decided would be way more awesome to room with.  It broke my heart.  I didn’t understand.  Why wouldn’t she want to room with her buddy she had for all these years?  I was lucky though because a few of the girls on our team took me under their wing and invited me to room with them.  The entire weekend my long time friend was kind of rude to me, she wouldn’t talk to me, she didn’t really interact with me.  She even did a few intentional mean things to me.  It was torture.  I was so heart broken.  I called home one night while we were in the cafeteria, we didn’t have cell phones or social media.  My goodness had we, it could have been far worse.   I called my mom on the pay phone in tears.  I begged her to drive up and come get me.  I couldn’t stay here a minute longer.  

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My mom didn’t come.  She told me I could do it.  She told me I was strong and that I would get through this.  She had faith in me.  She wasn’t the kind of mom to swoop in and rescue me from a tough spot.  She was a mom who taught me how to rise in times of adversity.  She taught me how to be strong.  Because things were not always easy and I had endured a few more events far worse than this high school story, it shaped me into the empathetic human being I am today, it showed me that grace is far more important than being rigid and “right.” It gave me insight to others who may have struggled with the bullies in their lives too.  I have forgiveness in my heart.  This gal who wouldn’t room with me turned out to be a really great human being herself.  She was sorry for the stuff she put me through in high school.  I wholeheartedly accepted her apologies and we are the best of friends even to this day.  

I want to teach my daughter the same lessons my wise mom taught me.  My mom never called my friends mom to give her a piece of her mind (although she kind of wanted to)  She instead just loved me, loved my friend and stayed out of our business. She had faith in me that I would figure it all out.  I did.  I always figured it out. We always patched things up and learned lessons from our mistakes.

I take these lessons with me today as we believe in our daughter,  show her support, love her deeply, encourage her strengths,  listen to her concerns, give her advice when she asks for it.  She can rise above.  We pray for her loads, we pray with her in times of tears,  we hold her, we hug her and we tell her how much she is loved. I don’t know if what we are doing is “right” we are just doing our best.  We also have two boys who are now men, high school was much different for the boys, we handled them differently because I have also realized each child has their own unique circumstances that should be dealt with accordingly.  Each child has their own story. 

I truly see such strength in this young woman.  I tell her she is strong in body, mind and spirit.  I need to show her through example that I too am strong, body, mind and spirt.  I can show her how my faith helps me through the rough times. I’m her best example of how to be a Godly women in today’s times.  Today’s times sure are different though with social media and texting and things I never had to experience.   So I use social media to send her, snaps and I text her quotes like this one; 

“hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”  C.S. Lewis.  

I send her prayers like this one 

“Heavenly Father, help me to raise my eyes above my circumstances and focus on You.  Today I’m facing a battle, but thank You for overcoming this world through Jesus Christ.    John 16:33 

I remind her that she has God on her side, Romans 8:31

I remind her how we can only control ourselves and not the people around us and even with reminders her behavior isn’t exactly perfect but she for sure is 100% human, I’ve seen that side too.  And so we solider on.  We always solider on and learn from from this life and most especially in the rough spots. 

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and most importantly.....WE NEVER GIVE UP because great things happen through our failures and persistance. She has already shown me this.