Mothers as Daughters -- To Raise a Daughter We Must Be One

*** I (Megan) am honored to be one of the writers in the #prayersforgirls movement led by the beautiful, funny, fantastically southern, Teri Lynne Underwood. I've asked my WIP girls to take their takes on this month's post. Always a treat to hear from them!! Beautiful daughters (and mamas!) that they are.

“We need to come to know who we truly are, that uniquely beautiful person that God has made us. And to have the courage to live accordingly. Each of us is a unique expression of the divine goodness and beauty. If we do not live that and express it in our lives, it will never be expressed in this world for the glory of God and the up-building of the whole Body of Christ.”

-- Breaking Bread, Basil Pennington

Your little girl. She’s not perfect, but she’s yours. You remember her frame growing in your womb, morphing from coffee bean to plum to watermelon. You remember wondering if she would look more like you or great-aunt Grace. If she would be rational like her daddy or spontaneous like her mama. Or maybe she grew in the womb of another, her first days or years weren’t spent in your arms, but no matter, because somehow God directed you to her and now she’s woven her way so deeply into the fabric of your heart you can’t imagine your life without her.

Either way, this girl, though exasperating at times, is the most beautiful gift you could ever imagine. You have so many hopes and dreams for her you feel like your heart might burst right out of your chest and take on a life of its own.

When she is little, she throws on princess dresses and twirls around the room. You tell her she’s the most beautiful, smart, capable person you’ve ever known. She could be president or an astronaut, a doctor or an inventor. The sky’s the limit! And when she grows, shying away from unwanted attention (which translates to any and all), drooping her shoulders and trying to “fit in,” you tell her to stand up straight and smile because she’s the most wonderful thing that ever was. You cringe to think she would doubt her worth for even one second because she is your daughter — wholly and dearly loved, beyond anything she could dare to imagine.

This young girl, growing ever so quickly into young lady doesn’t want much, she wants it all. At the end of the day, she wants all any of us really want — to be loved, to be known and to know we belong.

She’s trying to figure out the world and her place in it. As such, she watches. And she waits. She studies those around her. She holds her breath to see how they respond when she enters the room. She takes her cues from others. Sweet mamas, she takes her cues — from you.

Mothers as Daughters

Yes, you are her mother, but you are also a daughter. Because, at the end of the day, if we are in Christ, we are all daughters of the King!It sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it? The phrase rolls of the tongue and looks great on Instagram, but what the heck does that even mean?

It is one thing to say we’re daughters of the King, but it’s another thing entirely to live like we are— to model such an identity so our daughters have an accurate blueprint as to how live into this truth on their own.

To be a mother means to provide, to nurture, to teach and to raise. To be a daughter means to receive, to be taken care of, to learn and be led.

For me, taking the role of mother seems so much “easier” sometimes because I don’t have to be vulnerable or ask for help. I don’t have to let my guard down and allow others in. As mother, I often vie for control. As daughter, I have to admit someone else might know better and have my best interest in mind.

One could argue that motherhood is really about daughterhood. It is only when we understand what it means to be a daughter, that we can truly be the mothers God created us to be.

As mothers, we wholeheartedly believe our children are fearfully and wonderfully made, so why do we have such a hard time believing that for ourselves??

May I suggest, asking the question and seeking the answer just might change everything.

For us and, dare I say, for them.

Perhaps you would like to add this prayer to your communications with the Father....

A Mother’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You spoke a word and the universe came into being. You passed your hand over the waters and formed the earth. You breathed your spirit and formed me. In your image am fearfully and wonderfully made! I am your masterpiece, created to do great things for the glory of your name. And yet, I confess, I often doubt this truth. I wonder if I have much purpose or worth in the greater scheme of life. Forgive me for calling into question your sovereign and purposeful hand. Forgive me for dumbing down your existence in my life. Thank you for promising to never leave me or forsake me. Despite circumstances that often swirl in chaos, I know you are with me each and every day. Nothing is beyond your grasp. I pray you would plant your word and spirit so deeply into the tender soil of my soul that I have no choice but to explode with your beauty and grace everywhere I go. I pray my daughter would see in me a woman who knows who she is and whose she is because I am deeply rooted in you. I don’t need to earn your love because I was created from it. I am your daughter — the daughter of the King!

**Inspired by Psalm 139, Ephesians 2, Deuteronomy 31

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Holly's Take:

I love this post. To think about what role I would want to sit in most, it would definitely be daughter. I mean, being a wife takes so much work, being a mom takes so much energy, but being a daughter??? It takes just being you. And there you sit, being loved just because you were born and you exist.  I am crazy over my daughters. I love every teeninsy things about Leah. It's not even healthy . . . the way, even when she is pill, I think it's funny or cute. It drives my husband to the ever loving grave!  My relationship with Macie is different. Unfortunately, I don't see cuteness and humor in anything when she is being a pill. I wish I did!  But I am crazy proud of Macie. I can't even describe how far she and I have come. And I am so beyond thankful that I feel desperate love for her as my daughter, because that is not a given in the adoption world. Just a quick story. My husband is feeling a little uncomfortable with her taking Hip-Hop classes this semester, because of the stereotypes and such, but she is such a gifted little dancer and I already can't wait to see her doing head isolations and shaking the booty. It is her first activity that she is doing without Leah and I can't wait to see all of her Macieness shine through. Holy Cow! I can't believe how much I've cried writing this, thinking about how much I love those two crazies and how God loves me like that (except way more perfectly, of course).   

Christina's Take: 

I know this beautiful and important concept has been percolating in your heart for a little while now. I love what has become of it.

This is something that, if we let it, could really impact 20+ different encounters a day.

The way I view my own body, mind and soul spills into all of the work I do in my house and outside my house.

The other day I was sitting on the deck with my 12 year old, Audrey, and I felt compelled to tell her that I like everything about her. It was a blanket statement that I made because I really and truly meant it. But could I say and mean the same thing about little ol' me??

There's work to be done....thanks for holding that important mirror in front of us.