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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Girl

This morning, I took a picture of my daughter and was smitten.  

I love shopping for art projects with her and together we found a Frozen paint book with a watercolor kit attached.  As soon as she started painting, she was unsatisfied with the wirey paint brush. 
“Momma,” she asked, “Can I use the paints you use when you paint mermaids.”

I’ve held onto my paint kit, not wanting little hands and smudges to ruin it, but this morning I decided she was finally big enough to have a turn.  Together, we sat down at the table and started painting. 

I gave her one of my expensive paintbrushes and watched as she dipped it in water.  I knew she’d pick pink, but no, it was blue. “Light blue,” she said as she started painting Elsa’s dress. 

My daughter painting beautifully and the cares of my world faded away.  Side by side, we painted (but really I just watched her).  Her slender fingers, how she paused before selecting another color, how careful she was to follow instruction of cleaning the brush with water.  And she really made a masterpiece.

When she was finished, we went for a bike ride.  She asked about the neighbor we waved to and I told her how blessed we are to live near such kind people.  There was an overgrown plant with orange flowers we stopped to smell. 

Some day’s it hits me harder then others.  Today, the privilege to raise this little girl is as real as the shining sun is in a bright blue sky. 

E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home out of some obscure mother."

"And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind."

"And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” (The Treasure Chest, p. 53.)

What potential do I have with this child?  How can I influence her with my love?  What gifts can I help her cultivate?
I will never forget a story told by a leader in my church.  There was a story told of a group of woman from ancient Rome; some with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia. One of the women said to her, “And where are your jewels?” To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her children, “These are my jewels.” 

Children as jewels? 

The visual of that story left a lasting impressions on me. 

I also continue to be deeply moved by the struggles girls in this world face. Last year around Mother's Day, I watched the documentary It's A Girl.   

I wrote about it on my blog here.

It’s a Girl; the three deadliest words in the world documents baby girls in parts of China and India killed through abortion, genocide and infanticide because baby boys are more desirable. In some parts of China parents can only have one child.  It’s called the One-child policy.  It’s customary for boys to take care of their parents as they age, while girls grow up, wed and leave their families to live and care for their husband’s parents.  And in some parts of India, its customary when girls marry her parents will pay a hefty dowry.  This dowry can sometimes be up to half of the family’s entire worldly possessions.  Many families cannot afford the cost to raise a girl, only to then pay and marry her off.  She will earn no money, she has little to no education and will never have the right to own property.  She may become a slave in an arranged marriage; treated poorly by her new husband and mother-in-law.   To make matters worse, many baby girls are abandoned or sold into sex slavery. 

Last Mother’s Day, I wanted to know what other resources were available for these girls (at least the girls who survived).  I think my desire started with my daughter Eden first, knowing circumstances allowed her born in America to two parents who loved and adored her.  But, what if ?  What if my daughter was in a country that wanted her dead before she even took her first breath?  I'm horrified that geography holds one girl in esteem while another has absolutely no value.  God willing, my daughter will have every opportunity life has to offer in freedom, education, religion, sports, music and art.  She will travel and see the world.  She has already learned to pray, bowing her sweet little head and folding her arms as she says thank you to God for her puppy and baby doll. She loves books, pancakes and playing in the sprinklers.  What isn’t great about a girl!

If you are a girl, you must watch this documentary.  I had to know what was happening to other girls because I am a girl; a girl born into a loving home where my family values me.  The idea that being a girl is somehow a reason to be thrown away doesn't make sense to me.  I am a human being first, girl second and in addition, I love being a girl.  

It’s A Girl completely changed my perspective on raising my daughter. I struggle, knowing every little girl is just as special but isn't treated as such.  This is where my heart is when I share my love for Eden. It’s hoping love can make a difference for every little girl in the world.  Please consider sharing this video and doing what you feel impressed to help this cause.

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