Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Joy Giver is Not So Joy-filled

Isabel is nicknamed our "joy-giver". Ever since the day she was born, she has brought immense joy to our lives. She is always singing, always happy, always singing...always full of joy. She giggles freely, laughs completely and loves with wild abandon.

She was the first one to really love George. She accepted him, warts and all, right from the first minute. When George stood at the window sobbing and screaming that first day, the rest of the kids had looks of shock on their faces and eventually hid away in their rooms. Not Isabel. She stayed in the room and quietly kept moving closer and closer to George. Her warm smile eventually "won" him over. They started playing with a balloon and George laughed. It was the first time I had ever heard him laugh!

When the rest of the kids, and Joe and I, struggled with our feelings toward George, Isabel remained steadfast...she would challenge us when we were unfair toward him. She would remind us that not everything was his fault. And she would come to his defense...often.

Thinking back, those were such hard days. I clearly remember when each of the kids broke down. Each one in their own way. Not Isabel. She never complained, never whined, never questioned why we had done this.

But now, where is my joy-giver?

Our lives have really settled down. The chaos is at a minimum - for I can't say that when a house has 5 children that there will never be chaos. We have slipped into a routine and we all are learning what to expect from George in particular. And since things have settled down, my joy-giver has changed.

She is struggling right now. There are few smiles. There are few laughs. She fights with George constantly. She kicks him out of her room, she yells in his face, she tells him to get away from her. It is so sad.

I wonder what is going on in her heart? How could she change so drastically over-night? It seems as if her mind and soul are dealing with the pain of the past year now...after the rest of us already screamed, cried, pouted and locked ourselves in our rooms. We have all come out on the other side and are moving on. She never did that...and now, she is struggling.

I have been hearing God nudging my spirit for months now...spend more one on one time with Isabel. Now. Don't let the week go by without a mommy-daughter date. I am trying to fill her love-bucket with how she wants to be loved. I am praying for her every day with more fervor and passion. I want my joy-giver back.

1 comment:

Bear Creek Mama said...

Oh Tracie, I can so relate to this and have been musing a blog post of my own regarding my oldest daughter. She cried bitter hurt tears on the plane ride home from ET just simply having to share her mommy, but ever since then when I have been weak and unable to cope with the sheer madness of it all she has been strong, super loving, joyful and generally became the glue held us all together. I KNOW I would not have survived that last year with out her. Now that things - a year later have, like you, settled into a new normal, she is frustrated, irritated by her sisters and looking for someplace else to move her bed and call her own (she shares her room). I think she just naturally took on the necessary role of holding us all together and now that I'm thankfully 'more stable' she clearly is recognizing the 'freedom' to express herself as mostly undesirable as that may be at times. Her love needs have shot way up and she is much more emotional. She is also just 12! Surely that has something to do with it too. I do keep reminding her not to let circumstances change her heart. The joyful, loving precious girl of mine is in there somewhere and I just try to reinforce that however challenging it is at times :)