Monday, February 20, 2012
Because You Are Young
Disclaimer: I am not going in any sort of order when I share each kids' Bible verse. This morning, I wanted to share Eleanor's.
There is so much to say about parenting a teenage girl. And it would all probably surprise you. I love parenting my teenage daughter. I love this age. I love watching her mature and make decisions on her own and reject my opinion and form her own.
I used to constantly hear, "Just wait until she is a teenager...." accompanied with eyes rolling and big sighs from moms who were older than me whenever I complained about cleaning up Cheerios off the floor or wiping snotty noses. I didn't get it! Seriously, I never really enjoyed those baby and toddler years or pure physical exhaustion picking up every toy for the 16th time that day, trying to discern what the scream was about, taking a whiff and once more knowing there was a dirty diaper on the lurk.
I love my teenager - and I love my almost teenager in ways that excite me and bring me to tears. Eleanor is so close to being launched out. I have had so many wonderful cuddles and memories and deep conversations with her that I feel confident in her ability to thrive. Now..she has no clue what to do in the kitchen and don't ever ask her to wash clothes...but I believe that, too, will come in time.
But, this is about Eleanor...the young woman who is LIGHT. Eleanor has this amazing ability to be friends with everyone she meets. She is the rare teenage girl who doesn't talk about anyone behind their back, who laughs at all the jokes (because she understands them), and who totally gets a squeeze bunt in baseball or a screen pass in football (Oh - she will make an awesome wife!). She doesn't have that best friend...but she is a friend to anyone who needs a friend.
She has lunch with "the misfits" and doesn't think there is anything wrong with that. Then, she gets invited to the "cool kids" party and enjoys her time there. She can talk sports with the guys in English class and then go to youth group and share her heart with her leader. Unique!
She has this light about her...and eventually...everyone notices is. She has let the whole school know she is a Christian - she said it loud and proud during a school presentation and then when she decided to quit the play because it compromised her Christian beliefs - even more people found out. And the school..is watching.
Eleanor goes to a school where...well...she says she is the only Christian. This unique school has two factors - the neighborhood kids who come from extreme poverty, broken homes, and rampant drug abuse and then the IB kids who come from extreme wealth, intact homes and rampant master's degrees. One group can't see a loving God because their life has been so hard. And one group can't see a mighty God because there has never been a need for Him.
And then, there is Eleanor...straddling the line between both worlds. She is one of the only IB kids who is in the chorus, which is filled with neighborhood kids. And she has made some great friends there. The IB kids don't understand how she can talk to the neighborhood kids. And Eleanor is constantly apologizing to the neighborhood kids for the way the IB kids act.
And some days, this life gets overwhelming to Eleanor.
And she cries.
And she wonders if she is making any sort of difference at her school.
Trust me..she is.
And so...we picked this verse for her...
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech...in life....in love...in faith...and in purity." I Timothy 4:12
And I believe she IS setting an example...not only for a watching school, but also for her watching family.
Posted by Traci Weldie at 5:13 AM