Lifelong Learner

So an incident happened recently to one of my daughters….


It’s not necessarily important all the specifics about the incident, but rather, how my husband helped me learn how to help our daughter navigate through it…


All of my girls are so completely different...I have a typical firstborn, middle and baby of the family. Each one has incredible strengths, that I often covet for myself and they each have weaknesses...and I find that when their “weaknesses” pop up, I see myself in them too.
Suffice it to say, our daughter was in a situation that was “supposed” to be relatively “safe”...however, in this situation, an adult...a grown man, in a position of authority, took it upon himself to demean, belittle & publicly/verbally disrespect our daughter over and over and over again for doing what he considered an inadequate job.


My purpose here is not to call out that man, to give details of the event, to scream JUSTICE...although my Momma heart wants to pour manure over his head and flush his head in the toilet a few times…


Just sayin…


The thing is this…


Our girls are going to face adversity in this life.  There are going to be people that hate (yes HATE) them...because, if you spend ANY time on social media platforms you will find that “freedom of speech” to some, means hurling insults, profanity, defamation of character...you name it, all in the name of “It’s my right...if I think it, I’m going to spew it and it doesn’t matter who I hurt in the long run...it’s about my rights, it’s about MY side of the story”


The poisonous darts of attempting to shame & humiliate her were painful.  Her “lack of experience/years” have not equipped her yet with tools of how to handle that..for heaven’s sake, I still struggle with that sort of thing, when people say mean things…


My husband and I, though we took appropriate measures with regards to the event itself (rest assured!)... our daughter is/was the one we are most concerned about...she is a priceless treasure...and we want her to learn how to navigate through situations such as these…


And so, as she lay in her bed that evening with tears pooling, as she struggled to still try to “keep it together”, she said, “Mom, I keep hearing him yell at me” and my heart broke.  Because, besides wanting to pummel this guy into the ground, I wanted to take all the pain away from her...but, I can’t... and even if I were to physically hurt this guy or give him what I think he deserves, it wouldn’t change what happened...and so my energies MUST be focused on teaching my daughter how to cope with adversity, rather than trying to talk sense to an adult that should already know better.


Phillippians 4:8 immediately came to mind.  She has this verse memorized.  It’s one that I had my girls memorize a long while ago... and I asked her recite it, which she rattled off quickly.  We talked about making a choice about what our minds settle on, what we choose to think about.


She absolutely could choose to think about the hurtful words that were hurled at her…


OR she could choose to think about things that were TRUE, RIGHT, NOBLE and praiseworthy.


This is not an easy task for anyone...to control your thoughts...They are so intertwined with our emotions, that it takes a great deal of effort and choosing over and over, moment by moment, to recognize the wrong way of thinking, discard it, and replace it with truth.


I’m not saying that this made it all better, that things were bright & cheery the next day.


There are waves that keep crashing in her head that remind her of that mean voice, of the areas where she may have failed, of how awful those words made her feel…


As a mom (and my husband as her daddy), we have the awesome opportunity and obligation to remind her of another Voice...to show her that her worth is not wrapped up in another person’s opinions and it’s NOT even dependent upon her mistakes & or successes.


I want my girls to understand that their identity is tied to something, Someone bigger than they could ever imagine or hope to dream...and that they are so, so loved…


That doesn’t mean that pain won’t hit them, that others won’t attack them, that bad things won’t happen to them…


It does mean, however, that they have a strength that is beyond understanding...that they must choose to listen to Truth rather than settle down into the depths of accusations and manipulations of others.


That sometimes choosing to do the next RIGHT thing is all that is expected of them...and while they are allowed to feel sad and to be angry and to scream at the injustice of it all (you have to still FEEL and “get it out” so to speak)...they have a choice in the direction & footsteps they will take forward...they have choice on what they will let their mind focus.


Sometimes doing the Right thing is the hard thing. It’s easy for me to scream and point out the injustice...it’s easy for me to get everyone on my side and to gain the support of anyone who has ears to listen...and perhaps there are times & places for those things...and yet, I would guess that most times, it’s in the quiet little steps forward that grow you as a person. I do not excel at “quiet”...growing character is something I often do kicking and screaming...but, I’m SLOWLY learning that it is NOT what I want to model to my girls...the older I get, the more I recognize the need for an inner confidence & security. I also notice that it is those (like my husband) who tend to more readily concentrate more on quiet character, are the ones that people look to in a crisis...the ones that people follow when push comes to shove...the ones that you ultimately want on your side because they harbor a strength that is immeasurable.

I’m committed to being a lifelong learner...and demonstrating to my girls to do the same.

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