The Delicate Dance
I was thinking today about courtney’s question to me, “what is God teaching me right now as a mom”?
I’m sure every mama with multiple children at multiple ages senses the tension of walking a delicate balance. the delicate balance between the joys and heartaches of our children, while often times on polar ends of the spectrum and often times simultaneously. the art of being able to smoothly transition from joys and accomplishments of one while another is struggling with heartache or disappointment.
I feel I’m more keenly aware of this shifting than I’ve ever been before.
maybe it’s me. maybe it’s the current ages of my four daughters.
in the last two years alone we’ve celebrated one’s high school graduation and subsequent acceptance and success at her first college choice. we’ve taught one to drive. we’ve helped another begin her own search for college. we’ve had physical injuries for one and friend troubles with another. we’ve had national honors acceptance for one and struggles in class for another. learning to say goodbye as a best friend moves to another state and maneuvering as a heart is broken by a boy. braces and trampolines, boys and sororities, baptisms and new cars.
and then there’s my role as a mom. I want to cheer on an champion the one who’s living her dream yet be tender and encouraging to the one with a broken heart.I want to applaud when one is asked to model for a photographer and yet be tender to the one who didn’t get asked to the dance. to share pictures of the highs and with the one that laughs yet be sensitive and not patronize the one who is feeling lonely.
and then there’s the new stage we’re in. that of sending, one at a time, out in to the world. this stage of parenting, I don’t think anyone could have prepared me. and while one is currently a college sophomore, the next one is on her heels as a highschool junior.
packing up the bedroom of one while having a little one in elementary school, this is yet another example of the stages that we as mama’s vacillate between all in a given day.
so what is God teaching me right now?
first of all, that He does rejoice with us when we rejoice and yet He’s also able to weep with those that weep too. there’s nothing wrong with encouraging the one child who’s in a good place. championing him on. the atta girl or the atta boy shouldn’t be tucked away just because they’re not all succeeding at the same time. He gently reminds me to seek out the one who needs a little extra and pour in to them then. maybe even more privately.
while I’ve far from arrived at this, He’s teaching me what makes each of my girls feel most loved. is it in a spoken word or is it in time spent together? is it in a snuggle & backrub before bedtime or is it leaving a little gift by her backpack? He’s teaching me to tune in to each of them ( & it honestly seems to change as they mature) and love them in the way they feel loved, not just out of the way I naturally show love.
the fact that He was a man who spent years with disciples ( albeit twelve men and not four teenage girls)… who clearly were all over the board with their temperaments and personalities just makes me laugh to myself. I wonder what chats on the boat were really like. did He ever roll His eyes?
and finally He’s teaching me how to begin the process that we honestly seem to begin from the day they’re born. that of learning to let them go…
the tension I sometimes feel as I try to dance through the delicate, ever changing seasons with my girls sometimes will look clumsy and sometimes I may fall…well, it’s just a daily reminder to me that I need a savior. and then my friends, there’s days where that dance is actually graceful and smooth. why it’s just downright beautiful. and on those days, I’m quickly reminded how blessed we are as mama’s that He’s with us through it all.
love you Paige.
This is great!
I too have to balance the complexities of motherhood, and am not looking forward to the actual launching out part. It is super delicate, but making the effort, despite our failings is what really matters 🙂
My kids are still little but this was a real blessing to me today. Thank you! Your girls are beautiful and your words really spoke to my heart. What an eloquent encouragement of how amazing God is through every season of mothering…
I love me some Paige Knudsen! Her words are music to my ears and she balances it all so well!
In so many ways, this is the post I’ve been waiting for. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Thanks for sharing your heart, Paige! Excited for all you moms that you will affirm and encourage with your words.
I can so relate, although I also have a toddler, which throws a whole other dimension in. Blended family with 20, 18, 17, 12 and 2. It is quite challenging with all the different ages. Trying to do the college prep, teach to drive, etc, and give the toddler attention too. Exhausting at times.
Hi Paige! I have always thought of it as juggling, but the delicate dance is so true, and especially appropriate with all girls 🙂 I just have the two, one girl and one boy, so I feel like my efforts are to balance the scales, one at each end. I had never thought of Jesus having to handle 12 grown men the same way. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I am surprised, too, at how much like parenting toddlers teenage parenting is. SO much teaching and changing and emotions run amok. I adore this stage, and find it to be a real time of growth for me as a Mom, as well, as I strive to find what each needs. Love the way you articulate this dance, and I am so thankful for words from a fellow mom of older kids. So much on blogs is from moms of littles, and we need the fellowship and encouragement as much now as we did then:-)
LOVE< LOVE< LOVE this post Paige!
Your thoughts really resonate with me. I’ve been there, too! I have 5 children, and there was a year I had one in college, one in high school, one iin junior hi, one in elementary school and one in preschool. God stretched me in ways I never could have imagined!
a delicate dance….I love that.
your girls are blessed to have you & dan….
i’m so blessed to get to hang out with one of your sweet girls….she is truly amazing.