A few weeks ago, Phillip and I sat in a little booth at Chili’s for some late night appetizers and made some baby predictions. Ironically, each of us picked November 7th as our predicted birth date. Well, today is the 7th and if labor doesn’t begin in the next few hours, he and I plan to go out on another little dinner date and make new predictions and relish this last bit of alone time we may get.
Phillip has been so sweet over the last few weeks to take the boys along with him a little more often so that I can have bits and pieces of alone time. I’m the type of person who processes things through contemplative thinking and often through writing. But in the busyness of our move and remodel, homeschooling the boys, and making baby preparations, I have not been doing a very good job of nurturing my soul with regular alone time.
So in preparing for my baby girl’s impending arrival, I feel the need to process some of my thoughts and feelings about having a daughter. Bear with me here…
When I first found out that we were having a girl, I was a little overwhelmed by the cultural stereotypes for little girls…pink, glitter, princesses, etc.
I have never really felt that I fit neatly under any category of girl stereotype.
I was never quite girly enough for the hot pink, squealy, girly crowd, but still too girly to hang out with the tomboys. I was too smart to pass for a ditzy flirt, but didn’t care enough to debate with the passionate intellects.
I was kind of a floater.
Even as an adult, I struggle to fit in.
I won’t leave the house without makeup, but I’d rather have paint under my nails than polish on top. I love being a stay-at-home, homeschooling, crafty mom, but I also have a burning passion for ministry and business endeavors. I’d rather sit and talk theology and vision with church leadership than go out for brunch and shopping with the ladies. I love getting lost in a good book, and I also love to throw a good party. I cloth diaper, co-sleep, babywear and breastfeed, but I have zero desire to have a home birth and you will find paper towels hidden under my sink and my fridge stocked with Coke Zero. I love to decorate my house, but would also sell everything and move to the mission field to live off the grid if that is how God directs.
The different parts of me just don’t always seem to make a whole lot of sense when put together, and certainly don’t fit neatly inside a box or under a label.
But you know what? I am starting to figure out that it’s okay that I’m not exactly like anyone else.
I am Amanda Rochelle Shutts Medlin, and I am a one-of-a-kind creation of God.
I’m a wildflower.
I am finally learning to embrace my uniqueness, but I want to raise my daughter to embrace hers from the very beginning.
I can’t wait to get to know her. To learn her personality, her likes and dislikes, discover her quirks and traits. I want to encourage her to be who the Father created her to be, to follow her heart and her passions, and to not conform to any cultural or gender stereotypes.
I want her to be as girly as she wants to be, but I also want her to know that she is more than the way she looks, more than the way that she dresses, and more than her sexuality.
I want her to know that she is a daughter of God, created and called according to His purposes to do His Kingdom’s work. I want her to know that her life and calling may look completely different than anyone else’s and that is okay because she is as unique as her fingerprints and she does not need to try to be anyone other than the person her heavenly Father created her to be.
When I first found out that we were having a girl, my joy and excitement were accompanied by a bit of fear.
Fear of failing at the great and overwhelming responsibility of raising a WOMAN. Because at 33 years old, I feel like I am still so far away from being the woman I want to be. I know that it will take me a lifetime to become her, but now, before I have it all figured out, I have been given the task to take a precious little girl by the hand and lead her down the path of womanhood.
I want so badly to be a perfect example for her.
A perfect example of strength and beauty, grace and kindness, patience and generosity, great faith and wisdom.
But I know that I am flawed, and as her little feet pitter patter in my footsteps, I know her innocent eyes of wonder will witness my mistakes and my humanity. My anger and my frustration. My selfishness and immaturity. My own struggle to embrace my uniqueness and be secure in who I am.
But as much as I want to hide those parts of me from her, I know that she needs to know the real me. That she needs to see God’s beautiful work of grace and mercy and redemption in my life as He continues to shape me into the woman that He has called me to be.
I want her to know from an early age, that there is no such thing as a perfect woman, because I don’t want her to waste years of her life trying to be her.
I pray that as I show her my flaws and imperfections, that she will learn to accept her own flaws and imperfections, knowing that it is only through Christ’s blood that she and I can achieve true beauty and righteousness.
I can’t wait to meet you, my little wildflower, and to spend my lifetime loving you and watching you become the woman that God already knows you to be!
Well, I’m off to get ready for my date and make some new baby predictions, unless something happens in the next 7 hours!
Wildflower Print by Katie Daisy