Monday, October 3, 2011

on my heart

I don't know how to say it any other way, so I'll just say it like it is:

Being a girl in this time and culture is hard.

Believer or not, old{er} or young{er}, regardless of race or economic status, the pressure is still on.

I must admit that I have had a huge increase in confidence since getting to where I am in life now.  I have a family who supports me, a husband who loves and cherishes me no matter what I look like in the morning, and two babies who think I hung the moon, and close friends who would lay down their lives for me (and who I would do the same for).

Yet, am I confident enough just in myself?  Is knowing that I am a daughter of the God of the universe enough for me?

I want it to be enough.  I'm working toward it being enough.  Growing up, that knowledge was definitely not enough.  Yes, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Godly home with loving parents, every form of physical and emotional security (for the most part), and had friends in my youth group that uplifted me.

So why was it necessary for me to always need to have a crush on a boy?  Even though these boys rarely knew of my infatuation, it was an emotional security for me to have someone to keep an eye out for, whisper to my friends about, and be the reason to scrawl in my diary for hours.  Many pieces of my heart had been given away long before I ever knew Ryan.  We started dating when I was 19, which seems so young to me now.  Sad to think about all that time I wasted pining after those oblivious boys, when I could have saved my heart for Ryan, and spent that time seeking out my Father.

Having a daughter of my own has truly opened my eyes to the pressures and yuck of this world.  I feel like putting her in a bubble and never letting her out; never letting anyone harm her, break her heart, or make her cry.  I want her to know how beautiful she is, not just outwardly, but inside, too.  At just two years old, I can already see her heart for people.  She is always asking, "Are you okay, momma?" and I know it truly stings her when she sees anyone distressed or upset.  I wish I could just pour into her everything I know now and that prevent any hurt from ever penetrating her innocent heart.  I know she does need to learn for herself to some point, but I will do everything I can to let her know how beautiful she is to her parents and to the God who loves her more than I could even know how to.  I want her to be confident in who she is, and not apologize for who she was created to be.  I still find myself wishing I was like someone else in more ways than I can count.  I want her to know how worth it it is to seek God's plan and quit obsessing over the silly things that cannot be changed.  I want her to know that her opinion does matter and that she is valued and respected, regardless of how young she may be.

This article has struck me deeply.  I read it last week and our pastor brought it up in his message today.  I know the idea of scantily-clad Rihanna is not even a taste of the influences that young girls today are succumbed to.  I not only fear for my daughter and the untouched hearts of every little girl, but for the hearts of those providing this influence.  I'm not here to preach or condemn, and I don't want to sound like a nagging mom know-it-all.  Perhaps all I can do at the moment is pray for the hearts of those in such positions of influence, and pray for protection the hearts of those girls not yet affected.

Ahh, I did not mean for this to sound like a grade school essay, yet I fear it has come out that way.  In school, writing was always my favorite task.  Yet, then and now I still feel like I can never express myself in the way that I would like to and fully get my message across.  Can you tell by this jumbled mess of words written prior?  I was talking to my SIL Leah today, and I was lamenting to her about how I never feel confident enough to share my opinions or what I stand for with people I don't know well.  And what she said to me will surely resonate with me for a long time.  "Practice is the only way to build confidence in something."  Seems obvious, but I felt like I was run over by a bus by that statement.  The only way I'll get the guts to do something, to be who God made me is to practice.  Pretty soon it will be second nature, and pretty soon I will truly believe in the girl God created and wants me to be.

My sweet Brynnie girl, happy and disheveled. Just the way I like her. :)


  1. SO TRUE. i'm only 17, and these principles are already ground into me! it pained me to see girls like miley cyrus and rihanna go downhill because then those millions of girls who idolize them will also head that direction.

    i have two little sisters. the other day, one of them (8) was watching a cartoon where the girl's waist could not have been wider than 2 inches. she turned to me and said "i wish i could be as skinny as her." it made me want to cry!

    so thank you for this article, and please don't feel like you're being too preachy or anything. you've just put into words feelings that i could not express myself :)

    blessings ><>

  2. This made me cry. I share your feelings. I am always saying that the people they are now are their natural personalities that God gave them, untainted by the "norms" and expectations of society and by peer pressure. I pray that Hayleigh finds her security and signifigance in Christ alone, something I have ALWAYS struggled with. I pray that she does not change who she is to please people. This is so hard. I daily feel inadequate to prepare her for this world. Thank goodness for a Heavenly Father who loves her and me, and for friends like you who share my passion and struggle. You are doing a great job! Love you friend!

  3. Oh Ash, this made me cry. B will undoubtedly learn what it means to be beautiful both inside and out because she has YOU as an example. You are such a wonderful example of Godly grace and beauty and you will instill this in your daughter as well.
    Love you so much.

  4. Thanks for sharing and very well said. My daughter is only 16 months, but these same ideas still resonate with me.