I backed myself slowly onto Sandee's couch because Ashanti's body lay limply over me, limbs hanging in deep-sleep-relaxation. The women around the room smiled at us but they were already into the heart of their conversation. We were a little late for our Girl Talk meeting but I knew I'd glean some wisdom if we came anyway. My dear friend, Sandee, whom I'd taught with before we started having babies, then homeschooling, had begun this little "club" for moms and daughters. It's goal is to draw us closer to one another while teaching about purity and God's design for girls. We commenced writing in secret encouragement journals to our daughters and they were writing back. Sandee invites a special speaker some nights and last month's mom had older daughters, who'd been through the growing years together, and together they qualified as beautiful mentors for us and our girls. They shared their mistakes and their joys, their epiphanies about motherhood and their unrealistic expectations. It's been a sweet experience.
my "baby" girls
(on a sweaty hike :)
The mom who shared last night was weeping through her story, not because of its sad elements, but because of how far God had brought her from being a bulimic to a loving, non-judgmental mother who adores her girls and is careful to remind them how loved they are by God--no matter what. I looked down at the little one in my arms, her journey just beginning, and yet she'd been through so many changes already. I'm forever whispering prayers over her and in that moment, I realized how very crucial my influence is in her life, even though she's not my own. I shifted underneath her and her sweaty head flopped on my other shoulder. The woman spoke of finally "getting" who God was in her later years, after being raised in a Christian home. She said it was like the words of the Bible jumped out at her for the first time. She was so excited to understand that God accepted her with all her failures and poor choices. That's exactly the knowing I hoped my girls would embrace as they grow, this little one included.
The woman wrapped up her talk and we all shared homemade goodies and more conversation--us mommas, each striving to raise godly girls while sometimes lacking in godliness ourselves. We watched a short video about the evolution of the swimsuit. The message the Lord revealed through the whole evening was that His mercy is beyond our comprehension. It was a love memo I know well, but tucked in my heart pocket for further pondering. I slipped Ashanti into her car seat and the other kids clicked their belts. As we pulled away, I called back to my children, "Hey girls, do you know how God feels about you?"