reflections on motherhood :: a letter to my teenage self

{This week, a group of blogger friends and I bring you what we hope are encouraging posts to your mother’s heart.  

Today, I share a post sitting in my draft folder for over 2 years, I think it’s time. A letter to my teenage self…}

Dear Daniele,

Oh my, you just celebrated 16!

That was special, all those presents lined up the stairs – 16 different gifts.  You think this is the coolest and jot it down in your journal for one day when you have girls.

You write plenty in your journal, every day in fact.  The funny, the irritating, and the serious.  Definitely the serious.

The fact is….you’re pretty serious about everything!

Violin and piano practice, homework, your family life, your spiritual life  – Whew.  It’s a little tiring, isn’t it?  No one really knows just how hard you’re working to keep it all afloat.  You worry you’re not pleasing any of them, including God, and try harder, do more.

Enjoying life without the pressure of performance, doing it right all of the time – what a struggle this is for you!

It’s sad, but this will go on for a while…well into marriage and motherhood.

One day, towards the end of your 20s, there’ll be a head-on collision with GRACE.  Oh yes, you’ll leave legalistic ways behind for good!!  You’ll understand that we don’t achieve our identity in Christ — we receive it.  

Until then, it will be a huge struggle.  Motherhood especially will grow complicated until you allow God to free you from this intense battle.

I’m so sorry.

Speaking of motherhood, it’s coming early – very.  

I know, in less than 3 years?  You’ll question, resist it at first and wonder why it came this way.  

But above all, you’ll be irrevocably changed.  In fact, all this talk of moving to NYC, living as a single woman in a high-rise apartment when you grow up, will fly out the window.  You will choose a different life.

You’ll become crystal clear about why you’ve been put onto this planet.

Even though you’ll struggle with insecurities as a Mom, and feel overly anxious many times…

…motherhood will be one of the journeys you’ll thrive in, love and celebrate, and strongly advocate for.

Oh yes, you’ll sink deep into this calling and you will love it.

Do you see a theme here?

Take a breath, relax.  Pause.  Rest.

Yes, you’ll learn to do this, and everyone around will think this is how you’ve always been, but um…we know better, right?

Calmness and peace will rule you and your home {well, not all of the time!}, but it will be a challenge to get there.

But eventually, your parenting, your life, your marriage and other relationships will be ruled by PEACE.

Life will bring incredible highs and devastating lows, girlfriend.

You’ll feel on top of the world, and conquer fears that have a hold on you now.  But sometimes, many times in fact, you’ll feel completely inadequate for all you’re called to do.

But, guess what!?

All this seriousness will pay off!  All the work you did these teenage years to grow spiritually will cause you to be rock-solid in your faith – you’re not gonna waver.  You’ll help others stand firm too.

In your own way, on God’s timetable….you’ll become incredibly comfortable with being you.  Right now, you’re working kinda hard to be exactly opposite of who you are.

This too will go on a for a while, but just wait.

You’ll get it.

Then — you’ll be freed up to share who you really are with others, you’ll encourage Moms all over the world in ways that don’t even exist now!  I’m serious.  Wait until you see where technology is heading!

So, teen girl, go forward.

God is already in every day ahead of you.

: :

Dear Mom,

if I could share ONE thing from my journey, my story?

I would encourage you to anchor your security as a Mom, a woman – IN CHRIST ALONE.

This doesn’t mean we don’t need others, because we do.  It certainly doesn’t include doing life as a lone-ranger, that’s dangerous and not God’s best.

But it will always mean that we cling to GOD ALONE as the one who defines us.

I pray this understanding will shape your motherhood.

Grace.

 : :

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5 comments

I LOVE this Daniele! What a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness! Thank you for sharing–and for the core message…identity should only be grounded in Christ! I LOVE it!
Good writing, friend! xoxox

I want to share this with everyone, Daniele! It is so full of wisdom, so seasoned with grace. It’s encouraging me now — as a women as well as a mom of young ladies. Thank you for sharing!

danieatdomestic

Thanks friends for the encouragement!! 🙂

Christina

Beautiful! What a gift to yourself too! I actually put together a ’13th Birthday Book’ for each of my girls turning 13. Three precious souls so far, with an 11 year old giggling her way there.

I requested others write advice to their 13 year old self, favorite Bible verses, recipes, really just anything you either wish someone told you, something to inspire you, simply something in your heart. I added photos and several quotes and heart-filled notes, encouragement and love. They are beautiful, where they each read them over and over and over, and at each graduation open house, they were shared and cherished again.

Thanks for reminding how important my role is with Mother’s Day coming and for sharing grace with us! Anchoring in Christ – simple and perfect!

Bless you sweet Daniele!

You sound like me at 16 – violin, piano, family, homework and bible. In my case trying to do it all, but also being innately lazy! Yes, battling with legalism, and yes, needing marriage and motherhood to teach me so much. Now my daughter is 16. I worry sometimes that she doesn’t have the solid bible background that I did at her age, that has carried me through good and hard times as an adult. And then I remember grace, and that it’s not up to me, or up to her, it’s all God.