Dresses, gifts, and raising daughters

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What I am sharing today I wrote back in December of 2013 regarding a dance and dress during the fall of my oldest daughter’s eighth grade year. Looking back at her growth and maturity over the last nearly fourteen years I am in awe of what amazing work God can do. God continues to reveal so much of Himself to me through the process of raising children. It is a feat that I cannot imagine trying to tackle without God and His word to rely on. Her appreciation over her dress for her end of the year eighth grade dance brought this writing to mind and I thought I would share on the blog.

The mystery of the dress that has been a minor irritation to me for the last three months from having first laid eyes on the thing has come to a close. The dress bought for the eighth grade fall ball at the middle school that at the very last minute the thirteen year old decided not to attend. The dress that I watched get tossed onto our church gymnasium floor after tediously ironing its sheer material, the dress that we thought was left in Carbondale, left on the bus, or discarded in the trash. The dress that the daughter saw for weeks in the chorus room and never spoke up to claim it because it was not convenient to carry it straight to lunch from chorus. After the teenage daughter who is learning and has so much more to learn finished her chorus concert tonight, mom walked with said daughter up to the chorus teacher to ask about the dress. Mystery solved and a prayer I had when the dress first went missing was answered. Due to the fact the dress was never claimed she finally gave it away. A young girl had asked if she could have it because no one had claimed it. I told the teacher that I had hoped that it went to someone who really needed it and she assured me vocally as well as the look on her face assured me that the young girl did indeed need it. I would have rather Michaela saw a need and had given it away herself. Now my prayer is that she has learned a lesson about responsibility, gratitude, appreciation, and generosity. I had asked her how she would feel if some day she had a daughter that she had worked hard to earn money to buy her a dress and the daughter was careless and not appreciative of the gift. She stated that she would be mad. It makes me think of how God must feel for His One and only Son Jesus to be rejected. A free gift of life, eternal salvation, unaccepted and underappreciated by so many. The gift of the ultimate sacrifice who left the glory of heaven to endure temptation, sorrow, and pain as we face. Who took the payment for our sins by dying the most horrific death on the cross. To prove that He is God by rising again just as He said and as God had told the prophets of the Old Testament He would do. The dress itself has not been the true frustration. It has been the desire to raise gracious, appreciative, responsible, and generous children and seeing the sacrifices and lessons taught go unappreciated. We all make mistakes and have to learn and grow as I know my daughter will learn from this. Parenting continues to teach me more and more of the ways of God. Parenting teaches me to appreciate the most amazing gift that I ever have or will receive. The gift of eternal life through my Savior Jesus is the most precious part of my life. He is showing me daily just how amazing that gift of grace and mercy is. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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