When she was mere hours old, I knew she was brilliant and destined
for Great Things: she latched on and nursed without difficulty.
It’s laughable to me now I based her whole future on the basic human
instinct to survive.
I also knew I was The World’s Best Mother when she easily
potty-trained before turning two. All it took to strip that title
was the subsequent births of my sons.
These are just two of the lessons I learned early on that confirmed
what I suggested in my previous
post: You can’t assume all
blame for [your children’s] failures and inadequacies any more than you can
take full credit for their successes and natural God-given giftings.
On the day of her birth, my father-in-law (the most Godly man I
know) handed me a torn strip of paper. All it had on it was a scripture
reference--"Rachel was beautiful and well-favored, Genesis
It was prophetic.
Much deeper than skin, Rachel’s beauty exudes from her heart.
She’s not the sweetest young woman I know, she’s not even the nicest…and goodness
gracious, she’s certainly not perfect.
But…she’s innocent, pure in heart and…well…rare.
Her standards and convictions inspire me, make ME want to be a
She’s had a ravenous appetite for books since age eight. Her
shelves are weighted with volumes of her favorites and sometimes I
"borrow" from her library. A few years ago I noticed something
curious: some of the words in her books were whited-out. It didn’t take long to
realize she was censoring profanity. We never asked her to do this, and
it’s not as if the books she read were littered with excessive garbage.
Not long ago, she explained: "If I see those words
they just get stuck in my head, so I’d rather not see them in the first
place." Simple enough…and an admirable standard.
Last week, I overheard a conversation between Rachel and my
husband. He was going over our family budget with her and as he explained
how mortgages work, she was flabbergasted–the concept of interest over 20 or
30 years scrambled her brain.
But her response absolutely exploded my heart.
"I’d want to live in a smaller house," she began.
At first Tad thought she was self-conscious that our home is larger
than her closest friends’ homes. She clarified, however, offering the
simple logic that a small home was less expensive.
"That way I’d have more money to give to people who need
After attending a leadership camp and reading the book "Do Hard Things" this summer, she’s been pondering the "hard
things" she can do. She returned from camp with the lofty ideal of
sponsoring a Compassion International child with money she earns from babysitting; her best
friend is going to contribute to the monthly expense. Together, they have
the dream of visiting their child next year.
She joined both the cross country and track teams at school last
year, and though she’s always at the end of the pack, she never gives up.
She may not be a gifted athlete, but is doubly-blessed with determination and
Rachel is not driven by status symbols or brand names, she doesn’t
chase boys, and secrets in her care are closely guarded. She’s always loyal to her friends. One recently told me "Rachel will
be the friend who helps me stay on track." She’s been championing
the underdog since she was 10, and when she disagrees with us, she’ll calmly
defend her position. She’s quite the debater.
I’d love to take credit for all these things, to give you a formula
for successful parenting you could cut-and-paste onto your own children. Although we’ve certainly prayed for her and trained and guided her along the
way, I think the person my daughter is becoming has more to do with how God
created her than anything else. Though I still see my role in her life as "mother", I’ve been surprised by our developing friendship; I thought that aspect of our relationship would be years down the road.
Rachel is a sophomore…we have her at home for three more years, less,
really. Already she is craving independence and in small ways, testing
her wings. I’m thankful for this because I know those wings will serve
her well. They are beautiful wings, you might even say well-favored.
But it’s not quite time for her to fly. Not yet.
For now, she’s grounded.
* Post title inspired by Barlow Girl’s song "Average Girl"; they rock a thousand different ways!
Oh my word, this was beautiful..
You are a lucky mom, Robin.
This generation of young people that are on fire for God are really going to change our country. My Headless Girl is right there with your Rachel. An amazing young woman of God!
That is truly a wonderful blessing. I hope my daughters (10 & 11) grow into the same deep focus and commitment.
I thought I loved the little kid age but I am really enjoying the thoughts and connections my daughters are making as they mature. It is a beautiful thing.
Have a good one!
Wow – what an awesome daughter. I’m totally featuring you in my Pass the Torch Tuesday links next week. You’re so proud of here – and who wouldn’t be?
She reminds me of Ladybug, my 9 year old. She has always been “easy.” She nursed well, never cried, has an innate sense of truth, justice, and fairness. She has an amazing amount of empathy for a 9 year old. She makes me want to do better everyday as well. Thanks for sharing your daughter with us!
I love that you shared that about your daughter. She sounds like the real deal and you SHOULD be proud of her. These are the days that are payoff for the earlier (harder) ones. Enjoy them!
She makes me cry tears of joy.
She sounds like an amazing young lady Robin. You all are best to have each other it seems.
Thanks for sharing her with us.
Lovely tribute, Robin. She will always treasure this.
I’m sure your words struck a chord with many moms. There is no greater joy than watching our children blossom, embrace their faith, and then outstrip us in living it. Humbling, convicting, wonderful. Yes, we also die a little every time they suffer, but I wouldn’t trade parenthood for fame, fortune, or other temporal experience. And the dying keeps me on my knees–exactly where I need to be.
Lovely day to you and your favored one.
So sweet! What a wonderful girl!
Hey – you have to take some credit because there are plenty of parents out there who don’t take an active role in guiding their children….and look at how most of those children are turning out.
So – Rachel has a great mom as a role model. How else could she have turned out so great?
Sigh. What a beautiful post for a beautiful young woman. How precious to watch and be challenged by her. What a lovely blessing to see God working in her life. 😀
What a blessing! Thank you for sharing the things that you love about your daughter. And thank you for what you said about us not being able to blame ourselves any more than we can take credit for their successes. Very well said!
What a remarkable daughter you have! I hope she glows when she reads these words, cause she should!!
You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful daughter and she has an equally wonderful mother. This is so beautifully written.
Beautiful….makes me wish I had a daughter. But I am praying for Godly daughter in laws!
Amber and Lizzie…t h a n k you :).
Headless Mom, I just don’t remember it being like “this” when I was her age; and I AM truly thankful!! And thrilled to hear YOU have one of “these” :).
Sarah, every age has been good in its own way; every age has also been trying. I’ve always tried to exercise the advice given to me forever ago–savor each season ’cause all too soon it will pass. If it’s good? Enjoy. If it’s not so good? You’ll be through it soon enough.
Kelly, Pass the Torch, that means a LOT coming from you…thank you :). (It’ll mean a lot to Rachel, too 🙂 ).
iPost, isn’t it a blessing when you can see them only growing in their consistency? So pleased to hear you can see these “good things” in your 9-year-old :).
Shelly, I’m well aware we’re in the middle of the easiest years of raising kids; I don’t take it for granted. Yes, I remember the WORK of managing three children 4 and under! My lands–it was forever ago and yesterday!
Michelle, s m i l i n g :).
Pastormacs Ann, I’m so grateful “y’all” let me share these things…it’s nice to have a place to vent…and to gush!
Jeanne, I know you’re further ahead in the game than me…your words always breathe life into me :).
Aw, Karmyn and ChrisB…THOSE were sweet things to say:)!
Dianne, I never expected that with my kids, ya know? A lovely surprise!
Shara, thank you for mentioning that line…I shared it because it’s something I need to be reminded of!
Christi, I never know when she’s going to pop in my blog…she knew I was writing “something”, she wasn’t sure when, though. I haven’t mentioned it (but I wish I could be inside her head when she reads it).
Oooo, Laurel, I missed you! I know! I tell my kids the person they choose to marry is the single-most important decision in their lives. If I’m not mistaken, they believe me!
What a beautiful girl (from the inside out). You are so blessed to have been graced by her presence! Isn’t God amazing that he would trust so rich a treasure to mere mortals?! Parenting is one of those things that I will never understand, and am eternally grateful for.
What a lucky mom you are! You’ve taught her well.
I’ve read that book “Do Hard Things” and passed it on to my 15 year-old grandson. It’s a good one for all teens to have.
I have two wonderful kids (grown now) who are Rachel-like, and therefore, I smile a great deal of the time.
As the mom of two daughters, one who just got married last weekend, I can relate to so much of what you said! Beautiful article!
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the song “Where Are You Going My Little One, Little One…Where Are You Going My Baby My Own…Turn Around and Two, Turn Around and You’re Four…Turn Around and You’re a Young Girl Going Out of the Door…” that Rosemary Clooney sang, but this reminds me of you.
What a great post. I hope to be so lucky with my 3 girls (8, 6, and 5) (and boy too, age 1). Thanks for the book recommendation. I promptly ordered it. At a minimum, I want to give it to my 8 year old (if appropriate) and when she’s ready for it. I also want to share it with my 12 year old niece.
I see you got your post up. It’s a good one! =) Your daughter is beautiful.
That is a terrific book!! I have read it and my husband and oldest son are reading it together.
I so enjoyed our time together the other day. We must meet again soon. =)
She may be grounded for now, but you’ve given her the wings to fly.
Small world dept: My grandmother’s name was Rachel. We named our daughter Dahlia in honor of her. Not a day goes by that I don’t watch her in amazement, wondering what we did right that caused her to turn out so focused on the world around her instead of on herself.
This is beautiful, Robin. She sounds like an amazing young lady and just what I pray that my daughter will grow into. She’s only five now but I get so excited imagining what God is going to do with her.
I just discovered your post at a link from Kelly at Pass the Torch. It is beautiful!
Definitely not the average. She gives me hope, Robin.
What a blessing – she sounds like a remarkable young woman (I hope I’m writing something like this when Funny Girl’s her age – I call her my “best friend in training”).
I can’t get over how much she looks like you – she’s you with blue eyes, isn’t she?
Great post!!! I love the pic!!!! She looks soooooooooooooooooooooo much like you!!!!! Yall are both sooo very beautiful!!!!!!!
What a sweet post! What a lovely young girl! And what a great mom! 🙂 I count my relationship with my daughter and my sons (all grown now), as three of my most treasured friends….isn’t it wonderful when your children come alongside you as friends and co-workers in God’s kingdom? Blessings to you and your family……..