Monday, February 2, 2009

On Mothering Daughters

Last night after I gave the kids a bath, I caught a glimpse of Audrey dancing in front of her mirror, her wet hair tossing to and fro as she bounced up and down. She was singing these words in no particular order, "oh yeah...Hollywood...uh-huh..."

She ran towards me with a silly grin once she noticed my watching her. I asked her, "What's Hollywood?" Audrey answered something along the lines of "that's where famous actors live." Those words carried much more weight for me than first glance would intimate. As a little girl that's where my heart drifted. Several years ago, I found a handwriting assignment from fourth or fifth grade. We were to write about where we thought we'd be in five, ten, fifteen and twenty years. At the time I read it to Matt and laughed. My aspirations were to be a famous actress married to a rich producer with a couple of kids. Looking back, I see it more clearly.

That handwriting assignment unveiled the root of a deep struggle within me--one that has worn on for decades now--the struggle to make much of me. You see, I read the magazines, saw the movies, imagined myself in music videos because that was what "arriving" looked like--that's what the epitome of life seemed to be.

But I know it's not. I know that it is so far from it.

I think of someone like Britney Spears. My heart broke for her as I watched her overcome with emotion on her autobiographical documentary saying, "I'm so sad." Here she was, the "epitome of life" having "arrived" at such a young age, and miserable. The more gut-wrenching moment was the end, I thought. She talked about making a comeback, coming into her own, etc.--the same old package of misery wrapped in new paper and ribbon.

As young women (and even older) we are sold a sorry bill of goods. Coupled with a naturally wandering heart, it is a recipe for disaster. I want to increase the chance that Audrey and soon-to-be Norah will not be fed the same kind of fare as I. I want to war for their hearts. It will be bloody. I know my mother warred for me the best she could and I'm still battle-scarred.

The Lord so sweetly placed some beautiful wisdom before me today concerning my heart's desire for my daughters. It came by way of the Girl Talk blog. The wisdom is for teenage girls but I believe it's never too early to mother with these in view (in prayer and in daily life).

Three great "deals" for teenage girls:

1. the fear of the Lord
2. mom's godly teaching (help me, Lord!)
3. homemaker training

Contrasted with the typical teenage priorities:

1. popularity
2. independence
3. selfish pleasures

I know Audrey is not me. Her struggles won't be exactly the same but I can't imagine a better "battle plan" than to instill a godly fear of the Lord, wisdom, and a love for the home in her (and Norah's) little hearts--far from the glitz, glam and potential misery of Hollywood and making much of them.

I will be fighting to sail upstream but I have the most persuasive, grace-filled Wind at my back. May His will be done.

I love you, Audrey (and Norah), and want what is best for you. I want Christ for you. I want making much of Him to be your dream-fulfilled.


debra said...

So, so hard. Yet, so, so beautiful. I hear everything you have said so close. I have thought a lot of the same thoughts over my own girl. Yes, a battle it will be. A battle worth fighting.

I also couldn't help but be sad when I watched that moment of Britney's interview.

It is hard.

Ashleigh Carroll said...

What a great word. Thanks Lauren.

Kristin said...

Wow! Thank you for such honesty!

Magen said...

Oh, the woman's wandering heart! Wow. You expressed these thoughts beautifully and I agree with what you said. I think about Anna Grace growing up and the desperation in my heart for her to learn from my mistakes. It puts whole new meaning to trusting the Holy Spirit not only for myself, but inside of my daughter! Give these girls mercy, Jesus!

Love Norah, by the way!

Kristyn said...

Beautifully said!
LOVE baby girl's name!!! :)

Those Stephens said...

Lauren, I am a member at the village and you don't know me, but I want to thank you for those thoughts. Our first child, Campbell, is only 4 months old and I pray daily for her salvation. Thank you for bringing to light other things that I should pray for. Daughters are so precious. Also, congratulations on Norah!

The Three Tenners said...

Beautifully put. Love the name Norah too! :)

Jessica said...

lauren, thank you SO much for sharing this. these very issues of making much of oneself that you discuss i have, do, and presume will continue to war with as well. your honesty is comforting.

how lucky your girls are that their mom is so determined to mother their hearts so sweetly. what a great example you're setting for them!

Team Green said...

Thank you La; for baring your sweet, beautiful soul.

Lauren said...


I have read your blog for quite some time, but I have never commented. I want so much to consecrate all of who I am wholly and fully to the Lord so that I can be a vesel of His glory and honor. Your life is such an inspiration to me in this desire. I want to live in a godly manner and in excellence in the Lord's eyes with everything that comes out of my heart, my spirit, my inner ife, my words, and my character. Thank you for showing and teaching me what a godly life looks like lived out everyday!! I am so, so encouraged by your humility, authenticity, and your devotion and commitment to live a gospel-formed witness and life before a world that is so hungry for God, but so misguided as to how to find Him and in that, find true and everlasting satisfaction. You are a blessing :)
Lauren Cunningham
Abilene, TX

Nat & Annie said...

That is a beautiful post Lauren, and so wise and true.

Liz said...

My sweet daughter is turning 15 in just 9 days...scary. The job continues for me as it does for you, and it is such a sweet blessing to watch. My prayers for you as you mother.

lauren w said...

this is one of my favorite posts. if i ever have a little girl i may be giving you a call!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart and that blog link. I don't have any girls as of yet but, as a new aunt, it will help. :)

Paige Willingham said...

Lauren... my name is Paige Willingham. I am a friend of Magen Roberson's. We have been friends for a long time and I check her blog regularly. I was looking on her friend list to see what had been written about recently and your blog title caught my attention. I have twin girls - Emma and Abby - they are 18 months old. I was just saying to my husband that I feel like I am in a daily battle -- and I am losing it much of the time. Until I really believe that it is not "I" that should be fighting it, it won't ever be won. All to say, although my girls aren't talking about Hollywood and all of that yet, I know it will be coming. My heart's desire is for them to know and love Him so deeply... thank you for what you wrote - He has used you to encourage a stranger today.

Nat Pat said...

ah...this is such good wisdom! i want this for sweet Lily too! glad we can fight for this together!

The Durham's said...

So true, my friend! We have to capture their little, sweet hearts...what a task:) How are you feeling? Think of you often:) Love ya!

Aina Carruth said...

I want this for Charlotte too. Glad were not in this alone! Thanks for sharing. Looks like Audrey had a special birthday! Yes, and I LOVE the name. She will be the first one I know.

David said...

Thanks Lauren. Same thoughts and prayers are in the Campbell home. May we train these precious girls to love our God and King above all else, above all things they may see in this world. Oh, it will be a hard battle, but one we are so willing to fight.
Audrey and Norah are so very blessed to you have you as their mommy!

The Lancasters said... nearly made me cry! I am not ready for what lies ahead with two girls! :) Adam and I were just talking about all this just this afternoon! Missed you guys this morning!

Anonymous said...

You are a great mother. I pray for my children (I only have boys as of yet, but am pregnant with a third... Maybe a girl?). It is so encouraging to see a mother put her fears and worries out there for God to work with (and the blog world to see- in case they may be fearing the same things). People need examples like you. Thanks!

Regina said...

As long as the Lord allows, you will not fight this fight for your girls alone. May we as your sisters-in-Christ love Audrey and Norah so much that we are willing to fight for them too.

I pray that the Wind behind you will also blow behind us so that we might partner alongside of you in your fight for beautiful, wonderful Audrey, and your blessing Norah. May we all pray for our daughters as we wage war together.

Much love to you and your girls

The Copeland Family said...

What a sweet blog! Have you read the five conversations book, yet? Check out my will see with all my other blog buddies webpages one called Daughter Conversations. It is absolutely wonderful!!

Rachel DeBell said...

I want you to know that I was very moved by this post. I told Craig about it and we discussed it over Catfish! :) Yep, but we both love your insight and depth, and to be honest, sometimes I think I am STILL singing that same song!

Kyle Anderson said...

i'm a little late in reading this post but i appreciate what you've expressed. Having gone through some rough years as a younger girl and now working with high school girls.. i can only imagine how much more it must be to be a mother with your own little girls, desiring so much for their lives and their relationship with the Lord. Daystar Ministries in Nashville was an amazing ministry that loved me through some dark years of my childhood.. they've written several books. Here's a link to one that you may find encouraging:

many blessings!