Lesson From My Girls – Abigail
A few months ago I shared with you that our sweet girls have become the most wonderful of teachers to me. Seriously. I have learned so much from my kids. I didn’t really know it would work that way, but it has. And it is truly the most beautiful thing I have seen and experienced.
Our girls are vastly different, but in many, many ways, they are the same. They love the Lord. They love people. They love life and learning. They work hard to treat people fairly and kindly.
They are not perfect. I am not saying that at all. None of us are perfect. Doesn’t that feel good to say? There was and will only ever be one perfect person – Jesus. That spot is taken, so let’s breathe a sigh of relief and get to living a life for Jesus.
And that is what I have learned from our girls. Let’s chase a life lived for Jesus. So, I now share:
1. Joyful is a State of Being
Did you know that Abigail means “A Father’s Joy”? I know. Crazy. And Okay – just so you know. She is not joyful every second of every day, but joy is in her. Rooted there deeply. It is a part of her being. There are not many days that she doesn’t wake up happy. I know. I know. Not all of us are morning people. I get that. But all of us should want to have joy in our hearts daily. Abbey does. I think, in little ways she has chased after that for a long time. Let me explain.
We are Christians. Proud to know and love the man who died to save us. For Abbey, I think she has been chasing after him for a long, long time. She grew up in a Christian school. I know growing up in a Christian school is like parking in a garage and a Ford or Chevy or whatever just hoping, just hoping that it will turn into a Mercedes. It’s in the right place, but that change cannot occur unless it is pursued. That’s Abbey. She has been pursuing a relationship with Jesus for a long time. Yes – she falters and falls away, but she runs back and runs even harder.
During her high school years, pursuit of that relationship changed significantly. She used to go to a church all through middle school that had a great youth group. She was tied in there tightly. But as high school moved on, things changed. She no longer felt a fit there. She decided that it was time to find a new place. And she did! She found a community group that pushed her in her relationship with Christ and she was able to go deeper. Deeper into that true joy that can only come from Christ.
This momma has been amazed to watch her grow. This momma has learned from Abbey that circumstances do not dictate our happiness or joy. We do! Our relationship with Christ does. If we are counting on the world and its dealing of our cards to bring us happiness, we are in sorry shape. Abbey, I think, has begun to understand that. She is working hard to place Jesus at the center of her joy. A great reminder always.
2. Brave is Beautiful
I can remember it as plain as day. She was only 3 at the time, but there she was. Little Abbey singing on the stage with her sister, Brooke. She was “Do” in the song, “Do, Re, Mi”. She was always “Do”. So little and up there singing with the big kids. She wasn’t even taking singing lessons, that was Brooke, but she could sing and Brooke’s voice teacher knew it. So, brave little Abbey became the permanent “Do” in “Do, Re, Mi”.
Now, Brooke’s music teacher took her students everywhere. Festivals, Nursing homes, and more. They were out among the people blessing them through song. It’s such a precious memory watching our two girls share a gift that the Lord had given them. Just precious.
But why is that memory important? Abbey had to be brave to get up there. She didn’t take lessons. She was just following her sister. She always followed her sister. We have tons of home video with Abbey following behind Brooke belting out the lyrics to either an N’Sync song or Celine Dion. You know, only the best in our family. Lol
It’s the best thing ever. And, being the second child, Abbey, in many ways, never knew she was little. And thank goodness. Because brave is what was being birthed in her from the moment she arrived.
Now, for me, that wasn’t me as a younger child. My mom often tells stories of how “not brave” I was as a kid. I wouldn’t even go get my own hot dog at my brother’s baseball games. LOL It wasn’t until college that I gained courage and could begin growing my “brave”. College. Yes. College.
Not Abbey. From early on she was owning her” brave”. Owning it. Now, Abbey has needed her brave in many places. She has needed to make some tough, life choices that required her “brave” and she mustered up the courage.
Refer back to point one. When Abbey was in middle school, she went to a youth group that she absolutely loved. Loved! But as time passed and people changed, she no longer felt the connection there and she needed to make a change.
Oh boy! That change was hard. And it took a push off center in January of her junior year of high school and a remembering of her “brave” to make a change.
It was then, that January, that Abbey went on a girl’s retreat with our church. She didn’t really know anyone well. She just decided that she would go and see what it was like. Well, just like God does, he met her on that trip and showed her that these girls, these adult leaders, would be her new place, her new home. She got back and joined a community group that she went to faithfully, every single week the rest of her high school days.
And it was in that community group where her “brave” was nourished and challenged and grown. I am so very thankful and so very proud that she was brave enough to move off center. A lesson learned, Abbey, thank you
3. Wisdom is For All Ages
Wisdom. What exactly does that mean?
That’s Abbey. Ever since she was little, she has had the ability to learn from others and discern what is best for her. Don’t get me wrong here. She and we have not always been wise. She and we have made our fair share of mistakes. But, when the rubber has met the road, wisdom is what she has drawn upon.
Abbey has walked some tough roads, just as we all have. And I know, I know, you might say, “Geesh, she’s only 18. How tough can they be?” Tough for anyone and certainly tough for a kid.
But on those roads, she was digging in and digging deeper. Deeper into her faith and deeper into her understanding of the experience. Some of those roads required that she make tough decisions and what I watched transpire is beautiful. She was growing in wisdom. She was working and praying hard to discern what was true and right for her.
To be honest, I sometimes got in the way. And it was Abbey and her wise sister who helped me see the wisdom behind her thoughts. She was chasing after what was right before her God. I honestly cannot say that I had that in place until I was way older. Way older!
And her time in fellowship with the Lord and her fellowship with believers has helped her grow. And, in turn, she has helped me grow too. A lot! She doesn’t always get it right. None of us do. But, the wisdom she has at such a young age is beautiful. Simply beautiful.
So, to you, Abbey, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have taught me so much. You have taught this mom:
- Joyful is a state of mind and you choose joy daily
- Brave is beautiful and courage is placed within us when we call upon God.
- Wisdom is for all and wisdom is learning from your experiences and others as well.
So, to my girls, thank you. This mom has grown in immeasurable ways through watching your lives unfold. I always thought that I was doing all of the teaching. No, not even remotely.
Til next time – live blessed!
XO – Nikki
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