Sunday, February 07, 2010
Wide eyed, big smiles and some of the most beautiful dresses twirling around. Laughing, twirling, and squealing with their hair all done and even some tiara's. Then they see their friends and come to a squealing halt. All this while they drag their shell shocked Dads (maybe that is a little dramatic) along. It was our annual Father Daughter dance. All the fun, smiles and excitement a Dad can stand in one night.
It is one thing to be a boy Dad but to be a girl Dad takes them way out of their comfort zone. I remember when Olivia was two, Dean was just talking and he got a little excitement in his voice. Poor Olivia started crying. Dean asked "Why is she crying, I didn't do anything!", my reply, in my gentlest voice "Honey you raised your voice:" I wish you could have seen the bewilderment on his face. I had to explain that she is a girl. All girl and though she is too little too understand she feels things and a voice raised means something is wrong. Wow, we have come a long way. A man that has learned to be gentle, that words really do have to be spoken to communicate, and this little tiny girl in his house has him wrapped around her finger.
Oh yes, it is the Father Daughter Dance. Girls from five to fifteen were there all dressed in their best dresses with Dads in tow. My two favorite parts of the night are sitting at the table checking in so I can see all the girls. Dressed in all their finery and Dads that are so proud to be there. You can see it in their eyes. The way their eyes dance as the girls twirl or take off their coats to show off those beautiful dresses. The younger Dads that have small little girls are overwhelmed and you can see they are a little bit scared to spend a whole evening with their little one but so mesmerized with them that they are sure they will survive. The older girls Dads are in the same predicament but they have a young lady. Their little girl has blossomed into a beautiful more mature young lady and it is shining through because of how proud they are to be there with their Dad. The look those Dads have is they are blessed that their daughter wants to still spend time with them and yet they know their time is slowly coming to an end to make way for the special man that will eventually have to honor into his family and he is no where near that step. But they will always have these memories that will be cherished for all time.
The second favorite part is when we have the dance instructor. To see all those Dads waltzing with their girls. The happiness on both of their faces and the special love that surrounds both of them. Like he is the best Dad in the world and at least for tonight he is their hero. I wish the Moms could see that moment. In that moment Dad is also Moms biggest hero as well.
As a Mom, one thing I love more than anything is how Dean jealously loves Olivia. He wants to make sure she knows what to expect from that special man in her life. He wants her to know how she should be treated when she dates. What a special moment.
If I reflect back in my life, I never had that. I never had that Dad that was there to teach me what I should expect from Dean. I never had that moment of care that told me I am special, loved, cared about and wanted. I was hurt, used as a pawn and really thrown to fend for myself at a young age.
My Heavenly Father came along and showed me how to see some of those things about myself that was keeping me from being a loving and caring person and knowing what it meant to be loved and cared for. He weaved love throughout so I could stop and take a hard look at my circumstances and see them as half full instead of empty. He took the scars and pain and brought healing salve through forgiveness and people in my life to make me stronger and healthier in my outlook on myself and life. In my circumstance God was so good to me. He put me in a place that I could find him and his love. The people that I worked with were all christians and at sixteen I met Jesus because they were passionate about God and did not give up on me. That moment was overwhelming with love...but it was a long, sweet, hard walk to work out all the hurts and pains of my life. The seeds of love that were planted took some time to grow but I am so humbled and blessed that they were there to plant them.
My hunger, thirst and passion for God started at sixteen. I had never felt that over whelming love before and God was so wonderful to pull me from a life of bitterness and selfishness that could have been my life. Instead he showed me grace, forgiveness, hope for the hopeless and a future that would free me from those bondages. I am so thankful for that.
Before, Dean...before Olivia...God had helped me work through so much. What a blessing. What thankfulness. Because it allowed me to be the wife and parent I want to be. I have had the pleasure, the privilege and the partnership with Dean to parent from a Christian perspective. Allowing ourselves to fail, to falter, to not get it all right and to walk through it with God in the middle. The lessons of life that Olivia learns from us is "seek ye first the kingdom of God" . So when we miss it, or she misses it, we sin, we make the wrong decision, the path will lead us back to the path if we seek Him first. I would love to say we always seek Him first, but really, we don't. I am sure our life would be so much easier if we did. But, all of those things help Olivia to find her way to the heavenly father. I hope and pray it is so much easier for her. Her perception of her self and life is through completely different glasses and really foreign to me. I had to really seek God out. Find Him for myself. There was no one in my immediate life to follow.
Olivia is a first generation Christian. It is amazing to watch. Her perceptions are so different than mine. Because her perception of God is so different from mine. Her thougths of God are simple and real. Mine were complicated and real, LOL. Some things she will always know and understand about God. For me, it took me years to understand that lesson. I had to fight to believe in myself, really love myself, and learn to trust in who I am and who God made me to be. Olivia is so confident in those things already. That makes me proud. Proud that she will not have to struggle so much with her confidence. When she does it will be with a much stronger foundation. When she doesn't believe in herself she will know who to call on...and then she will call her Mom and Dad. She will not always trust her decisions but she will learn from them, look to God and have a foundation to know that some of her decisions were right. She will not look through a glass as dark as mine.
So as I cry and survey the dance floor, I see so many young girls that have so much hope, self confidence and love surrounding them that life may be hard but they have the foundation to be strong and lean into God. I can't help but thank God for all of those Dads that have such influence in those girls life and find it important to be a part of their life as long as they can be. How awesome for those girls. They may not know it now, but later, these are the memories that will be the foundation of their lives. They way they see the Heavenly Father and their earthly Father.
Have a wonderful week
In His Grip