Dakota is seven! My little baby girl is growing up…

cropped-20121124_0128_edit.jpgWow, it is unbelievable to me that she is so big!  I am amazed everyday by  her creations she will come up with.  She has incredible creativity and determination.  Every night I get hugs and nose kisses and she will not go to sleep until the deed is done.  She is in second grade this year and doing a beautiful job!  She is a very good reader and I am impressed at her love for reading!  I praise God for her good influence on her brothers.  She is a very hard worker.  These last few weeks of homeschooling she has been waking up and finishing quite a few subjects before I even am out of the shower and out.  I have her making lunches for her brothers each day and learning to cook simple meals for lunch each day.  She is learning so many things this year.  She has learned to roller skate, ice skate, play soccer, play softball this past year.  She has a gift to take music she hears and play it back on the piano with simplicity all by ear.  She loves to play the piano and her Daddy is teaching her, but she is determined to play by ear and not learn music.  She is a wonderful helper to this family.  She leads the boys in doing their chores.  Because she has gotten up each morning and began school, her brother Hudson will do the same thing each morning.  So I set out a worksheet for him to do as well.  Her chores have been to empty dishwasher, make her bed, clean up toys/room, put away laundry, set and clear the table.  She often exceeds my expectations with doing her chores without grumbling and complaining.  It is such a blessing.  She is the joy in our home, she makes everyone laugh and feel lighthearted.

God is teaching me so much through her. CONFESSION: I have truly put the things of this world above my children.  The stuff has become more important than the relationships with my little ones.  A few weeks ago Dakota had spilled some hand sanitizer on my new slipcovers I had just gotten a few weeks prior and I absolutely lost it and screamed at her in my anger.  She melted away into her room and had felt so bad.  It was my unending anger that told me where my heart was.  She did not mean to do it, it was an accident and not purposely done.  I acted as if it was done purposely.  Even so I cared more about the stupid slipcovers than my own daughter’s heart.  I had to just pray that the Lord would break me of this because I did not have any desire to reconcile with her for even a week after, but I did the very next day despite my feelings. I prayed the Lord would soften my heart and change me so that I would not prioritize the stuff over my family.  I am thankful for Dakota’s forgiving heart.  I pray that one day she will truly understand the forgiveness her Father in heaven has shown to us.  I thank God for using my children to draw out my sin and cause me to try to work on dying to myself.  I can tell you in the next week to come; the Lord continued to test me with “my stuff” as many things began to break as the week went on.  I had to just laugh by the time the fourth thing broke… Is this a joke Lord?

Back to my not so little girl… I have to post that we got matching shoes and I will put up a picture.  That is the fun stuff about having a little girl.  Even all the things I could do while she was little, I can’t do as much anymore.  Like pick out her clothes, do her hair.  I am having to let go already to my desires of what I want her to do and just fight the important battles.  I am needing to trust her and give her the independence she deserves.  I can trust her and I thank God for that.  I know this will be a struggle for me because I love to have my hand and control in every detail of life.  I still love the tickle fights as she runs around the house saying “no tickle, no tickle!”, I can’t even catch her anymore!   She has had her first few slumber parties and its so surreal having the talks about what is appropriate and what is not.  I hate it that I have to have these conversations all together to protect her purity at seven years old.  Lately she has been lonely sleeping in her own room and wishing she had a sister her own age.  I told her tonight to be content with the family God has given her.  I want a sister for her as well but I realize that even having a child now, she would be in such different worlds from her sister because the gap would be 8 years.  As they get older they would have that blessing of sisterhood, but I am sad she does not have that now like her brothers do.

I have seen the Lord working in her heart and causing her to come to me randomly and ask for my forgiveness when she did something that was not right.  I hope that it is the Lord working in her and not just pure guilt.  Areas that I need to work on with her is nagging, being the kind of friend that glorifies the Lord, (example: sacraficing what she wants to do for what they want to do), not becoming easily frustrated when she has to learn something new and hard in school, and not letting her dissapointments in life cause her to be frustrated at others who are not experiencing those same trials or hardships (example: my toy broke, wishing Hudson’s broke too).

My biggest concern is that because Dakota is the oldest, she has my highest expectations because I know she can do really well!  But I had a conversation with her a while ago that I don’t want her to feel like what she does is not ever good enough for Mommy.  I have needed to work on my perfectionism tendencies and allow her to do her best and be content with that.  I don’t ever want her to grow up not realizing how amazing she really is because of her Mom’s expectations were never realistic and my sinfulness of perfectionism!  She is an amazing little girl.  I say it again, I do not know what our family would be like without her!

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