I have 3 daughters that look drastically different. The oldest, Savannah, is 23 and a redhead like myself. My middle child, Ansley, is 20 and a brunette like my husband. And my youngest, Kendal, is 18 and very blond. They all have different styles in clothing, but through the years, have been very similar in sizes. I have a friend who is one of many sisters and she has three daughters as well. We used to laugh about all the drama that raising three girls entailed. The cliques at school, how to teach independence, and oh my goodness, the fights over who had what! I remember her telling me that some of the worst fights between her and her sisters was over clothing. I have a younger brother so all of this was new to me - a completely foreign dynamic. I have since learned that she was right. Sharing clothing and things in general between three children of the same sex is definitely a struggle. I used to feel like my girls were going to kill each other (verbally, just for the record) over what happened to a new pair of jeans. I am not kidding, people. Jeans. Not only was it bad between themselves, but once friends began to come into the picture and borrow clothing, it really got ugly. I cannot tell you the number of times I heard, "If you don't get those shoes/jeans/shirts back from her, I am going to take ______ in return!" I felt like the Clothing Police, constantly having to chase items down and investigate who was guilty and what the punishment should be. This became especially bad when Ansley got a job and started buying her own clothing and Kendal borrowed it. I knew things were getting serious when Ansley posted this on Twitter.
I guess it gave her an idea and soon after this, she requested a lock with a key to keep Kendal out. This is where I have to come clean. That idea sounded REALLY good to me. She and I would have keys and there would be no question that things would be kept separately. I even tried to install the lock while my husband was traveling for work. Quick fix, right?
Except it wasn't. My husband, who mostly stays out of the fray, was quick to point out that the lock was a band-aid on a bigger problem. The truth was that we weren't setting strong enough boundaries and enforcing consistent punishment when they were broken. Yikes! The truth hurts.
Respecting other people's things and setting boundaries in our own lives is a huge part of what God calls us to do in this world. He encourages us to work hard and seek His truth in the middle of our greed and lust for things that we don't have. I personally have struggled with wanting things because I thought that they would make me happy or fill a need that wasn't being met. I've wanted things that I had no right to. I've taken things that have hurt people that I loved. When I first began to talk to God like he was a person (not just some "idea") I poured all of this out to him....the shame, the envy.....everything that I had hidden deep in my heart. I also confessed it to those that I had hurt along the way. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but the love and forgiveness that He has shown me since, has been nothing short of amazing. Not that there weren't consequences, because there were and they were incredibly painful. But in this process, I have found that letting go of what I THINK I need and being THANKFUL for what I have been given has changed my life. Asking God through prayer what He wants me to have and waiting to see what He brings has become so fun. It's like a never-ending game that only He has the answer to. I just sit on the edge of my seat and make the next move.
And just to set the record straight, all of my daughters have made it to adulthood alive and have gone their separate ways (with their own clothing, I might add). Along the way I hope that they learned to share and respect someone else's things.
And I REALLY hope they have daughters....
April is wife to an amazing man, mother to three beautiful girls, and grandmother to the most precious boy EVER. She began to recognize God's chase at the age of 44, in a season of major change. April continues to search for God daily in the middle of this fast-paced, over-stimulated world, and when something makes her uncomfortable and challenges her she knows that God is knocking and she should listen.