the word I want to use more with our girls

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I always pictured myself as a boy mom.

The very first IF:Gathering happened to be the year I carried Ry around in my belly. I invited friends from across the country over to our Santa Barbara home to watch the conference together. They threw me a surprise baby shower and I cried about how scared I felt to become a mom. They reassured me- like only close-knit sisters can do.

The day they left Austin and I found the gender of our baby. Every last one of my friends told me I was going to have a girl. I smiled but didn’t believe them- as if God and I knew something they didn’t know. I’m going to be a boy mom. I thought. Or at the very least, have a boy first.

But on the wall at Butterfly beach, feet dangling, hearts racing- Austin and I read together the truth that changed everything. It’s. A. Girl.

My sister, Katie, shot the most amazing video to capture that moment. I still cry, watching myself cry.

The tears looked like sweet, soon-to-be-mama happy tears. Some were.

But the rest were terrified tears. Maybe moms feel this when they find out the gender. It’s so final. In one moment you rejoice and mourn at the same time. Rejoice for what is and mourn for what will not be.

After we found out about our little girl we ordered food at The Habit on Milpas. I got a chocolate shake and cried more in the bathroom. I knew what it was like to be a girl and already wanted to protect our girl from all the hard things I knew would come her way.

But here I am, almost five years later, a full-blown girl mom to two blondie, snuggly, girly girls.

And I love it.

My favorite story in the Bible popped up in my reading this week. The woman who bled for twelve years, visited every doctor, spent all her money in an effort to ‘fix herself.’ And yet, right when the rest of us (me at least) would have thrown out all hope in endless discouragement, she sees The Savior walk by. Like a boss- a hope-filled, last resort, faith-pumping boss, she reaches out among the pushes and shoves of the crowd and touches the very end of Jesus’ robe.

Instantly the bleeding stops.

But that’s not all. Jesus stops too.

He stops among the constant touch and pull of people because he felt power go out from him. He asks who touched him, his disciples look at him like he’s crazy. “Um, everyone? Everyone is touching you, Lord.”

And home girl. Like a boss again. Shows herself. Explains herself. Worships. Thanks.

And Jesus drops a word he uses once and only once… Daughter.

To this blood-covered, healed, brave and faith-filled woman he says, I identify with you. You resemble me. I’ve loved you since before you were born. You are special to me. I know you unlike anyone else does. I’ve watched you grow. I’ve felt your pain with you. I’d give my life for you… all the things such a word as daughter implies.

I’ve been challenged since reading this story to use the word daughter more. To describe the identity of our girls and to describe my own. God’s given us daughters. Girly, feely, amazing daughters. And it makes me more than a girl mom. I’m a daughter mom.

Talk soon,

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