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Character Confession—She Calls Me Mama

Posted by Julie on January 7, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Character confession. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? If you’re new, or if it’s been so long you forgot, I try to take Saturdays and blog a character confession, courtesy of Noelle Mena of Pliable in His Hands. I simply write what I’m feeling or a little summary of my week and how it matches up to the cute little graphics.

I find this meme gets quite a bit of viewing, even if not a lot of people comment. Maybe, just maybe, you can relate to my confession. Maybe mine makes you feel better about yourself. Whatever the case, I put myself out there this way in hopes the confession encourages you.

 

 

 

For those that know me offline, you know my experience with our youngest has been filled with challenges. Her first year was all about health issues and therapy. They rocked my world, but I learned a lot from it. I’m excited she’s doing so well with all the things that held her back 7 years ago.

Once her health stabilized, I had a new challenge. She didn’t care for me. It wasn’t that she hated me, it was that I wasn’t even on her radar.

At all.

Her life was all about her daddy. And for those nights he had to work late, or sing in choir, or do anything that distanced them, she was a mess.

And blamed me.

It was a tough balance figuring out what was a daddy’s girl and what needed boundaries before it took a toll on our marriage and my relationship with our daughter. I never knew if I should fade in the woodwork or fight for my place in her life.

So I prayed.

And cried a lot.

In the last few months I’m seeing a shift. We have a lot of mom-daughter adventures. Over the summer we wrote a customized story together. The other night after her shower we talked about 45 minutes and I could feel the proverbial wall between us shatter. She opened herself up to me and let me in.

And ever since, she’s called me Mama.

I don’t know why it’s so endearing, but it isn’t the norm for us. I’m usually mom, and when she wants something, she can lay mommy on thick. But this week Mama seems the new name that signifies the shift, and I can’t hear it enough.

We’re still going to have our struggles, I’m a realist. She still asks after 5pm when is dad coming home, and after church she always chooses him to ride home with, which I have no problem with.

But her spontaneous hugs, including me in the pictures she draws (yes, there was a season I didn’t even make her family pictures) and even working out together doing the Shake It Up DVD was bliss—to this mama.

Am I the only Mama that felt forsaken and is experiencing a positive change? I’d love to hear other stories out there.

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Surrendering Daddy’s Girl

Posted by Julie on May 9, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

So moms, are you back to the reality of getting up first making breakfast, finding socks and feeding the pets?  Yep, must be the day after Mother’s Day.

I try each year to write about the different facets of motherhood from honoring my own mom to encouraging women with infertility because I have been there.  Although I’m writing a little ahead of schedule I feel like I’m supposed to share something I don’t read too much about but is very real just the same.

When you aren’t daddy’s girl and/or when you’re the seemingly invisible parent raising a daddy’s girl.

Guilty on both counts but I think after a lot of time, prayer and tears, that doesn’t define me anymore.

As a child I was the oldest and wired to be a little ahead of my age and now that I really think about it, a bit of sass to me. If I saw injustice whether I understood it or not I was going to talk about it with a lot of negativity. It’s not a real popular place to be especially if you think there is injustice pretty close by.  I was angry and vocal and there was a lot of baggage. We all did the best we could.  But I knew back then I  was not daddy’s girl.

The praise is that before his death we reconciled and I had the absolute honor of being the last to speak with him. I was able to give him a tribute to send him to his eternal destination where I know I will see him again. I believe that was a God given gift for all the years we struggled and I know he never meant and hated that I came away feeling the things I felt. It truly ended all good.

Then I had a daughter.  As soon as she was placed in my husband’s arms he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to discipline her.”  Although that wasn’t quite true it was close. She was chronically sick as a baby and as any daddy would want, he wanted to meet every need she could possibly have…and then some.

It didn’t take long for her to realize this and take advantage. When she started talking she started wheeling and dealing. Everyone saw it but daddy. She would toddle off to him and ask for something I already said no to.  Then came a time when she was very verbal and made it clear she wished dad was a stay at home dad…and wished I would go to work…and take my sweet time coming home.

This crushed me. I definitely felt like a house divided and I didn’t handle it well.

This year things have improved. Oh she still brings artwork after artwork home for daddy and apologizes that she ran out of time before she could draw anything for me or her brother. When she draws pictures of the family I am finally not just in the picture, but drawn a lot closer to her and daddy.  There was a time she drew me way, way, way off the page.

We’re now at a place where she takes her time coming inside off the bus because she’s stopping to bring me dandelions. I always equate them as weeds taking over a lawn I just mowed or want to mow but this year I’m realizing this is a precious gift I enjoy receiving. Her class had a mother’s day brunch and she made sure I received an invitation but hoped I was recovering enough from surgery to attend. She gives me hugs, tells me she loves me and just this morning had a tude with her dad, something usually reserved for me.

I’m grateful that my dad and I reconciled and very happy that our daughter is embracing me as much as her dad. Thing is, I had to let go of that expectation and the minute I did, things improved.  I had to place myself in the truth that I AM a Daddy’s girl, my heavenly Father.  Just as it is with you, I am His favorite.  I love that He’s so Sovereign we can all be His favorite. If I waited and put all my hopes in being received that way in all my relationships on Earth I believe I would be a bitter unfullfilled person.

Life is too short for that.

If you are a rejected Daddy’s girl, surrender that today because it’s not true.  You are THE Daddy’s girl and He wants to lavish and brag on you for all of eternity. He’s not a far off God who crosses His arms and shakes His head at you in disgust–so far from it. His arms are open waiting to hug you with promises and truths.  You just aren’t in His picture, you are in His arms. As you receive that truth and draw closer to Him and His Son, it will change your life.

Take it from this Heavenly Daddy’s Girl.

 



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