Wow....we have closed the door on her childhood and opened another on the wonderful world of the Teen years.... It was a day that dawned like any other, but something had changed. My honey-eyed girl had blossomed into a young woman. It didn't really happen overnight....more a gradual metamorphosis over the last few years. When we left to travel around Australia she was just a girl, now 2 years later she is most definitely a young woman! Her Dad and I have had a front row seat, watching as she negotiates life. It is such a blessing to raise a family. There are so many side splittingly hilarious moments. More than a handful of "grrrr moments" and many powerful lessons to be learned for both the parent and the child. I think we have many more to yet to come as well.
I remember the day I turned 13. I know it took me a while, bit of a stretch on the memory retrieval. My parents gave me a 'Pig Out' T shirt (I never said I was classy!), a 'Ghostbusters' Album on cassette, the book "The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4" and various other bits and pieces...clothing and the like. I remember Dad playing the Inspector Gadget theme song over and over again in the car....(he still plays this :) Those were the days of spiked hair, mullets, fluro socks and rah rah skirts! When Madonna dominated the airwaves and my favourite movie was 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'. When we all thought we could Dance any time, anywhere, 'Footloose' and 'Dirty Dancing' just re-inforced that belief!!! When break dancing was cool and Michael Jackson taught an entire generation to moon walk. Aaaaah the 80's! Those were the days when I rode motorbikes for fun, spent most of my school holidays outdoors and spent my school terms at Boarding School in Charters Towers. Yep...those were the days that filled my 13th year of life. I am still living down the haircut! What was I thinking..?! Crazy crazy crazy!
As I reflect on my teen years and pause to take stock of my honey-eyed daughter's teen experience thus far...I can't help but notice how different our "teen" years are. She is so much classier than I ever was. I am delighted in the beautiful young woman she is. She is so bright, where I struggled at School. She is super talented at music, specifically violin, where my musical ability was limited to what I could enjoy on cassette. She is actively involved in Scouts, where I dropped out of Girl Guides. She is so very brave, pushes herself to the limit of her comfort zone all the time, where I was often held back by my fear of what might happen. She has a close relationship with our Lord and Saviour where I didn't come to know Him until much later. She has travelled extensively around Australia and I, as a teen, had only enjoyed my home (a sheep & cattle Property) and the surrounding area in remote Western Queensland. She has lived in a tent for the past 2 years, had to go without a lot of the things other kids probably take for granted, forgone friendships and security....and yet she has experienced first hand what it means to live by faith, to sit in the presence of God, to go where He leads, to share with His people, to give the gifts and talents He has blessed us with to further His Kingdom. Yes...our teen years are very different. I don't regret my teen years, it was what it was. I didn't know there was a different way to live, but I do now. I am trying not to worry about what could have been and choose to focus on what is and what will be. I am so very blessed to be Josie's Mum. To have the privilege of witnessing this delightful young lady blossom into a woman. I praise God for her, she is such a gift to this family. There is much ahead of her....highs and lows...learning curves....so much life to be lived. Josie, my love...be bold, be strong....for you are not alone. The Lord your God is with you and will not forsake you. He has brought you this far and He will lead you on. Take hold of what He has promised and keep yourself grounded in His word. You will have so many choices to make over the next couple of years....seek His wisdom.