Wednesday, February 14, 2007

He Likes You

"He likes you."

"Shut. UP! He does???"

"Yes! Kevin told Mark, who told Brandon. He told Ashley and she told Brittany while I was at my locker and I overheard. Can you believe it? You're SO lucky!"

Remember finding out "he likes you?" Either it was someone you had had a crush on, and finally his attentions turned to you, or you had never given him the time of day until you found out he noticed you, and well, that changed everything! "He likes me." :::sigh:::

Oh, how I'm glad days are (long) behind me. I have a cute guy who comes home to me every single day, grabs me up and plants a big one on me and tells me "he likes me" in a million little ways by his actions and words. I wish the "me" from 7th grade could've seen the "me" now, married to such a cute boy. Maybe I wouldn't have spent so much time in middle school and high school worrying about it. Or would I have?

I say 7th grade, because I've been in 7th grade all year. It seems I am in whatever grade my daughter is in. Not just because I homeschool her, which means I am very much entrenched in pre-algebra, life science and Texas history. But because I am reliving the emotions and feelings of whatever age she is, which right now is 13. Some days I relive them with the knowledge and perspective of an almost-40-year-old, and some days I don't. Some days I am that little insecure girl I was back in 1980. Oh, my word. (Do most moms do this? Or do we have some sort of codependent Gilmore Girls thing going on?)

So, the mother part of me has been counseling not only my own daughter, but the 7th grade part of myself as well. In the evenings, the three of us (me, my daughter, and the 7th grade me) curl up on the bed and read together. And we all learn something. This week we've been reading Authentic Beauty, by Leslie Ludy. I read this book a couple of years ago, and at the time I thought I'd wait to read this book with her in high school. But, as I've found out, the world does not "wait" to send its message to little girls. The messages about what is "pretty" and about "boy/girl" stuff are coming through loud and clear, and it's time for some words to the contrary.

Here's a chapter summary:

"Found within the antiquated folds of girlish fairy tales is the secret key to unlocking feminity. From Snow White to the Little Mermaid there is found this sublime theme: Behind every storybook princess is a noble and gallant prince. But far beyond winsome tales of fictional romance, there exists a breathtaking reality- the noble Hero of our long-lost girlish dreams is real! His name is Jesus. This Prince is not just your average Joe with baggy shorts and a patchy goatee-- He is a man unlike all others, with a kiss of life on His lips and a castle far way. With a twinkle in His eyes, He calls us to "come away" with Him and become His princess. He asks us to give up everything to be His girl. And the secret to unlocking the magnificent dimensions of our femininity, much like our fairy-tale princess counterparts, is found in our response: to give up everything we possess to follow our gallant Knight.

"Our Prince is eager to begin a heavenly love story with us. He desires to spring from the pages of Scripture and dance with us in our real day-to-day life. He gave His very life on a cross for this opportunity to share life intimately at our side. The defining question of our femininity is this: Will we be willing to give our very life to Him in return? He eagerly awaits our reply."

We are discussing what it means to be a "set apart young woman." The book not only deals with countering the message our girls get from our culture, but practical ways to draw closer to Jesus as a young woman. Oh, how I wish I'd have read this book when I was a teenager (of course, this particular author was probably in preschool at the time...) A book like this could've been just the Teflon-coating my soul needed during those confusing years. It is a very candid book, startlingly so at times. (I've changed a few of the words as I read!) But, as I've found out the hard way, our girls can hear things from Christian friends at sleepovers (and :::gasp::: even homeschool co-ops) so I'd rather her hear them from me, wrapped in the context of the truth.

And the truth (both for her and for the 7th grade me) this Valentine's Day, is this: it's not about a boy. It's not about an earthly romance at all. It's about our true Prince, and our relationship with Him. It's about building your life around Him, preparing the sanctuary of your heart for Him, craving time with Him...

"He likes you."


Holly said...

This is SO good! It breaks my heart that kids are so distracted by the whole dating/boy/girl thing, and that there's so much pressure at such a young age to be in that world. What a blessing that you're beautiful daughter has you to guide her through these years!

Kelly said...

Great post! I love to read and learn about this topic as my children will begin to approach this stage of life.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Some days I look at my two year old daughter and wonder about those days that are ahead! I am going to find this book and save it! Thanks, Cyndi!

Chris said...

This was an excellent post! I giggled when I read this line, "the three of us (me, my daughter, and the 7th grade me)" because this is so me. Counseling myself as I walk through these areas with my two daughters, oh how true this has been for me.

Jennifer said...

I love the ability to change words while reading aloud. It's a bonus ;)

I loved Place of Quiet Rest. I see it on your sidebar.

eph2810 said...

Your daughter is very blessed to have a mom like you :)...Thank you for sharing this beautiful excerpt of the book...

Blessings on your evening and always...