It’s a…Daughter

Mom seeks courage, not perfection.

By Katie Anderson Posted in - Motherhood on August 27, 2013 9 Comments

It's a Daughter: Mom seeks courage, not perfection.

According to the sonogram technician, Dave and I are expecting a daughter. Daughter. I am intentionally using that word, rolling it over and over again off my tongue, because it means so much more to me than simply, “girl”.

I don’t yet know the significance of this chromosomal detail, or the new trajectory that it just took my life. But I know, without question, that I am now on a new path entirely.

Once I discovered I was pregnant, I honestly did not know if I preferred a boy or a girl. Either one terrified me. A baby I felt ready for. A son or a daughter, I did not. I do not. And now that I know that this little gift of a child will have more body parts alike with me than her father, I can’t help but feel as if she’s already looking to me.

Daughters need their fathers. There is absolutely no question about that. That’s another blog post for another time. But daughters become the women they become because of their mothers. For the good and the bad.

It's a Daughter: A mom needs courage, not perfection.

I now have this aching temptation to clean up my life – censor what I listen to, become more disciplined in everything, from Bible study to my skin care routine, and deny every selfish desire, interest and want. “Get perfect” is the charge running through my brain. “Quickly” is the timetable.

Oh, how defeating that is. I have set my target on perfection before. I always miss.

But I know something that will be even more difficult – to cease striving, accept my mess, and here’s the kicker, let my daughter in it with me. It’s terrifying, I know, but there’s stir in my heart that makes me think it will be worth it.

I want to commit to be honest (not callous and apathetic, but vulnerable) with my struggles. I want a peace about showing her, often unintentionally, how imperfect Mommy is. I want to accept that I will let her see me hurt people I love, let her see me try to find life in fleeting things, let her see me hurt myself, and her knowing it before I even do myself. This is evitable. And it would be a mistake to pretend it didn’t happen, once it does.

I believe that children need to see their parent’s humanity. They need to see us struggle when they’re five, again when they’re ten, and again when they’re thirteen. But what they want is to see that we’ve grown.

A front row seat to my own spiritual transformation and maturation might be the best possible gift I can give my daughter. Because with that comes hope that she, too, is not destined to the bondage of her own insecurities, hurts, and failings; and at the same time free to reject the temptation of perfection.

I don’t need to be perfect for my daughter. I don’t need to be strong. I don’t even need to be beautiful, or healthy, or smart. But what I do need is courage – courage to face my own brokenness and shortcomings, courage to accept grace and truth, and courage and openness to change.

// Photo Credit: Naira Oganesyan

Post Title: It’s a…Daughter: Mom seeks courage, not perfection.
Author: Katie Anderson
Posted on: August 27, 2013
Filed under: Motherhood
Tagged with: Tags: , ,
Previous Post: «
Next Post:

Diving In

Facing the fears of failure and success

By Katie Anderson Posted in - Life on August 18, 2013 2 Comments

Diving In: Facing the Fears of Failure and Success

I am starting something today. This blog.

There’s the possibility of failure, of course. Taking the leap of vulnerability – entering the ring – only to fall completely, naked, exposed and rejected. All too often, the avoidance of potential disappointment provides enough comfort and the illusion of safety to keep us unmoved.

But what if we succeed? What if taking that risk pays off, resulting in enhanced relationship, increased resources, or the unparalleled satisfaction and joy that comes from leaning in. Even so, for some the fear of success is just as paralyzing.

With success can come guilt, competition, increased demands, more complications, greater fear about what you have to loose, and even the potential of damaged relationship due to others’ jealousy and our own pride.

Sometimes, for me, success seems even more terrifying.

I am not a risk-taker. I hold back. I fail to act. I self-protect. I make excuses, ones that sound noble and selfless. And while I present myself to those close to me as an open-book, I have many fears and dreams that I hold in secret, deep down close to my soul.

Thankfully, whether you fear failure or success, neither outcome is permanent. And although it may not be lacking in difficulty, something divine and magical happens when your gifts, passions, patience and sweat are aligned.

I turn thirty years old today, which feels monumental only because the Egyptians (or some other historic people group) made the decision to count in increments of ten. Needless to say, it’s a milestone – one I’m finding difficult to ignore. It feels weighty and inappropriately significant in a way that is impossible to meet my expectations.

It’s moments like this that the world tells you, “you need something more” – more success, more money, more fulfillments, or simply more people that call you friend and are willing to join the occasion to celebrate you. But “more” doesn’t always come. And I’m finding that even when it does, it’s never enough.

So instead of dwelling in the perceived lack, I am giving myself this birthday gift.  I am leaning in and starting something I’ve dreamt about, but avoided for too long. I am opening my soul. I’m exposing my heart – my raw heart, if you will – and taking the risk of processing some of my deepest thoughts about life, love, family, friendship and faith in this public forum.

Not because I am wise. I assure you, I am not. But, because the older I get, the more I am learning that there’s little life in a life held back. And when you truly find life, all you want is to give it away.

// Photo Credit: via The Korea Times

Post Title: Diving In: Facing the fears of failure and success
Author: Katie Anderson
Posted on: August 18, 2013
Filed under: Life
Tagged with: Tags: ,
Previous Post:
Next Post: »