Thursday, April 3, 2014

How God Made a Daughter

 She waylays him with a hug.

"Dad, when do you have to leave tonight?"

At the news that worship practice had been called off, she dances excitedly beside him, jumping, squealing and persuading him with her smiles. "Want to watch a show with me?"

He grins, groans, and affectionately agrees.

Minutes later, they are at the couch, typing in the coordinates for an online Japanese animated film, and waiting for the movie to buffer.

"Want to make me some food?" he jokes, expecting a glass of milk.

"Sure, some noodles?" she offers.

"Wow, really?" My husband is thrilled, and we make eye contact and laugh.

The home-made beef lo mein she has learned to make is a new hit at our house, and we eat it several times a week now, it seems. Tucked away in my corner at the computer desk, I sip orange zinger tea, watch the snow fall, and join them in this relaxed evening at home.

Snow falls quickly, cascading into grey twilight to stack all night to a depth of eight to twelve inches, forecasters say. For now, though, patches of spring grass stand resolute under the onslaught, and a plate of beef lo mein has just arrived.

I watch my husband and our teen daughter laugh, talk, and scoop noodles, companionably, and I see it in her. The way she carries herself, how she throws back her head and laughs freely, and in her peaceful calm as she curls legs up onto the couch, settling in for the movie. This is a girl who knows she is loved. With the pure safe love of a dad, a mom, and her God, this woman-child is loved and treasured.

And the beauty of it falls glorious.

And we are broken, and human, and flawed parents, but somehow, somewhere, God brought beauty anyway, and it humbles and thrills me.

She's yours, God. You did it, and you only. Thank you. And I offer it to you as praise, and am honored to love other teens in my care too.


(And linking quietly to Emily at Imperfect Prose too...)

14 comments:

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Pretty girl Jen. But sounds even more beautiful where it counts: on the inside. I remember when my daughters and i did things like go on dates, although we never did this since they couldn't cook. lol.

Jayne said...

She is beautiful, Jennifer and her relationship with the Lord makes her even more so.

Floyd said...

What a great picture. What a wonderful gift to our children; to show them they are loved. We're not perfect and they know it, but they know they are loved. That makes up for a lot. And yes, our Father did it. Great post. Warms the heart.

Alecia Simersky said...

I agree with, Bill, beautiful on the inside and out. You're very blessed.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

Celebrating with you, Jennifer...what a joy to see your daughter growing up...loved :) What a gift for her and for you and your husband :)

Houseofmills said...

Love this post. That is my desire for our daughter that she will know she is loved. Its always so neat to hear other women compare there earthly Dad to their heavenly father. How I wish all women could feel that, but some of us don't get that "great loving" earthly father. Can't believe how grown up she looks. Wasn't she just like 8 years old. hahhaa

T.J. Ellis said...

Tears beautiful photo and writing!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Bill. Yes, beautiful on the outside, I agree.

I bet your daughters loved those times with their dad too. :)

Have a great week,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Jayne,

Yes, her beauty has been etched by her Artist God --it's an inner beauty we all have. You have that too, my friend. :)

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Floyd,

I agree. I'm so thankful for God's huge love for us, and that he loves us in spite of our many imperfections. What a safe unconditional love, huh? The source of all our confidence and peace.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Alecia, thank you. Nice to have you here.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Dolly,

It's a treat to watch our kids grow up, huh?

Thanks for stopping in,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Liz,

Oh I agree, they grow up so rapidly. I remember when yours were just babies. :)

Yes, may our sons and daughters grow up knowing how loved and treasured they are -- by us, by their God. While I type, my youngest has been telling me about Legos, and I remind myself to pause, look at him, hug him close and listen while he talks. Because if I'm "too busy" for him, how's he going to perceive God? Whew, convicting. Time to look him in the eyes some more...

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

TJ,

Thank you. It's nice to have you here. He loves you fiercely too, friend. :)


Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com