Give her time...

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

The past three years of parenting - i.e. our first three years of parenting - have had their share of ups and downs. Something the Abbot and I have struggled with a lot is being patient with Sister Stinky. She's often overly sensitive or overly nervous about things, and is very...shall we say...vocal in these situations.

Typically, our frustration arises when she's not fitting the mold of what we or those around us expect of her. Do you know what I mean? Oftentimes, I'm most frustrated with her when she isn't doing anything wrong, but when she is just being a little girl. I find myself frustrated when she isn't perfectly silent at Mass (because I'm worried what other people will think) or annoyed when she won't try a new thing because she's scared.

But I'm learning, little by little, that if we give her is amazing how much she is capable of. When we're patient with her, and understanding, we're able to see - little by little - how she is growing. We're able to see how she is becoming braver and more adventurous. And it is a beautiful thing to see.

Case in point. Behold...the little cowgirl at the pumpkin patch today:

I love this picture of her. She looks so grown-up!

People who know Sister Stinky know this is a pretty big deal for her. She's often afraid of animals - especially big ones! But she was so brave, and so composed. She got a little nervous toward the end, but was able to stay calm until the end of her ride. She did beautifully.

On a day like today, I am reminded of an analogy that a former confessor of mine once gave me (long before I had children). He said to envision a little girl of mine, at some point in the future, trying to carry a tall glass of milk to me - and sloshing it all over the place in the attempt. Then, just as she is about to reach me, she spills it all over the floor. How would I react?

Needless to say, I told him that I would probably laugh and scoop her up in my arms, proud of her for trying so very hard.

Now, having two precious little girls, I really understand the power of that analogy. I am so very proud of my little Sister Stinky, and of how brave she is and of how hard she tries to do the right thing.

When that priest friend of mine gave me that analogy years ago, he was trying to help me understand how God views me. He wanted me to understand that God doesn't have a rigid set of standards that I must perfectly adhere to or else risk igniting his anger.

God looks at me - at you! - and see that little child stumbling along. And He is so proud to see how hard we are trying to be pleasing to Him. He understands our stumblings, and He is more than willing to scoop us up and love us through our weaknesses.

Now...a glimpse at our Mass style today...

I wish you could see the adorable clothes Sister Stinky was wearing, but alas...she was busy peaking out of her new favorite hiding spot instead. ;-)

Behavior at Mass today, btw? Beautiful.


  1. I thought of you ( and a few other bloggers with children as well ) at Mass last night. I never really pay attention to the children in Mass around me ( aside from how cute they are) because it hoestly does not bother me if they are loud or climbing around.

    However, for some reason, last night I noticed a young couple a few pews to the side of me, the mother holding a new born, the father wrangling his little boy. In the back I could hear giggles, laughter, "quiet" whispers, and shrieks.

    Sebastian must have been in tune as well because we both looked at each other and smiled. It was SO good to see those children at Mass. It warms my heart to see the children " actively participation" in Mass ;).

    I felt I should share this with you as you have mentioned Sister Stinky can be vocal sometimes :). It is okay. I can guarantee you that it is a much bigger deal for you than it is for those around you :)

    God Bless!

  2. Beautiful post! And what a beautiful analogy- one I need to remember often! Thanks for sharing and have a blessed week!

  3. This is so very, very true. If we just give our children time, they tend to outgrow their fears and difficulties and problems. Time really does change everything and the kids who can't sit still at Mass at age 3, become perfect angels at age 5.

  4. I tagged you for a scrumptious blog award. :)


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