Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hiking to New Heights: Growth and Maturity

A few weeks ago we took the kids on a small hike.

The kids were thrilled. They stomped in snow, waded through a stream, picked up sticks, discovered cool rocks and pine cones and wandered on and off of the trail.

I have three boys and a little girl. They were consumed with the sights and sounds of nature.

We were surprised when my four year old daughter off-handedly said,
"I'm afraid of hikes."

She said it more than once but then she'd immediately run or splash in the stream, laugh or look intently at some precious mud covered gem.

My husband and I were confused by her statement.
We didn't give it much thought as we watched the kids soak up the sunshine and the stream.

After awhile, my husband had to return to the car to retrieve an item and my daughter asked -begged- for him to get her blanket, her "Bobby."

With as much whine as she could inflect, she said,
"I am afraid of hikes... like David."

My husband and I exchanged a knowing look.

As my husband grabbed a few items from the car, my daughter tromped happily through the water.

He delivered her beloved blanket. She hugged it, looked at us with all of the seriousness she could muster and informed us, "I am afraid of hikes. Like David."

My four year old daughter, Elisabeth, adores her 8 year old brother, David.
She wants to do everything he does.
At dinner, if I give a drink choice, her drink selection is "What David has."
She copies him in every way she can.
There have even been times that she has said she wishes she was a boy so she could be "like David".
It's humorous and at times, very frustrating.
She often refuses the choices that she would prefer because she prefers to be like her brother more than anything else.

There are times when I look to those that I admire with longing. I want to have what they have. I want to be the person they are.
I have tried to emulate the behaviors that I admire in others. I copy leadership traits.

I don't think about it like that, of course. I am just trying to learn from others and grow. I want to be mature. A strong woman. Spiritually solid.
I have looked up to those that I see as pillars of faith, those that exemplify the woman that I want to be.
I want to be like them.
I want the good I see in them.

It isn't all bad.
It is just dangerous.

Though my motives are pure, I cannot become the woman that I want to be by looking at others.
I have to grow from within. I have to depend on my faith. I have to look to God- the only one that can truly form me into who I need to be.
For I cannot truly discern from another's behavior where their motivation comes from. I may misunderstand what they say or I may interpret what they do incorrectly. I may misread that very well written book. I may glean something unintended from a sweet comment from a friend.

Or, more likely than not, I may not be able to be what they are because I am not made to be them.


My daughter reminded me of these truths.

My son David is not afraid of hikes.

He is afraid of heights


I can only be the person God wants me to be by depending on God.


sharon said...

So precious! And I love the lessons you gleaned from your daughter's misunderstanding.

Missy said...

I love hearing the words children say.
what a great way to bring it back around.

Ellen said...

That is a great retelling of the experience Jane Anne. Miss you so much! Elsie is getting so big. Love and hugs from all of us!

Cathy said...

She's such a cutie! I love your insights, Jane Anne. They really spoke to me tonight.