i was thinking today as i watched my little hatchling happily climb out of the car - what a beautiful balance there is in humanity between what we choose and what is chosen for us.
My big daughters seem to be changing every day - physically, spiritually, emotionally... growing in every imaginable way...
And there are parts of their personalities that were designed by a very creative God when He knit them together in the secret place. There might by a certain shyness, or bubbling creativity, propensity to anger or an overwhelming compassion. There might be knit right into the very fabric of their DNA - an illness that we know nothing about - or the right combination of genes for a long, healthy life. Their hair colour was chosen for them, as was their stature, the shade of their skin, the flecks of colour in their eyes... And all of these big and tiny things were not things they chose - but things that were bestowed upon them... welcome or not. Burden or gift. To bear or to enjoy.
And then, along side these parts hand picked by their Creator... i'm noticing more and more that with grace and age and maturity... there are parts of them that are emerging that were not given... they've been chosen.
These are the parts as a mama that capture my attention and make me furrow my brow in rapt interest.
These parts are really, really hard to put into words. i've sat here typing out the beginnings of thoughts several times and every one was a fail... Maybe partly because i don't want to expose my vulnerable littles at a time of exquisite growth... and partly too, because the choices i see them making can hardly be named - they're so minute (sometimes only a degree or two...) - and yet i know that these choices have the capacity in a journey of miles and miles... years and decades... to ultimately bring them to a vastly different countryside than they would have arrived at had they not *chosen* to make the 2 degree change in their compass now - at such a fragile stage of development.
i've seen pride deliberately deconstructed and set aside.
i've seen truth displayed that might easier have remained hidden.
i've seen internal battles - wars waged - epic roaring engagement with the enemy... when i - as a child - might have just chosen to play dead... or wish myself dead... or believe myself dead...
i've seen self-pitying martyrdom recognized and rejected in favour of work ethic.
i've seen softness chosen when hardness is felt.
i've seen gratitude become a lifestyle in a world of entitlement.
i've seen joy and confidence overcome fear and rejection.
And i'm realizing now as i type this that it might sound like i think my kids are perfect. They're not. They struggle and make poor choices too... they lose battles and get beat up and live defeated....
But not always...
And i'm finding that raising these little ones has caused me to reflect on the truth that i too, was born with certain qualities determined for me. My laugh is an enormous cackle, my feet are really tiny, i have a little birth defect in the middle of my spine...
But there are things that have been left up to me too... i can live free, i can see the good, i can choose love, i can cling less to what i'm owed and more to my Saviour... can't i? i can smile more, i can pay better attention, i can let hope win over despair, i can choose to see the unlikely truth over the likely lie... won't i?? And the choices that i've recently seen my teens making inspire me as a mama - as a beloved child of God - to press on and daily allow those delectable choices to carry me to places i'll only get to see... because it's been up to me.