Teething, Scripture, Strong Will & Tears

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gia has been a mess of teething pain lately.  Several weeks ago, she had almost a week straight of moderate fevers and sore gums- but no teeth to show at the end of it!  This week she's been in even more teething pain but thankfully, there is at least one dagger that has made it through the surface of her gums.  I'll tell you what- the books aren't joking around when they talk about the rough days brought about by teething pain.  Those suckers are mean!  Gia's also working on getting in at least one of her 1-year old molars.  The back part of her gums is so swollen!  I stuck my finger back there to feel around for any of the emerging offenders, but all I could feel was this gross fleshiness from the inflammation.  Poor baby indeed!

Yesterday, she was having a horrible time with the pain, but I had done all that I could do for her- tylenol, teething tablets, frozen treats.  I offered other means of comfort- frozen washcloth, ice to chew on, teething toys and snuggles- but she wanted nothing to do with me.  She bent herself over towards the hard kitchen tile (we call this her "downward facing dog" pose) and just cried.  She paused only to stand up, bring her hands to her mouth to show me what was hurting, punctuating the gesture with an even louder cry.  I tried to gather her up in my arms, but she just wiggled out of it.  She wanted nothing to do with me.  So I took her upstairs to her room and tried to read her a book as we sat & rocked.  Again, she writhed her way out of my hold, sliding to the ground and hitting her head on the side of the rocker.   More screams ensued.  But again, she wanted none of my comfort.  She walked over to a corner in her room and just sat there, screaming and looking at me.  I felt so helpless.  Why wouldn't she let me hold her?  Aren't babies supposed to be more cuddly when they're in pain?  It hurt me to see my little girl hurting, and to have limited means by which to alleviate that pain.  Finally, I just got on the floor beside her while she continued to throw her fit- a fit of both frustration and discomfort.  A first but certainly not the last.  I kept my arms out towards her and waited for her to come to me.  Thankfully, the tylenol kicked in and she was able to take a little nap.  But her display of independence scared me.

I know that's what this age is all about- learning independence from me socially, physically, mentally and emotionally.  But man, its hard!  Afterall, it was only two months ago that she was still reliant upon me for a certain amount of daily sustenance!  And while I'm grateful that she has learned how to fall asleep without my help, I am keenly aware of the independence this also marks.  She's only 15 months old, but I already see a strong will in her and at times, like yesterday, that scares me.  I want her to be a strong woman, but I also want her to display gentleness, quietness and peacefulness.  I want her to be steadfast in her faith but humble in seeking help.  A strong willed child is not a bad thing.  In fact, it can be quite a valuable character trait- but here's the catch- only when it is harnessed to and formed around the heart of Christ.  AND *gulp* its my job (along with Sean) to help her learn how to do that.  I'm 31 years old and am still trying to figure that out.  How in the world am I supposed to teach my daughter truths that are still sometimes abstract- at best- in my life?

I was praying about that today and God simply gave me one word: scripture.  Read it over her, read it to her, pray it for her, bathe her in scripture.  That is the only way I will ever know how to raise my daughter, who is so much like me its frightening.  I don't want her to struggle against God and family for so many years.  I want her to be able to use her strong passions- whatever they may become- for the Kingdom of Christ, and to bring the Gospel to a hurting world.  I want her to be solid in her love and faith, but moldable in her heart and spirit.  Alone, as parents, we are incapable of teaching that.  But with scripture- breathing, reading, speaking, praying and living it out before her, that's the only way it will happen.

Now I admit, I'm a sap in my old age.  I cannot read a passage of scripture out loud to my daughter without my eyes welling up with tears.  Seriously, I can be reading about Noah's Ark or Joseph and his techincolor dream coat, and tears spill onto my cheeks.  But I'm learning to become okay with that... God's word is powerful and His goodness is woven all throughout scripture.  You simply cannot escape that when you read it.  I used to roll my eyes at my mom when she would cry.  (I'm sorry, Mom.)  Now I get it.  So I guess Gia is just going to have to get used to that.

On another note, something I just thought of as I was writing this... the way Gia was acting when she was crying yesterday... how often have I done that with God?  Writhing in pain, but determined to get through it on my own, apart from God.  His comfort so close, but my stubborn, sinful heart forbidding me from melting into his arms.  I am so thankful that he never gives up on us, that his love is always there, and his arms are always outstretched towards us.  May my stubborn will be overcome with his grace and mercy; may I put my pride aside and accept his love, and in return, may I show his love to others, that they may also come to know the awesome power of his redeeming love.

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2 Lovely Words

  1. Oh Shey, I love it. So beautiful that even in her stubbornness you sat with her and read to her. You are an amazing mother.

  2. Beautiful...you have a precious heart and I know Gia does too! Well done sweet mama!
    Kiss her for me...please xox


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