"'What if I fall?' Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" -Erin Hanson
I have this quote beautifully framed and waiting to be hung in Samantha's room. It's one of my favorite parts of her room. This particular quote reminds me of so many of my hopes for her. I want her to explore and learn. I want her to take adventures, real ones and imaginative ones. I want her to not be held back by fear, but to be brave and take chances.
Samantha is at the age [9 months] where she is constantly falling, bumping her head and getting stuck. I carefully monitor her, however, I am not going to be able to prevent her from everything. I want her to learn to get herself out of difficult [for her age] situations and how to get back up after falling and how to stop crying after she gets hurt. All currently in an environment where she is safe and I can supervise. Never do I want to foster fear of the wrong things in her heart.
This is harder said than done because as adults we know everything that could go wrong. So as she is walking next to the hearth in my parent's home I am thinking about how she could smash her head into it, blood will be everywhere and she may need stitches. So inside, I cringe as she stumbles. On the outside, though, I just stay nearby and let her laugh and enjoy standing up slapping her hand against the bricks.
But why did I choose exploration, adventure and bravery as hopes for Samantha? There are so many different hopes and goals I could have made for her. Well, here's a few insights into my thoughts:
EXPLORE. What an amazing world we live in. The things we can learn are endless. I want to promote an environment where Samantha can curious and explore the things that interest her. Exploration is a form of learning, and I want to cultivate an enthusiasm for learning. And obviously, I would especially want her to learn what the Bible says about who God is, and find that exploring the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ is an eternal pursuit that will never disappoint.
BE ADVENTUROUS. I think of our life as adventure. [Currently, our life is on an adventure that I never anticipated or hoped for, but nonetheless, an adventure.] That is exactly how I want Samantha to think of life. Life isn't something to sit around and watch pass by, but an active journey in which to participate. I hope she doesn't take herself too seriously. I hope she is excited about where life will take her. I hope she has a passion for living her life to the glory of God. I hope she is anxiously looking forward to all that she can do for the kingdom of God.
BE BRAVE. Oh, how I pray that my dear daughter will be brave. The world she is growing up in hates Jesus, and it will only continue to grow more hostile toward Him and toward those who follow Him. So, I want to teach my daughter to not fear man. To not fear failing in the world's eyes. To not fear the earthly consequences of a holy life. To not fear the unknown. To not let fear cripple her and keep her from succeeding. But instead to fear God, and to let that guide her life. If she does this, she may "fall" in the world's eyes, but she will be "flying" in our Savior's.
And then I step back and realize that the only way she will learn these things if I show her. So, I want her to see me explore and learn both in the world and in my Bible. She needs to see how exciting life can be and how we are to enjoy what the Lord has given to us. And the big kicker - she needs to see me being brave and fearing the Lord instead of man.
I've given myself very large shoes to walk in. I have no doubt that I will fail to demonstrate these things to her, but then again, that's something else I want her to learn. How to get back up again.
And now, for the best video you will ever watch. Already she has learn to laugh at the littlest of things!