It was difficult to leave our adventuring daughter out of my last post about climbing mountains, but I was looking forward to writing a post that was all her own. When it comes to hiking, she is one who more often enjoys the “going” rather than the conquering.
In our family the guys barrel ahead, nearly at a run, their eyes on the prize, while the girls stop often to enjoy the view.
Can’t we enjoy the journey?
No one relishes in the journey more than our daughter and it is time to celebrate our journey through life with her.
When I was pregnant with our third child I just knew it would be another boy. We were on a roll and I felt comfortable raising boys. My Man had more than enough energy and the burden of raising boys could mostly be on him, right?
Every “baby girl” dream I had while pregnant with the boys was a bad one. I took it as a sign both times that I was carrying boys. I don’t remember having any “bad girl dreams” while pregnant with our third, but I remained confident we would have another boy.
Truthfully, I was terrified to have a girl!
I was still learning God’s wonderful plan for women, how could I possibly teach it to someone else? I felt inadequate for such a responsibility.
How could I pass on biblical womanhood when I was only just learning myself?
With a girl I would surely pass on sloppy cooking and sewing skills, poor housekeeping skills, disorganization, scatterbrained ways, stubborn independence, introversion, etc, etc.
Raising boys seemed simple, especially with My Man’s energy and guidance. I liked outside work, they didn’t talk very much, we played in the dirt, wandered the countryside—easy.
There is no growth in the “easy”—having a girl meant I was going to be refined.
Refining…will I come forth as gold?
Our little girl finally made her grand entrance, on her own timeframe, there is no rushing that girl, and she has had our number since day one—starting with the surprising way she tugged at our hearts.
She supplied a sweetness we didn’t know we were missing
How could I have ever imagined we didn’t need a girl? All of my pregnancy worries were unfounded. Of course she was still too little to catch on to my sloppy homemaking ways, but, looking back, I think she was catching something positive.
She was such an easy baby that we didn’t think twice about taking a Baja trip when she was just seven months old—despite many warnings about traveling to Mexico with a young family.
That Baja trip was similar to the one not long before (I forgot to mention I was pregnant on that prior trip). The trips were similar in that we had crazy travels all leading up to building houses in a village. My Man had his adventure while I got my wish to be a missionary.
No daylong trip down washboard that time, but we did play a little hide-and-seek game with El Jefe. We were supposed to meet up with him, but somehow the communication lines were crossed—or maybe it was just My Man keeping his eye on adventure—forgetting the peripherals.
We ended up camping in Juancalito and had a great adventure with a Russian Canadian man. Before we knew it, he had us fishing and then immediately canning our catch. We learned a lot over the steamy pressure cooker in his motorhome, primarily “don’t waste a single morsel!”
Back on the road, we made our way to the Pacific side of Baja, north of Magdalena Bay, near San Jorge. I kept thinking of the warning not to travel alone in rural areas in Mexico. We bumped along in the motorhome and I stayed busy with the kids. Finally, coming to a stop, I looked out the back window and my mother instincts immediately went on full alert.
We were in a very rural area and there were men milling around with rifles!
I called out feebly to my husband and he reassured me they were just pellet guns. A few minutes later he called to me from outside, “Kate, come look at this”.
I willed myself to follow his voice and exit the motorhome. He was standing with a local who was holding up a freshly killed jackrabbit. The man made a show of chopping off its head and then beckoned us to follow him. My Man agreed and we quickly gathered up the kids.
Now, we were not only in rural Mexico, with our young kids, but we were following a man with bloody hands down a dirt path.
My Man looked at me as if to ask if I was okay.
Yes, Love. Don’t I look it? (Different adventure, same answer)
We arrived at the man’s tidy, little home and he excitedly introduced us to his family. His wife immediately began to cook fresh tortillas and stewed jackrabbit. They were so kind, hospitable and delighted with our kids.
When the lunch was ready, they proudly served up a special portion for me. They pointed at our daughter, nodded, pointed at me, smiled and urged me to eat.
Since I was nursing a baby they had cooked the jackrabbit liver and were giving me the honors!
My stomach was not as thankful as my heart, but I did my best to eat and then repeat when they offered seconds. It was all a beautiful picture of offering hospitality to strangers and we will never forget it.
Our motorhome was intact when we returned and, with the use of our radios, El Jefe found us there in the middle of the night. We camped, fished, then headed to the village to build houses.
It was another one of those times when I was thankful My Man invited us and thankful that God said:
This recent estate sale find makes my going look pale in comparison:
In the early 1900s, the young Osa Johnson followed her husband into cannibalistic villages as he recorded their communities on film. One of things that impressed me the most about Osa, was her way of making her husband’s dream her own. Her husband, Martin Johnson, was a man of remarkable vision and her support was the wind in his sails.
Young Martin had traveled the world with Jack and Charmian London and, after observing London’s marriage, knew he wanted to find a wife with an adventurous spirit.
What made Charmian and Osa esteemed in the eyes of many was their willingness to go with their men.
Glory in going
I have observed this truth in my own marriage adventures. People are often more amazed at the fact that I go with My Man than at any feats I may have accomplished. My reasons for going along to Mt. Shasta both times was to help my boys achieve their dreams—summiting was a bonus.
The willingness to go is a godly quality:
Esther 4:16 “I will go”
Ruth 1:16 “Where you go, I will go”
Rebekah, Genesis 24:58 “I will go”
Sarai went on difficult journeys with Abram, and Mary with Joseph.
All of these women achieved fame through going.
A heart that follows
Without even knowing it, I was already modeling for our daughter a heart that says “yes”—a heart that is willing to follow and GO. God had equipped me to pass on a quality of the heart to her, which far outweighed any homemaking skills.
The desire and strength came from God, it was not natural for me! God supplied even before I asked. Matthew 6:8:
Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him
Now may the God of peace…make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.
God is still faithfully equipping me to be a mother to the precious daughter He has given us. He will similarly equip you for whatever nightmare you think you are facing.
With His help, raising a daughter has not been a nightmare. She has been one of the most unexpected blessings in our lives—everything our family was lacking. She can navigate, match my husband’s wit, sew like nobody’s business, dance gracefully in a ballet one moment and then pack into the remote wilderness the next. (We will continue working on our homemaking skills together—we are a work in progress).
What has been hard, is writing this blog post about her. There is just no way I can sufficiently describe her with words.
Some of her words, on one of those wilderness adventures, might help. I won’t repeat all the fun and gory details, yet, but we were living the wilderness dream. She was collecting sticks galore to fuel her cooking fire, and she said:
I love that our family does this.
She loves going.
Thank you, God. Please continue to guide her in all of her goings.
Climbing differences between the two: he looks ahead while she enjoys the present
But He knows the way that I take; When he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
In closing, our sweet girl has been earning money for years with a desire to go on a mission trip. I decided to use all of my book proceeds to help us take that trip next year, Lord willing. Please consider giving my book a chance to help our efforts. Thank you!