Written by: Doretta Zinck
“That’s why her hair is so big; it’s full of secrets”. This quote from the movie “Mean Girls” always makes me laugh. The power in a secret.
By the time you get to the stage of life where you are parenting adult children, this quote can remind us of all the lessons learned through the years. Think about it; you will have survived through childbirth, childhood, preteen angst and teenage drama. And there you’ll sit, sipping your coffee, looking better then you ever did and smiling as you realize that your hair is “big with secrets.” You’ll marvel at how many times God has shown up over the years to whisper, remind and when needed, smack you with His Truth.
During the early years, I can remember being a freaked out young mom unprepared for the daunting task in front of me. How do I mother, or more importantly, be the godly mother both my daughters needed? When I looked around me I saw my contemporaries asking the same questions. I saw parents so influenced by the world’s mixed philosophies, spinning around in confusion, passing around “How to” books with catchy titles and catchy phrases, yet having little positive effect.
So out of desperation I started digging in the Bible to find the secrets for myself and there they were, clear on the pages of His Amazing Word. Strategy for life, love and, yes, for raising the next generation. Strategy, direction and a standard to live by. Now. . . how to live it?
All I knew was that I could not fail these two girls. I had to apply these strategies and pass the secrets on to them. As parents we guarded what was watched, read and listened to in our home. We set a high standard and watched them rise to it. Made mistakes and tried again. Through this life experiences they learned the true measure of a woman from God’s perspective. Our girls needed to witness that we were what we said we were, with no apologies and no excuses, willing to ask for His forgiveness when we failed. And because we could not be all things to our daughters, God placed amazing people in positions of influence in their lives, modelling Christ in ways that filled those gaps (” And when we are weak, He is strong”).
At some point along the way our daughters grabbed the reins of their spiritual lives and made the decision for themselves. While we never stop being examples to our children, there comes that time when they choose the spiritual signature that will accompany their actions, thoughts and deeds as adults. When they’re under attack or their faith challenged, and I am reminded that “mommy can’t make it all better”, the panicked feeling of helplessness as I watched them fight the battle without me would drive me to my knees in prayer. Praying for His divine protection over their spiritual lives. Praying for His divine intervention in the spiritual warfare that is raging. Just like that young mom whose desire it was to stay spiritually alert, on guard for them in prayer and keep seeking God. Another secret learned (” And when we are weak, He is strong”).
More then education or position, I wanted them to know the daily reality of a very present loving Heavenly Father. Having the earthly father they do made this concept easy to understand. Both girls have accomplished many things that makes us crazy with pride, yet nothing compares to watching them worship God with their whole being, to hear them pray with confidence, to hear their heart for God’s people, or when they’re being His hand extended to someone in need.
It is said that, as parents, we will always go through the cycle of teacher to coach to cheerleader, and around again. I think that’s true. We’ll always be teaching, coaching from our life experiences and on the sidelines cheering them on. They vote, drive and make their own decisions now, so am I finished?
Poet Mia Angelou writes “I know the things I know, because an older woman told me her secrets”.
And so, as I sit here enjoying my cafe misto, I’m juggling two different text conversations with my daughters and feeling really blessed. But you guessed it, I’m praying, Lord…please keep the secrets coming.
P.S. If you’re looking for me, I’m the one with the big hair. 🙂
Eph 3:20 Now, unto Him, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to Him be the Glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Doretta Zinck is a freelance artist living in Hfx.,NS. Doretta and her husband Phil will be married thirty years this July. They have two adult daughters, Emily 26 and LauraJune 24.