Some thoughts on character, talents, and pride...

Shortly after this recital, I had many people tell me how well Hannah did and how proud I must be. It is true. I am proud of my daughter...but probably not for the reasons you might think. God has blessed her with many beautiful gifts, so it's hard not to take pride in those things. As a person still on earth in a society that places prestige, worth, and importance on our gifts and talents, it's easy for my chest to swell with pride when she steps in front of the crowd to sing, give a speech, or play a sport. But take all those things away, and what are you left with? I can tell you that you'd be left with a beautiful young lady with a heart full of conviction to put Jesus first. THAT's what I'm most proud of.

Preteen through and through, she is giggly and chatty. She has her crushes, loves the Jonas Brothers and happily-ever-after endings, but she still thinks that kisses that last too long are icky, and don't even think about hinting that her mom and dad love to do that physical stuff...why, that's just downright gross! She recently told me about this girl who did this and said this to her friend but claims to be her BFF...and that one tries to take charge which is annoying but no one will say anything...and of course all the boys just love her and why is that? Did that make sense? Don't worry, it didn't make sense to me either. But she's talking to me...about things that are important to her, so I try to sort through the nonsense and let her know that if it's important to her, it's important to me.

Obviously, she is not perfect.
She's a drama queen and blonde...NOT a good combination! She can drive me crazy one minute and melt my heart the next. While I wouldn't say she thinks her mom is cool, she hasn't shut me out and does still think I'm pretty okay. She has made a pledge for abstinence until marriage and has begun wrestling with the fact that God just may call her into overseas ministry. She wants to be liked, but not at the expense of her convictions. She doesn't make friends easily, but it's not hard either. She gets along with older girls and younger ones, too. She's still learning how to handle the ups and downs of life. Emotions are a way of life for her, so she's still figuring out that the heart can be deceived, so she must lead with her faith, her head, and her convictions, not her feelings. She wants depth in her friendships, so the number of friends don't matter.

I see my daughter growing, learning, striving, and living out her faith. These are the things I'm proud of. Standing up in front of a crowd takes courage. Playing a sport takes hard work, sweat, and perseverance. Using your talents for God's glory takes faith, love, and conviction. So, while I love to listen to her beautiful voice, watch her make a basket with a few seconds left in the game, or give a speech with enthusiasm and clarity, it is the character BEHIND the voice, the hands, and the feet that make me proud. So, each time someone says, "You must be so proud," I can honestly answer with a firm "Yes, I am."

(BTW ~ Sorry the video quality is not the camera, and the person behind the camera was paying more attention to the singer than the camera lens...! ;)