This summer, Lauren and I have been attending a mommy/daughter Bible study geared towards upper elementary girls and their moms. My oldest daughter has some chapter books that focus on things like beauty (what qualifies), friendship, self-esteem, etc. Then I have a book by James Dobson called "Bringing Up Girls" to read. Finally, we have some books to go through together which serve as discussion starters. We haven't done very well on the "together" books though we have had plenty of discussions just based on our books to read.
Anyway, a friend of ours told us about the study. And I thought it sounded like a neat way to spend a little time with my daughter and open up those lines of communication as she gets older. But I won't lie. It was a bit out of my comfort zone. Other than the friend who invited us, I didn't know anyone else. It is not our church sponsoring this, nor is it even in our town. I think I have mentioned, I am fairly introverted. Small talk terrifies me. So going once a week to this gathering of a lot of people I didn't know...well, I wouldn't do it for just anybody. But my daughter is not like me. She is more of a social butterfly. She has a slight shyness to her but she easily makes friends and is very confident in herself. So though part of me thought, "No way, Jose", the other part of me knew she would love this. I signed us up.
Of course, we have been in and out this summer, so we have been as many times as we have missed. But it has been a pretty good experience.
Oh, and just for the record, I did know at least one other person there.
Anyway, each week we gather together. The moms get together (in small groups based on age) and discuss our reading, while the girls do the same in their small groups based upon their reading. We also have guest speakers or fun activities. Finally, while the adults finish up the share time, the girls get to swim in a neighborhood swimming pool (there are moms out there).
This week our guest speakers were two college young ladies sharing a little about keeping our bodies healthy. They really emphasized that our bodies were created as a temple, and that we are to use them to glorify God. They took the emphasis off of the world's version of beauty, instead pointing out that we needed to accept who God made us to be. After all, God knows the number of hairs on our head. He designed each and every one of those hairs. Just like I would be crushed to have someone look at a masterpiece painting I had created and pick it apart, I am doing the same thing to God when I say, "Boy, I wish I were taller. And I want to have skin just like hers. What was God thinking giving me a nose like this?"
This is what the college girls were sharing with our daughters. And I was sitting and listening just like a little kid. You see, I have always been unhappy with the way God made me. I am too short, too chubby (yes, some of that is in my control), have this stringy blonde hair that is so fine, it won't even hold a comb, fair skin (a.k.a. VERY pale). I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Here I am listening to these college girls, realizing, "I am not appreciating the fact that God made me who I am." Then I realized that it will be very hard to pass that self-confidence on to my daughter when I am terribly guilty of picking myself apart. How can I teach her to appreciate who God made her to be (which I think is an incredible young woman!) when I don't do the same?
You just never know what you might learn at a Mommy/Daughter Bible Study...