These two turn twelve this winter. Their moms met at a Bible study when they were infants.
By two moms, I mean me and Beth. Pretty much ever since that time, Beth and I have attended Bible study together. Our two daughters have gone to Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and now youth group. Together. They don't go to the same school. One attends a Christian school while the other goes to a nearby public one. Still a beautiful friendship has formed.
A few years ago I met another Beth. At first online, and then in the pages of her book, A Voice Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey Into Passionate, Purposed Living, and later in real life. The introduction of this book voices the reality of raising a tween/teen:
My oldest daughter stands at the edge of womanhood. A teen in middle school, we are discussing the expansion of her hips, the need for a bra, and how to discern when the boys are flirting.
From the early pages, Beth had me hooked. We were right on the edge of doing all this as well. Then Beth turns a corner. What about our daughters' spiritual development? What can we intentionally do about that?
I hope to fashion for our daughter a framework of womanhood that honors her and God and is sturdy yet flexible enough to remain constant in adulthood. I want her to become, as we are all in the process of becoming more like Christ.
Through a variety of activities, trips, books, conversations, etc. the author takes her daughter through a yearlong rite of passage into spiritual adulthood. Does this mean we consider our daughters at twelve and thirteen adult sisters in Christ? NO! It does mean we are intentionally turning a corner. No more milk for these daughters who have grown up in Sunday school. The foundation is laid. It's time for our daughters to start eating meat.
For twelve months, I've got highly personalized plans to usher my daughter from childhood to her teen years. All those changes! We're inviting Jesus into every nook and cranny.
The first event, the January kickoff, is this Friday. A group of women from our church will join Beth's daughter and mine at the home of a woman most gifted with hospitality. We'll eat, fellowship, play games. The main event of the meaning will be a ceremony. Each of these women have known our daughters their whole lives. They have talked with them, taught them, prayed over them. On this special evening, they are going to share spiritual wisdom with each one.
Do we know exactly what we're doing? Again, no (much like the rest of parenting). To my knowledge this is the first time any of us has participated in an evening like this. The first thing we'll do is pray and invite the Holy Spirit to orchestrate the evening.
I've got plans for each month of the year as well and I'll be sure and give you updates. Turning to Beth Bruno's book one more time,
This is what it has all been for: blessing your daughter's voice as it reflects the glory of God, and inviting her to leave childhood behind and begin the journey of womanhood.