Daughters Part 2

1)     First of all, well done on stepping up to the new standard.  I approved almost all of the comments that were submitted.  You have done very well with the raw data you provided and I am pleased.  This was an excellent exercise and I have much grist for the mill.  You can anticipate some new tools from me a bit down the road.

2)     I am astounded at the exceptional level of fathering we have among some of you in our tribe.  God has graced you with exceptional treasures in your father.

3)     Having said that, I know that there are many of you out there who could not write a single thing about your father and that reading the glowing comments of others probably stirred up a whole lot of pain from your childhood.  I hurt for you and wish it were not so.

4)     I would like to flip to the other side of the equation now and hear about the role of the moms.  What does it look like for a mother to do an excellent job of helping a girl child feel like a daughter in all the fulness of that term?

By Arthur Burk

On the road, in a hotel, after a long day’s work


This entry was posted in Daughters, Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Daughters Part 2

  1. Rosa says:

    My mom taught me excellent homemaking skills,tremendous work ethic, and good character. She brought out feminine touches in our home,by doing things like putting pretty doilies on all the dressers,etc.Cleaning was an art form,it gave her great satisfaction to have things clean and polished. I realized the other day,I have been too busy to do much deep cleaning,and found I actually missed washing and polishing furniture,and yes,even having waxed and buffed floors,spring and fall,without fail.She taught me to sew at a young age, and to bake healthy breads and meals from scratch. To this day,I cant make myself buy prepackaged meals. She always said ‘women are to be keepers at home’! So she taught us six girls how to keep it!

  2. Sonia says:

    My mother taught me to give out of need. We were very poor and yet our table fed so many missionaries and children in our neighborhood. We didn’t have very many clothes, yet we passed clothing to children who had nothing. We had no tv and very few books, yet she gave us so much freedom to be children and play outdoors to our heart’s content. She told us stories from the Bible from memory at night and taught us to read when we were ready to read them on our own. She taught me to pray and believe. She allowed me to see what true repentance looked like. She taught me to be incredibly strong from our hardship, not bitter and resentful. She taught me to be thankful to Father for everything. She taught me miracles were real and happened in our everyday as well in exotic places like Africa. She taught me about the Holy Spirit who I love very much to this day because I saw her relationship with Him.

  3. Megan Caldecourt says:

    This has been an interesting process for me as I have looked at both parents and tried to focus on what being a daughter really means, versus a female, woman, wife, or or mother. There were myriads of ways in which both parents invested in me, loved me and taught me to be a godly person of character. But what does daughter really mean as different from these other descriptions? One thing that came to mind with my Mom is how she included me in her interests. We were both avid readers. She loved horses as a kid, and so did I. We both enjoyed animals in general. She taught me how to cross stitch. She helped me learn how to play piano and guitar. That sense of being included and identified with her helped develop a sense of daughterhood, especially in contrast with my brothers.

  4. Caroline says:

    Perhaps to add to your data collection I share this: I remembered this word picture that captures a bit of my relationship with my mom: she’ my momma bird and I’m the scrawny baby bird with its neck stretched towards her, beak opened wide. As a child I did this literally at social gatherings when I could not reach the food buffet to help myself to more of a certain dish. I would go to where she was sitting and lean on her and she would fill my mouth with a delicious morsel from her plate. Even though it might be a rare delicacy that she herself enjoyed, she would share it with me when I had my face turned toward her. My mom spoke little English and I didn’t know Japanese but we communicated.

  5. Laetitia Van Der Spuy says:

    I have grown up with a nurturing mom . . .
    She let me spend TIME the way I wanted. I did not have lots of extra schedules and programs apart from school and later music lessons … I could plan my free time and fill it the way I wanted … mostly! I was required to assist with household chores and to keep my own room tidy and organized though, but not overly so.
    She gave me a love for music … we used to sing together (she would sing the alto voice while I sing the melody!) . . And sometimes she would sit with me at the piano and let me listen to a note as it fades away … and then we would listen and listen and listen till it was barely there anymore! That surely developed a listening ear in me. It required silence and therefore I enjoy quiet times. I still love singing and playing piano by ear … like she did (even though we can read music).
    She nurtured my senses by filling our home with the simple and beautiful things from nature; with fresh flowers and fresh produces from the garden; she loved to garden and we mostly had beautiful gardens in the many homes we lived (as we moved many times) . . . even today at the retirement village where she lives … her garden is beautifully tended and filled with lovely flowers and plants.
    She is a good cook and blessed us daily with good homemade cooking. I eventually did the cooking while she was in the garden and that built my confidence to prepare a good meal for a family and I love that!
    She made me beautiful dresses and sometimes it matched hers and she made clothes for my dolls. I eventually learned to do my own sewing and to knit and crochet . . . and I love that too!
    There was no television or movies around when I was a young girl … or even shops close by … I learned to make a plan from what was available and to entertain myself … playing with my dolls or the dogs or dreaming in the garden up a tree . . . I loved to cook my own fresh green beans with potatoes form the garden, in my little pots on the outside stove in the back yard.
    The one “bought luxury” we had was special oversees magazines that she ordered, with beautiful homes and gardens and elegant ladies.  Therefore I still have a special appreciation for good magazines, especially artistic photography.
    My mom allowed me to explore in safe boundaries.
    She read us Bible stories in the evening and we would sing praise and worship songs accompanied by her piano play.
    My mom was a great listener and we talked A LOT! We passionately discussed many things: the happenings of the day, our dreams and disappointments, and we talked a lot about Father GOD and to HIM. Praying was and is just a natural part of me. There were many prayer meetings held in our home and several missionaries visited and stayed over with us. I have vivid memories of mom standing on her knees beside her bed with an open Bible.
    I am blessed with a mom who tenderly cared for me and she encouraged me to be the very best I could be . . . with words and affirmations with deeds and with her life.
    She was a real home maker and I learned to be the same. Home is a LOVELY place!
    My mom was a stay-at-home mom and I also wanted to be one to our sons … because I grew up with the rich treasury that such a home imparted to my life and I was blessed to invest the same into my children’s lives.
    I know without a doubt that my momma REALLY loves and delights in me: what grace!
    How immensely blessed am I to be a daughter of a loving, caring and nurturing mom.
    I am deeply thankful to FATHER GOD for this rich investment HE made in my life.

  6. My Mom always encouraged me and my sister to spread our wings and try things. She patiently taught us to cook, would surprise us with homemade treats, and modeled service to the Lord. We were encouraged in friendships with others and she always volunteered to take us places with our friends. She modeled sacrifice in caring for us, always putting aside her own needs for ours. I watched as she invited the hurting or lonely to our home for a meal. She encouraged as best she knew how, but there was some emphasis on performance, too. Today, I live with my parents, and even though there have been bumps in the road, our relationship is the best it’s ever been.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. I look forward to what the Lord brings together on this topic.

  7. Caroline says:

    She allowed me to be messy in the kitchen. I remember making my own little pies along side my oldest sister when I was 7-8 years old. She saw my interest in baking and I would get those Easy Bake mixes as birthday gifts to my delight. During that time I remember a particular rainy afternoon when she allowed me and a friend to play “pioneers”, or something like that, on the back porch cooking small sausages over a charcoal grill – real food and a real (smoldering) fire.

    By her example I learned the importance of appearance. She takes care of herself and always looks good. But even with her strong sense of fashion, my mom allowed me to develop my own fashion sense. She offers needed critique to help me look better but does not dictate what I wear even if contrary to her preferences.

    By her example, I saw how she set up a home. She made sure the kitchen was stocked, the house cleaned, and that people’s needs met. A balanced dinner was always on the table at 5:30 and the whole family was to be there. We knew her displeasure if the family wasn’t eating dinner together.

    …it’s interesting that writing about my mom is different than when I wrote of my dad.

  8. Narola Grady says:

    I reread your blog entry, “The Mysterious King, Part 9”, about King Saul as a servant. It made me realize how much Mom gave me in training as a musician. Our whole family is musically gifted. Mine (out of choice) showed up most clearly at the piano. We attended a small church, and Mom was in charge of special music. I remember the time when she helped me play a piece for opening exercises in Sunday School. The next step was learning a simple chorus for the children to sing. Then it was a special number on Sunday night. As I gained skills, she raised the bar by giving me more responsibility. She did this with not only me, but every other person in the music program. It involved hours of coordinating practices, selecting music, transposing pieces for various groups, and individual coaching before any given service.

    I was also taught how to be a good accompanist. “If you are louder than the soloist(s), you are not doing your job!” Believe me, I heard about it too if I got carried away at the keyboard! At the time, I did not relish the rigors of a thorough learning curve. But now I realize how priceless that education was…especially in light of so many church programs where one group or another decides to play “king of the hill”, rather than train younger musicians in the fine art of combining humility with musical excellence.

    Mom’s life ended abruptly in 2005 with a car accident. She was on her way to our home town to play for a funeral. Her music bag was shredded, and hymnbook pages filled the backseat. That vivid memory epitomized her life theme: Share the music. Share your heart’s treasures with those around you. Don’t keep it inside. And help others to sing the song that God has placed in them.

  9. Teresa says:

    I am one of those who found it very difficult to write about the role of the father – I began to put letters on the page but wasn’t sure how to do that exactly, Now I am in the same position with the role of mom…. I feel torn – like my words are betraying or dishonoring to them. I love them both (as of last Friday they came to live at my home )both taught many good qualities to us and brought us up to be respectible citizens but they were not nurturing parents in an emotional, or loving manner. My mother is a difficult woman to put into words. On the one hand I could write pages of the positive things I learned from her – she was strong, raised 6 young children alone while dad was over seas, she remained married 54 years (and still counting) even though it has been very trying, she taught me many skills, and allowed me to be involved in many activities – all of which I am ever grateful for -but on the other hand her positive attributes did not a nurturing mother make. There was lack of an emotional, warm,tender, loving relationship-
    So I come in from the back door on this assignment -what I did not experience from a nurturing mother -To me the concept of nurturing goes deeper than just what we are taught in the physical -it is not just one or two or even a dozen or more acts of physically doing -children can read between the lines of behavior to the underlying attitudes of mothers (the stressed mother cannot calm a crying baby very easily) to me a nurturing mother is emotionally involved in her daughter’s life- and is willing to listen without self-defense, judgement or criticism – she does not convey her difficulties onto her daughter and though she be the queen she does not disregard the fact that her daughter(s) is indeed a princess.

  10. Susan says:

    I’m the youngest of four and the only girl, so my bent as a child was more toward sports and outdoors than dolls and dresses. My mom is on the opposite end of the spectrum and was quite ecstatic to finally have her baby girl. As I grew into my pre-teen and teenage years, we felt the tension of these differences at times, but my mom did a great job giving me space to be me while maintaining a fierce intentionality about protecting my femininity. She had a signal to remind me to sit like a lady not a boy while out in public, she made me take “finishing” classes when I was 15, and she and my dad (although she is the more passionate and emotionally expressive of the two, so it felt more like it came from her) were very specific about who I could spend time with and under what circumstances, just to name a few examples.

    While I chafed under many of these intrusions into my life at the time, I think I can say that as an adult woman and new mom of a daughter I am truly thankful. She was preserving my femininity when I didn’t value it enough to do the same, whether in surface behaviors or deeper issues of protection. She taught an unwilling student how to be a woman. As a wife and mother now, I draw from many of the lessons she instilled in me then. And I know that I will incorporate much of what she did with me for my daughter.

    • Crystal says:

      I tried to “vote” this excellent, but my mouse slipped to “good.” It is a difficult thing to train in masculinity to the boys, and femininity to the girls, in the same home, simultaneously. There is a pull toward one or the other, especially if the sister/daughter needs to gain the approval of her brothers, or just feels more bent in their direction. That was very wise of your mom, and very honest and honoring of you to note her directing you in the ways of womanhood. I’ve seen sadness in women who are more “boyish” in their likes and presentation, but sometimes, would like to be seen as a woman, and just do not know how. Yours was a challenging situation, well done!

  11. Crystal says:

    My mom modeled for me dignity and grace, in times of hospitality, and in times of deep trouble. I can spot that rare quality—or the painful lack thereof—a mile away.

    She listened to everything I had to say, and encouraged my “voice” and the virtue of having “something worth saying.” This was two-fold. It centered on working through relational issues, one’s own angst at others and others at you, and arriving at a healthy way of relating. Then, it included sound-boarding ideas and growing your own thoughts and concepts into polished presentations.

    Along those lines, she encouraged me to look around and consider others in the room, and pull them in because it is so painful to be left out, and to measure words to include others rather than exclude. This is a rare gift of consideration.

    She took me to get my hair done, and shopped with me for clothes that looked good on me. It was never over the top, or ultra-girly. She wanted me to feel good about myself and how I looked, not keeping up with others, or running the fault-line of vanity. Just personal confidence and femininity.

    She’ll come out swinging in prayer and on the ground, like “Annie get your gun” for a friend, acquaintance, or group in danger. It is right and good for women to be both nurturing and protective; we can learn this from God’s creatures in nature. She modeled both for me. Pour love and nurture and a healthy dose of chocolate chip cookies, and when necessary, grab your guns (spiritual and physical).

    I loved the tea parties growing up, and her listening to what I liked and making room for me to be creative. She facilitated me writing and producing a play at nine years old. Then, she arranged for us girls to have a manners course with a lady full of grace. We loved learning these social graces from the teacher Mom selected because she was such a graceful, kind lady.

    She detected religion-based overtones and theatrics in church-based situations, and avoided them (but quietly). Both her and my dad taught us to know God and to follow true relationship with Him rather than social club thinking. She is very truth (principle) and justice based, and can spot it, and instilled that in both her kids.

    In conclusion, Mom nurtured and blessed me as a female, but it was on the strong side. It was beauty, not girly. It was strength, not weakness or fainting at the mention of something difficult. It was doing the uncomfortable thing to be kind. It was nurturing in the face of a storm. Protecting and nurturing. Justice and mercy. Southern hospitality meets “Annie get your gun!” And I am thankful for it!

    • Darla says:

      Crystal – just want to say that reading about your Mom really encouraged and blessed me (I have 2 girls & 2 boys). I am going to copy this down (if that’s OK) and use some of that. Love the “Annie get your gun” line to encourage daughters to be warrior princesses in the Kingdom.
      Thank you – Darla

      • Crystal says:

        Absolutely! Thanks for sharing!
        I have boys, so I am thankful that I was taught and nurtured in confidence and femininity, but had enough gumption from Mom and Dad to handle these boys! 🙂

  12. Deborah says:

    I have a wonderful mom who nutured a love of anything creative and craft related. She taught me a variety of skills including knitting, crochet, sewing, macrame, cross stitch, if there was a new craft, we tried it together. She taught me to see God in all aspects of creation and instilled a love of seeing behind the surface of people and to see their true inner self. She taught me to be understanding, to walk in someone else’s shoes and to see things from another perspective. She has a gift for finding small thoughtful items “just because”. She is now sharing her love of all these things with my two daughters. What a blessing she is. I love you mom.

  13. ~AnnA~ says:

    My mom rocks. I love my mom because she will always lend me her ears to what I have to say – and she does this with pleasure! I am privileged to talk with her about anything, even the really weird stuff. She cares so much for me and how I am growing in the Lord. She gives me room to discover who I was designed to be, and is excited when I discover new things, and has never failed to encourage me to develop and use the talents God’s given me. I love my mom =)

  14. Olivia says:

    My mother was patient, loving and giving. She never had an unkind word for anyone and managed, through all of the challenges life brought her (a difficult marriage, early widowhood, and death from breast cancer at the age of 54.) to face each day with grace and a smile. She showed me managing a household well was possible. She never complained about her difficult marriage, even after my father’s death. She amazed me with her ability to communicate confidently. She had the wisdom of Esther in reading people and situations. She was strong, but not in a “Joan of Arc in battle armor fighting” way. She was more like Jael, who would feed a man and prepare a comfortable place for his future meeting with a tent peg. She showed me strength that was completely counter to the corporate baby boomer model or the uber-feminist model. I learned that the model society puts forth for women was not necessarily the model for me. I made the choice to find my own way. Not surprisingly, my design is so much closer to my own mother than I ever thought possible, but my execution is far different from hers.

  15. Carol Brown says:

    First, Mom never talked down to me–no baby talk, no being treated like a “kid” who couldn’t understand. I was the only one of six to go to college–each time I came home to visit she wanted to know what I was learning, what I was reading! I always felt we were friends and now that dementia has come after a series of strokes, I miss my friend. She taught me:
    – every skill needed in keeping house and making sure ends meet (cooking, sewing, cleaning, how to use money wisely, how to prioritize)
    – the value of the individual
    – how to give space for each one to be themselves
    – to listen to the heart
    – to look past negative outward behavior and hear the heart
    – the love of learning
    – the love of God

  16. Dana says:

    As a teenager, my daughter had a strong commitment to letting God be her matchmaker. As she waited before Him, she sensed a certain boy would be her husband. There came a time when it became obvious that boy’s heart was not turning her direction. It was fairly traumatic for her. I gathered a couple key women in her life and we had a tea-party with her. As we drank our tea together we told my daughter who she was. We reminded her of her identity; we gave her some scripture that we felt was specifically for her at the time; and I blessed her with some very specific things Father dropped into my spirit as I waited before Him on her behalf. That tea party leveraged her out of grief and hopelessness into a position of strength. Soon after, she realized she was being pursued by an amazing man. They have been married 2&1/2 years! 🙂 As a mother, I have immense authority to go to my children in their emotional pain, synchronize with them there, and then gently lead them back to themselves, back to joy and hope.

  17. Lisa says:

    My 2 grandmothers went out of their way to compete with one another to spoil me – in my two favourite ways: buying me endless beautiful dresses and clothes and finding and cooking for me my favourite foods. Perhaps unsurprisingly – these are two areas in which I am highly anointed in blessing others. I have (literally) a shopping ministry, where I take women shopping and heal areas of their self image where they are damaged; also, I am highly anointed in hospitality – even though I am technically a terrible cook. I was not, however, spoiled by my grandmothers’ actions – somehow they knew that these acts of pure ‘frivolous’ feminine love ministered to my spirit in a way that nothing else could have. They were rare times when I knew that I was loved unconditionally just for being me – and specifically a very feminine me. Because of them I knew that I was a special, beautiful, sensitive GIRL and worthy of the best treatment. This time in my childhood – where they celebrated my femininity – saved me from the horrendous years during my teens when my home was a war zone, and outside the home the onslaught of women’s lib derided any woman with a brain still wanting to be feminine – and, I do believe, it saved my life. They had let me know that I was WANTED, loved and definitely a GIRL.

  18. Irina Rivera says:

    I asked my spirit this question, and here is what I saw. My mom and I used to walk down the street and instead of holding hands, we’d pat each other’s hand – palm to palm, her’s turned down, and mine turned up. I’ve never seen anyone ever do this, and I’ve never done this with my own girls. I guess it was our thing. My mom’s been gone now for many years but this action, this synchronized walking, so to speak, is a very powerful memory. She sure was sweet.

  19. martan7 says:

    Compassion. For the infirmed, the elderly, the ones “not so lucky” in life. Mom gave me the “want to help” people in life. Mary T.

  20. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    Although we had fulltime home help in the form of 3 people who cooked, cleaned and generally took care of all the household chores, from the time I was about 4 my mum let the staff go at 4pm so that she could teach me to set a table properly, and cook. Mom was an exceptional and adventurous cook. From her I learned my love of cooking and entertaing, she taught me that the woman was the hub of the home, and that there was always room for one more at the table or in your heart.
    She was a Gr 1 teacher and for her it was really a vocation, I remember one small boy of 5 who arived in Swaziland from England, they had moved becasue his mother had died. His dad could not deal with it and this sad withdrawn little boy sat on my mum’s lap for the first 6 months of the year, gradualy graduating to a chair at her desk until at last he asked to sit in the class room with everyone else.
    Cousins, children in the neighbourhood, everyone always wanted some time on “Aunty Mary’s” lap. She overflowed with love and laughter. When I broke something accidently she taught me a lesson I would need with my own children, things are not important, people are.
    My father died when I was 11 and my mum moved us to South Africa as her family was here. Our circumstances were reduced and me moved from a big farm house to a small flat, money was tight and she would go out because some item of her clothing was worn out and needed replacing and she would come back with something for me, she taught me that love is sometime sacrificial and that happiness had nothing to do with money.
    She taught me that it was more important to respect your husband than to be dizzily in love, later I understood that the Bible teaches us that wives must honour their husbands, and husbands must love their wives. The first time she met him, she told me that the man who I would later go on to marry was right for me as I would always be able to respect him. 22 years later, still I adore him, but I have also been able to trust his decisions because I respect him.
    My mom served my dad in many ways dishing up his dinner, laying out his clothes in the morning, I have followed that pattern and get shuch fulfilment from it.
    My mom who was a RG servant kept a record of the name of every child born in our family and extended family and prayed for each one by name very week, she taught me faithfullness and endurance through this.
    My mom was my (and many other people’s) go to person as she was very wise and full of love and compassion, unjudgemental and would pray through a situation for you.
    When her health was in decline and she was 83 I remember coming home from a business trip tired and worried about a few things. I lay on her bed, my head on her shoulder as she held my hand and my heart and I knew that she was still my mommy and I was still her little girl even though I was 39.
    She always told me she loved me and that she was SO proud of me, so that a when she died I never felt that anything was left unsaid. My mom taught me to be a wife and a mom.

  21. Sarah says:

    I have a great mom, but one of my favorite memories happened when I was about seven, we were out shopping and a elderly man came up to me and told me that I should go home and scrub the freckles off my face, to this day I don’t know why, I ran back to our car crying, and I will never forget what my mom told me that day, she said that God designed me exactly as I was, and that he loved every freckle on my face, and she said that anytime that some body said something to my like that man did that I was supposed to tell them that God gave me my freckle and that he treasure each one.

    Ever since that day I have celebrated my freckles, because my mom taught me how.

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