She doesn't like youth group and especially doesn't like youth group trips.
We weren't going to make her go. We are fine that she doesn't got to youth group or doesn't like youth group trips. She has found a small group of girls, with an outstanding leader, who meet weekly and who are learning God's word and growing together.
The trip was talked about and publicized at church.
Other parents were asking me if Elizabeth was going to go, telling me that she should go. I would shake my head and say, "Nope. She's not going."
Some of the girls in her small group decided to go. The leader of the group, Kari, told Lizzy that she should think about going. When I asked her about it she was very clear.
Still not going.
Lizzy is strong-willed and I wouldn't have it any other way. When she was little, it was almost impossible to get her to do anything that she had set her mind against. I got to the point where I'd give her options.
You can choose to do this or that, but if you do this, this is your consequence, if you do that, that will be your consequence.
She had to be the one making the choice.
I had to be sure to follow through with the consequences, pleasant or not. She needed to know then and still needs to know now, that I am definitely strong enough to be her mother.
Needless to say, sometimes we battle.
But when the smoke clears, and our weapons are packed away, I am left holding a sweet, sweet, girl with a tender heart full of compassion and love,
Lizzy came home one day and told me she had decided to go to New Orleans.
I said okay. I called the church to find out how much money we would have to get together and found out that someone had paid for her trip.
I was flabbergasted but at the same time not surprised.
There were a lot of people who wanted her to go. There were a lot of people who had gingerly worked on changing her mind.
She loaded a bus at 10:00pm on a Friday night. She sat next to her dear friend Kyla and off they went for a 21 hour trip down to Louisiana.
She called me the next day.
"Mom, I shouldn't have come. I didn't get any sleep. I hate it. I don't want to be here."
There was nothing I could do. I told her I couldn't drive down and pick her up and that she was going to have to figure out how to deal with New Orleans for a week.
My heart sank to my feet.
I told her I loved her.
She told me she would try her best.
I guess she had to make her choice. She could choose to set her mind against being in New Orleans or she could choose to settle in, give up all the things that were uncomfortable, rely on her Heavenly Father to get her through and take it a day at a time.
She made the right choice and I will forever and always be so very proud of my curly, strong-willed, tender-hearted, sweet, loving, girlie.