Naming The Girl You Love

This book was birthed approximately ten summers ago at a camp where we talked about Revelation 2:17.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him [or her] who receives it.

This past summer, we revisited this verse with a group of high school juniors and seniors. At the end of camp we gave them new names . . . names that were reflective of who we believed God was calling each of them to be.

One of these girls is named Maggie. She has valiantly fought depression and anxiety for the past several years. She's a young woman of tenacious faith, unbridled enthusiasm, and a contagious spirit. To meet Maggie is to enjoy her. The problem was that Maggie no longer enjoyed her own life, and as a result of her depression and anxiety, her light had dimmed.

On the last day of camp, Maggie was given a new name. Her name was Sunrise. The counselor who named her spoke of a light that dispels the darkness. That light is God's spirit that shines so brightly through Maggie . . . even in the midst of her depression.

When this counselor named Maggie, she spoke to who she knew Maggie was. Maggie wasn't fully experiencing the sunrise in that moment, but we knew it was there. Maggie was still becoming.

Several months ago, I (Sissy) met with Maggie. We talked about camp. She said that her very favorite part of her week was her new name. When I asked her why, this was her response: "Because it was me. And it was something I'll never forget. I know that God has given me a light to share with others. At times, I don't feel like it. It seems like there is nothing good inside me at all. But that name is always a reminder. I do have a light. I have the light of Christ living inside me, and he put that light there to share with others and to give me hope when things feel dark. I get to shine my light so that other people can experience him. I am a sunrise," Maggie said with a giggle.

In raising girls, we are given a chance to co-name them. Camp and home, however, are obviously different. As a parent, your naming is not a one-time thing. It is something that happens through the raising—and after. You will forever be naming the girl you love.

In these first nineteen years, however, your job as a namer is brought into focus. You name your daughter as you traverse the journey we have outlined in this book. To name her is to see what's normal and what's not in terms of her development, to understand what is going on internally and externally in her world, to look past your own issues to see her clearly, and finally to believe in her and enjoy her. All these things come together to give you more clarity, more depth, and more hope in the naming of the girl you love.

"So how do I do that," you may be asking. "What does it look like for me to name my daughter?" We would say it looks different for every parent, teacher, coach, or adult in the life of a girl, but, here are a few examples of adults who have taken up their jobs as namers.

A father we know takes his daughter for doughnuts for breakfast every Saturday morning—no mommies allowed. In investing this time, he is saying to his daughter, "I notice and value you. I believe you are enjoyable and worthy of my time and undivided attention." He is naming her—helping her become more of the Anna Grace that Anna Grace was specifically made to be—simply by spending time with her and enjoying her.

A mother chose to send her sixteen-year-old-daughter to a therapeutic wilderness program. This young girl was involved in a very destructive relationship with a boy that the mother suspected was becoming abusive, but the daughter didn't have the strength to walk away. Instead, she told more and more lies just to spend time with him. Sending her away was one of the most difficult decisions this mother has ever had to make. But in it, she was naming her daughter. She was saying to her, "You have more strength than you know. I know there is a young woman of honesty and courage inside you, and I am going to do whatever it takes to draw that woman out."

A youth director attends the high school graduation of every child in his youth group, and in all the audience, he is the one who whoops and hollers the loudest. In this small act, he is naming the kids he is there to represent. He is saying, "You are worthy of my time and my admiration. I am proud of who you are becoming."

A grandmother had a surprising response to her granddaughter's sadness over a breakup. She listened late one night as her granddaughter recounted her sad tale, and then she quietly stood up, walked over to the shelf, and pulled out her granddaughter's yearbook. She sat down and started flipping through the pages. "Hmmm. Well, look here." Her granddaughter promptly pulled her chair over to see what her grandmother was commenting on.

What she was doing was naming her granddaughter. She was pointing out all of the other possible "beaus" in her granddaugh ter's class, and what she was saying was, "You have so much to offer. I think anyone would be lucky to have a date with you."

Naming in real life looks very different than it does at camp. You will probably not speak one word over your daughter's life that changes the course of who she is, but you will have countless opportunities, in little ways, as you walk through these nineteen years with her.

In A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle goes on to describe, from her main character's perspective, what it feels like to be named.

"Who makes you least confused?"

"Calvin." There was no hesitation there. "When I'm with

Calvin, I don't mind being me."

"You mean he makes you more you, don't you?"

God has specifically chosen you for this job of namer. In spite of the fact that you will fail her over and over, he has entrusted you with the life of this girl you love.

As you name your daughter, you help to call out the unique identity God has placed inside her. In doing so, you make her more her. In other words, you help loosen the entanglements of all that holds her back—the insecurities, the rejection from other girls, the confusion with boys—all the turmoil going on inside her and around her.

Your daughter deeply longs for and is created to be in relationship, and your relationship is one that God can use greatly in these nineteen years to impact her for the rest of her life. In the midst of a turbulent, sometimes hurtful world, you can help free her to be more particularly the particular girl she was meant to be.

And that is a pretty terrific job to have.

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Here are just a few of the many terrific books out there that we think you might find helpful.

On Girls

John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating, Nelson, 2005. An insightful book written about women, but it also speaks to the heart and needs of girls.

Michael Gurian, The Wonder of Girls, Pocket Books, 2002. A must-read guide to the world of girls.

Sharon Hersh, Bravehearts, WaterBrook, 2000. Another helpful book about women that also applies to girls.

---, Mom, Sex Is No Big Deal! Shaw, 2006. All these are part of a practical series dealing with difficult issues girls face.

Amy Lynch and Dr. Linda Ashford, How Can You Say That? American Girl, 2003. A terrific book that is published by the same company that makes American Girl dolls.

Mary Pipher, Reviving Ophelia, Balantine, 1994. A revealing look at girls in our culture from a psychological perspective, taken from her own case studies.

Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out, Harvest, 2003. A book that gives perspective on the aggressive social world of girls today.

Rosalind Wiseman, Queen Bees and Wannabees, Three Rivers Press, 2003. A book that will take you inside the school bathrooms and lunchrooms to what is really going on with girls and between girls.

What I Wish You Knew, American Girl, 2001. Another helpful book by the makers of American Girl dolls, touching on a variety of issues with advice from various experts.

On Adolescence

Kevin Huggins, Parenting Adolescents, NavPress, 1989. An insightful look into the minds and hearts of teenagers.

Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff, The Back Door to Your Teen's Heart, Harvest House, 2002. What can we say?

Anthony Wolf, Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and

Cheryl to the mall? Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002. A humorous and knowing perspective on teenage life.

On Discipline

Foster Cline and Jim Fay, Parenting with Love and Logic, Pinon Press, 2006. Our favorite book on the subject—comes in versions about toddlers, children, and teens.

Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries with Kids, Zondervan, 2001.

On General Parenting

Dan Allender, How Children Raise Parents, WaterBrook, 2003. A must-read for every parent or adult in the life of a child.

Stephen James and David Thomas, Becoming a Dad, Relevant, 2005. A warm, inviting look at the joys and perils of fatherhood.

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions, Fawcett Columbine, 1993. Really written about the first year of her son's life, but she is hysterically funny and offers some great, although unorthodox truths about parenting.

Mike Mason, The Mystery of Children, WaterBrook, 2001. A book that introduces parents, spritually and emotionally, to the profoundly life-changing journey of parenting.

Walter Wangerin Jr., Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? Zondervan, 2004. A simple yet profound book we love, by an author we respect immensely.

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At Daystar we talk a lot about gratitude. As we finish this book, our gratitude is overflowing for a group of folks who have been a part of this process with us. Don Pape has been our agent and literary superhero. Sandy VanderZicht is an editor who has challenged us with her kindness and encouraged us with her wisdom. Mimi Heldman has heard our stories, read our drafts, and reminded us of the depth and playfulness bound up in the heart of a girl. Pace Verner has lightened our load with her laughter and been a kind companion along the way. David Thomas, Betsy Cashman, Jeremy Shapiro, Pat McCurdy, Julia Groos, and the Daystar Board have been a steady source of compassionate support throughout this writing process. We have shared meals and girlhood tales with Belle Johnson, Pepper Magargee, and Mary Katharine Hunt, who have continually pointed us toward Christ. Margaret Trevathan (Melissa's mom) has offered her love of life, her love of people, and her humor to us both. Aunt Robbie Stamps has kept us loved and fed. Helen Goff (Sissy's mom) has caught us up on the news and technology and has taught us a great deal about delighting in girls. Bob Goff (Sissy's dad) has taught us the importance of dancing with daughters and an adventure-filled life. Finally, we are grateful for the constant prayers of St. Bartholomew's Church and the family of folks at Daystar Counseling Ministries.

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Though not specifically footnoted, the following books are referenced in the chapters cited.

Introduction

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, The Sewing Room (Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehouse, 1997), 103.

Michael Gurian, The Wonder of Girls (New York: Pocket Books, 2002), 23.

Chapter 1

L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz (New York: North-South Books, 1996), 101.

Chapter 2

Mike Mason, The Mystery of Children (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 2001), 28.

Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (New York: Perennial Classics, 2005), 84.

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1993), 22.

Chapter 3

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (New York: HarperCollins, 1960, 1993), 17.

Mary Pipher, Reviving Ophelia (New York: Ballantine, 1994), 254.

Chapter 4

Elizabeth Berg, Durable Goods (New York: Avon, 1993), 4.

Michael Gurian, The Wonder of Girls (New York: Pocket Books, 2002), 38, 78 - 79.

Chapter 5

Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 160.

Michael Gurian, The Wonder of Girls (New York: Pocket Books, 2002), 89. Elizabeth Von Arnim, The Enchanted April, (London: Virago, 2003), 323 - 24. George MacDonald, The Curate's Awakening (Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, 1985), 80.

Chapter 6

Sharon Hersh, Bravehearts (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 2000), 17. Chapter 7

K. Douglas Wiggins, Mother Carey's Chickens (Charleston: BookSurge Classics, LLC, 2004), 25.

Chapter 8

Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (Philadelphia: Courage Books, 1993), 57.

Chapter 9

Mary Pipher, Reviving Ophelia (New York: Ballantine, 1994), 22. Chapter 10

Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs (New York: Crossroad, 2003), 98. Chapter 11

Bob Benson, See You at the House (Nashville: Generoux, 1986), 189. Chapter 12

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 220. Chapter 13

Madeleine L'Engle, A Wind in the Door (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1973), 78, 79.

n abstract thinking, 80, 85 -86, 99, 109 abuse, sexual, 189 - 90 acceptance, 104 - 6 activities, extracurricular, 74, 179 Addiction and Grace, 74 addictions, 75, 124, 183, 192. See also alcohol; drugs admiration, 103 - 4 adoption, 36 - 37 Adventurous Years, 19, 44 - 67 emotions and personality development, 49 - 58 enjoyment during, 233 - 34 and fathers, 136 parenting during, 65 - 67 physical development, 46 - 49 spiritual development, 58 - 65 affection, 29 - 30 alcohol, 124, 181 - 83 ambivalence, 79 - 80 anorexia, 187 - 88 anxiety, 179 - 80 Autonomous Years, 19, 93 - 114 emotions and personality development, 101 - 8 enjoyment during, 234 - 35 parenting during, 114 physical development, 94 - 100 spiritual development, 108 - 13 awareness, 60, 80 -82

Back Door to Your Teen's Heart, The,

91, 140 belonging, 104 - 6 blogs, 174

relationships with, 160 - 67 brain development, 71 - 72, 100 buddy child, 199 - 200 bulimia, 188

caretaking, 27 - 28 cell phones, 173 - 74, 176 - 77 comfort child, 197 - 98 communication, 173 - 77 compassion, 99, 198, 218 competition, 142 computers, 177 confidence, 31, 32, 34, 52, 141

hiccups in, 71 - 72 conviction, strength of, 110 - 11 countertransference, 195 - 96 courage, 141 Crabb, Larry, 120, 126 Curate's Awakening, The, 109 cutting, 184 - 87

dependent relationships, 156 - 57

depression, 72

development during Narcissistic Years, 70 problems with, 20 - 22 stages of, 18 - 20 disappointment, 124, 125, 179 - 80,

205 - 6 discernment, 173 discipline, 139

discovery, 109 - 10 Discovery Years, 19, 23 - 43 emotional and personality development, 28 - 34 enjoyment during, 233 and mothers, 131 parenting during, 42 - 43 physical development, 25 - 28 spiritual development, 34 - 42 doubt, 34, 88 - 89 drugs, 124, 181 - 83

eating disorders, 53, 124, 187 - 92 ego-agenda, 195 emotional development during Adventurous Years, 49 - 58 during Autonomous Years, 101 - 8 during Discovery Years, 28 - 34 during Narcissistic Years, 77 - 84 emotions, 48 enjoyment, 221 - 35 bare necessities of, 228 - 32 obstacles to, 223 - 27 Erikson, Erik, 35, 38, 52 estrogen, 97 exclusivity, 165 exercise, 180 Experiencing God, 215 expression, 153 - 54 extended family, 147 - 49 extension child, 201 - 2

Facebook, 174 failure, 53 - 54, 102 - 3 fairy tales, 164 - 65 faith, 88, 109 family, 130 - 49 fathers, 134 - 40 fear, 50 - 51 femininity, 48 - 49

1 Corinthians 13:11, 63 1 John 4:18, 128 friendships with boys, 150, 160 - 63 developing, 54 - 56 in elementary school, 121 during Narcissistic Years, 70,

82 - 84 with other girls, 151 - 60 frontal lobe, 100

Gideon, 89 Gilligan, Carol, 120 girls and boys, 150 - 69 issues facing, 170 - 92 naming, 236 -43 God, 58 - 59, 88 - 90, 215 - 16 grace, 191

grandparents, 142 - 45

Hebrews 11:1, 38 Hersh, Sharon, 120, 126 - 27, 129 hippocampus, 48 homosexuality, 157 - 60 hope, 38 - 41

idealism, 106 - 8

identity, 142, 236 -43

imagination, 41 - 42

impulse control, 25 - 26

individuality, 142

industry, 52

inferiority, 52

influence, 152 - 53

information, 26

Inside Out, 126

interaction, 30 - 32

interdependence, 120

intimacy, 97

intimacy imperative, 117 - 18 intuitiveness, 61

inventiveness, 141

Lamott, Anne, 42 - 43 L'Engle, Madeleine, 243 limbic system, 48 listening, 215 - 17, 238 - 39 literal thinking, 51, 63 - 64 longings, 122 - 23, 126 - 28 love redemptive, 86 - 87 unconditional, 145 -46, 191 Luke 10:21, 60

Macdonald, George, 109 Matthew 10:16, 139 - 40 7:4 - 5, 202 18:1 - 4, 61 May, Gerald, 74 mean girls, 154 - 56 media, 96, 170 - 73 memory, 47 - 48

menstruation, 49. See also period messiness, 84 - 86 mistakes, 54 mothers, 80 - 81, 130 - 34 motor development, 46 - 47 moxie, 141 multitasking, 26 - 27 MySpace, 174 - 75

naming, 236 - 43 narcissism, 99

Narcissistic Years, 19, 68 - 92 emotions and personality development, 77 - 84 enjoyment during, 234 and friendships, 82 - 84 parenting during, 91 - 92

physical development, 71 - 76 spiritual development, 84 - 90 nearsightedness, 72 - 74 "North Star," 52 nurturing, 27

object permanence, 39 Operating Instructions, 42 - 43 oxytocin, 27

parenting during Adventurous Years, 65 - 67 allowing yourself to be average, 204 - 5

during Autonomous Years, 114 and cutting/self-mutilation, 186 - 87

during Discovery Years, 42 - 43 drugs and alcohol problems,

182 - 83 and eating disorders, 191 - 92 how to help when girls are struggling, 167 - 69 during Narcissistic Years, 77 - 82, 91 - 92

and stress in girls, 179 - 80 peer pressure, 153 perfectionism, 53, 189, 205 - 6 period, 48, 76. See also menstruation personality development during Adventurous Years, 49 - 58 during Autonomous Years, 101 - 8 during Discovery Years, 28 - 34 during Narcissistic Years, 77 - 84 pets, 145 - 47

phones, cell, 173 - 74, 176 - 77 physical development during Adventurous Years, 46 - 49 during Autonomous Years,

94 - 100 during Discovery Years, 25 - 28 during Narcissistic Years, 71 - 76 Pipher, Mary, 52

play, 134, 135 - 36, 231 - 32 prayer, 213 - 15, 239 prefrontal cortex, 71 progesterone, 97 prolactin, 97 promiscuity, 166 - 67 Psalm 42:1, 127 puberty, 75 - 76, 136 - 38 purpose, sense of, 111 - 13

questions, 109

redemption child, 198 - 99 redemptive love, 86 - 87 relational strategy, 57 - 58 relationships, 54, 62 - 63. See also friendships dependent, 156 - 57 with God, 88 - 90 importance of, 118 - 20 longing for, 117 - 29 during Narcissistic Years, 77, 84 relaxation, 230 responsibility, 146 responsiveness, 61 - 63, 73 - 74 rest, 228 - 30 Revelation 2:17, 240 risk-taking, 142, 182 Romans 8:17, 237 8:24 - 25, 38

safety, 143 - 44 school culture, 178 - 80 security, 106, 151 - 52 self, sense of, 32 - 34 self-fulfilling prophecy, 217 - 19 self-hatred, 111, 124 - 26, 185 self-mutilation, 124, 184 -87 serotonin, 26 sexual abuse, 189 - 90 sexuality, 76, 96 - 98, 157 - 60, 166 - 67, 190

siblings, 141 - 42 simplicity, 63 - 65 sin, 86. See also messiness skills development, 51 - 54 Smith, Betty, 41 social cues, 73 socialization, 160 - 61 speech development, 25 spiritual development during Adventurous Years, 58 - 65 during Autonomous Years, 108 - 13 during Discovery Years, 34 - 42 during Narcissistic Years, 84 - 90 staying the course, 219 - 20 strength, 143, 209 - 10, 211 - 12 stress, 179 - 80 success, 53 suicide, 186 synapses, 71

teaching, 109 - 10 technology, 173 - 77 tenderness, 146 - 47 testosterone, 97 thinking abstract, 80, 85 -86, 99, 109 literal, 51, 63 - 64 To Kill a Mockingbird, 44 touch, 30

Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A, 41 trust, 35 - 38, 39, 41, 51, 61, 101 - 3

unconditional love, 145 -46, 191

vision catching, 208 - 20 clear, 195 - 207 maintaining, 219 - 20

watching, 239 -40 weaknesses, 210 - 12 Wind in the Door, A, 243 Wonder of Girls, The, 75, 97, 117

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We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about this book to us in care of [email protected]. Thank you.

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