A teacher from my daughter’s preschool recently told me that whenever Ellie walks into the room in the morning she is like a “ray of sunshine.” I simultaneously felt proud, guilty, and wanted to laugh.
I felt proud that my little girl brought joy to other people’s lives.
I felt guilty because I feel far to often that she is NOT a ray of sunshine in my life.
I wanted to laugh because I remembered the awful tantrum she just had the night before.
That comment started me thinking about the meaning of her name, “Ellie.” It is technically short for Eleanor but it means “God is my light,” or “God is my candle.”
There are days when I whole-heartedly agree with her teachers comment. Ellie brings us great joy. She is energetic, funny, loves people, and can be sweetly affectionate. We love her whole heartedly and unconditionally.
But she can also bring me to the end of myself.
So often we look to a person or a situation to be our guiding light.
We often think that a certain relationship, career, or financial stability will be what makes us content in who we are. As women, we can often put our children on too high of a pedestal and let them dictate how we feel about ourselves.
But I can’t look to my daughter to be my “ray of sunshine.” because inevitably, she will disappoint me.
Children are never meant to be “our whole world,” because no one and nothing can fill that role. None but Jesus.
On the flip side, I will also fail her. I cannot love her perfectly because I am also a sinner. But what I can do is point her to the only person who can be both of our “lights. I can point her to Jesus.
A little bit of my nerdy side is coming out with this comment, but there is a part in the movie The Lord of the Rings where Galadriel gives Frodo a light and she says, “May this be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
There have been numerous times in my three years of motherhood when I have felt that “all other lights have gone out.” I get to the end of my rope, become tired, anxious, and sometimes joyless.
But what I hope to pass on to my daughter is that when she faces dark places in her life, she can turn to Jesus, her guiding light.
At one of my lower points I even thought to myself how can Jesus relate to me when he was never a woman or a mother.
When my mind starts to go there I remember how he was tempted and tried in every way, yet without sin. I also picture Jesus in the garden asking His father to take away the cup from Him because He couldn’t bare the thought of being separated from His father. Because of the love He has for us, we never have to experience separation from God.
This is the truth that I want Ellie to believe and pass on to others. I pray that people will be drawn to her not because of her beauty or her charm or her intelligence, but because she radiates the light and love of God.