Book two in the Johanna’s Journey series is now available. Time has passed since the beginning of book one where Johanna is nine years old and Kenyeh is eleven. Johanna is now thirteen going on fourteen while Kenyeh is fifteen. This is very significant in the ancient Hebrew society because girls were often promised, if not betrothed, at this age.
While this is quite unrealistic in today’s culture, it can be a springboard for discussion between mothers and daughters about the topic of marriage and a girl’s–“someday husband.”
In my last blog, I touched on the idea of mothers and daughters “dreaming” together about a girl’s “someday husband.” How might that play out? Let’s say that a girl comes home from school or a co-op event and tells her mother of a new boy in school/co-op and that she thinks he is “cute.”
“Oh, really?” says Mother as she is preparing food for dinner. That night, as Emily is lying in bed, lights out, ready for sleep, her mother lies down beside her.
“Tell me about your day, Emily.”
Emily talks about her class project, of her friend’s new purse which she loves, of the funny thing that happened in choir practice. Then she asks, “Mom, did you ever have a crush on someone?”
“Oh my, yes! The first one was in third grade. His name was Timmy, and he had a flat top haircut and a spray of freckles across his nose…Then in seventh grade there was Bruce.”
“Yes, Emily. And that will happen with you,too. But, you know what boy I pray about concerning you?”
“Most likely you will marry one day years from now. It is that boy that I pray for. I pray for God to grow him up with all the strengths and character that will make him a wonderful husband.”
“Yes, and I am praying that God will develop your talents and give you skills that will make you a wonderful match to him. Meanwhile, you have much to enjoy now with school, your friends, your love of horseback riding…”
And the talk continues in a healthy, non-threatening way between mother and daughter.
There is something special about lying down beside a child at night when the distractions of the day are gone. She may invite you into her private world and, if you relax, you can enjoy this time and even recall your own feelings and thoughts at her age.
When our two boys were very young, someone gave Steve and me this tip of lying down with them at night, and we enjoyed doing it. Naturally, as our boys got older, I stepped aside and it was primarily my husband who did it. That led to an ease of talking with their dad which carried into high school years. By then, they would say, “Dad, do you want to go out to the hot tub?” which meant they probably wanted to talk.
I think that lying in the stillness, without direct eye contact, is less threatening to a child as she dares to broach a topic–to test your willingness to discuss it.
Who better to discuss boys than her mom or caregiver? How ideal to get truth and understanding from a mature adult instead of peers. And if you are praying for God to be a part of that conversation, you can relax and trust Him to guide your words.
In this second book, Johanna’s Journey: In the Shadow of the Mountain, one cousin marries, another is betrothed, and then Johanna herself becomes “promised.” I imagine the act between parents of “promising” their children varied. Some were probably more like business contracts while others were probably happy occasions. I chose to have the parents involved and encouraging, and I wanted Nathan to show courage by asking. Are these not ideals anyone would desire for her daughter? Dream big for your girl and pray faithfully!