In the beginning...

     I was the kind of girl adults loved (especially the parent kind) and kids hated (especially the sibling kind)! As the 4th of 5 children, I was the one that made my parents look good-- Girl Scouts, Bible drill, dancing, singing, straight A's, God seeking and a little bit better than average on the pretty scale.
     One of my earliest memories as a little girl is the taunting words of my brother and sisters... "You're a tattle tale!" as I mounted the stairs again to "turn them in" for their latest misdeeds.  I enjoyed this "favored" status and would pretend that I didn't hear when Mom's friends pointed out the obvious or whispered how wonderful I appeared to be.  Mom would never admit to any such thing, but we did, in truth, have a much closer relationship than the rest.  I considered her my very best friend and spent hours at the laundry room door talking about everything from parenting, to boys, to friends, to marriage... You name it--- nothing was off limits between me and my mom.
     The resentment from my siblings grew as I did.  I was certain that this was their problem... not mine!  To add insult to injury, family "pow-wows" during my teen years often became "Why can't you be more like Lori?" sessions.  Little did I know that such favored status had repercussions that would not only affect my long-term relationship with my brother and sisters, but with my husband, my own children, and worst of all...my God.
     I grew up with a keen sense of God's love.... and oh, how I loved Him...even as a little girl!  But deep within was the misunderstanding that His love worked the same way my parents had!  My "favored" status was completely dependent on my behavior, my choices, my achievements... and when I failed, all was in jeopardy!  Growing up in the denominational church where I spent several days a week didn't do much to discourage such thinking.  I liked it that way though, because I was pretty good at measuring up.  At least I thought I was....

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