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a year to remember

Yesterday, we began taking all of our Christmas decorations down. Out of nowhere in the middle of the cleaning and packing, tears came over me. 

You know, every month that passed in 2016 was bitter sweet. We would celebrate another milestone of your life. Our miracle. Our final baby that God blessed us with. And each month, it was hard for me. Because, no matter what with you, everything felt so fast. And all the emotions felt magnified a bit. It's hard to put in words, but if you've been there you know. When you've dreamed of something so long and prayed so hard and then you are living that dream.. you want to soak every breath in and then some. 

Well December came and surprisingly I wasn't anxious about your first birthday. I was so in the moment of the season and grateful for everything we'd been through. The celebration of it all was so beautiful. The reminders all month of Christ and His gift to us. 

And then yesterday, as I put everything away it hit me unexpectedly. The year. Your first year. It was over. And for those moments I mourned a bit. I know. I have so much to be abundantly grateful for. But I felt a bit of loss. So many firsts, milestones, beautiful moments came flashing through my memory. And for that time. I let myself grieve that yes it had passed. 

But the story doesn't end there. No. There is hope and anticipation of all things new. Yes, time has a way of passing quickly. And I feel like the older each of you get, the faster the years fly by. I can grieve this, or I can keep trying to be in the moments with each of them, learning more about love and grace daily. I am certain, I will choose the later.


Today, I am giving myself grace for those moments of grief. As selfish as they felt, I needed that time. 



loved and known

You were standing in the stairwell and noticed the sequins reflecting from the sun all over the curtains. You were fascinated and loved the sparkle they created.

You have always loved anything with sparkle. You love to dress up with costumes, fancy dresses, high heels, jewelry, and head bands. You also love make up and nail polish and often asks me why I don't wear makeup or fancy jewelry. You love singing and dancing and often live in a world of imagination. 

Big sissy is now in 7th grade; an age when many girls are wanting to try make up. She has no desire for make up and dress up clothes were always itchy to her. She asks me why people wear high heels and doesn't understand the purpose for them. Her fashion choices are much more simple and modest. She is devoted to soccer, dreams of playing in college and seems to enjoy most any sport she tries; while she also sings beautiful melodies and plays the guitar and ukulele. 

We can't predict what baby sissy will grow up to prefer, but it's fun watching you all. It's so important to me as your mother for you each to embrace what makes YOU unique. What makes YOU feel alive. For you to understand that God created you each with your own story and beauty. That you are loved and adored in soccer cleats and shorts or a dress and heels. You are loved running hard, spinning on a dance floor, playing in dirty, singing melodies, or quietly reading a book. That clothing, haircuts, sports, hobbies, and careers do not define us. 
I want you to be your own definition of strong. Your own definition of beautiful. 

I pray that you will know your true identity is in Christ alone. And that your strength comes from Him. You don't need the world's affirmation or definition of success. What you need is the light of Christ shining through you always.

Seek Him first and be the unique individual He created. Above all, I hope you never forget, no matter what, you are so loved.