Saturday, March 21, 2020

.maya turns eleven.

My amazing girl. This will be a birthday to remember. The day before you turned 11, we climbed a beautiful mountain as the sun went down. You wore this gorgeous burnt orange jumper we scored at Value Village, and the sun lit your hair into a stunning, almost celestial halo. You, my girl, are a bright, bright light and I cannot imagine a backdrop more fitting to mark the gift of another year with you.

The week of your birthday was probably one of the most bizarre weeks we have ever experienced and brought drastic changes to our plans, routines and expectations. And, while you are so excited to be getting a head start on home-schooling, you are also unsettled by strangeness of it all; you cling a little tighter and check in a little more often. You are very aware of the vast array of emotions that we have gone through in our home this week. It partly makes me proud of your perceptiveness and empathy, but it also makes me sad that I can't better hide my own struggles from you and your sisters. Inevitably, you being you, take on all the feelings of everyone, and so, my precious daughter, we must learn and grow together. We talked as a family, with bibles and hot drinks (that you prepared) this morning. We talked about how we are all experiencing grief and fear in some way over this silly virus and all its implications. We talked about how this can show up as anger, irritability, tears, and just general bad attitudes. We talked about how it was OK to feel these feelings, but it was not OK to set up camp, and stay in them. We talked about giving grace to one another as these feelings come and go - that sometimes you will be strong, and sometimes someone else will be. We talked about how God has a plan in this - in ALL of this - for our good, and His glory. My prayer is that through this time, BECAUSE of this time, that you will learn more about who you are, but more importantly about who HE is. That this will be a setting event in your life. That you will be able to declare confidently, that even in this, you have seen and tasted His goodness and His faithfulness.

We set up a plan and a loose schedule for coming days - the organization and order of it made you absolutely sparkle. Me too :) On the morning you turned eleven, you woke up and baked yourself a beautiful cake. Earl grey layers with German buttercream frosting and raspberry compote. I offered to help, or even bake it for you, but we both know how that would have turned out. We spent hours in the kitchen, you baking and me cooking. We watched baking shows, played clue as a family, went for a walk and played basketball, and soaked in a nice long snuggle. We both agreed that the isolation kind of worked in your favor and though the day felt a bit strange, it was indeed, perfect. Pretty much like the day you were born. The beginning of a new chapter.

Happy birthday my sweet one, I love you so.

May His Presence go before you
And Behind you,
And Beside you

All around you and within you
He is with you
He is with you
In the Morning, in the Evening
In your Coming
And your Going

In your Weeping and Rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you

From 'The Blessing' by Elevation Worship. Our current favorite song

Thursday, October 24, 2019

.anna turns eight.

This beautiful girl of mine. She is something else. A bottle of vivacious potential that has been on a 24 hour road trip in a really bumpy car. Her personality and Anna-ness just bursts from her.  This can be beautiful, wildly entertaining, and also the most exasperating thing ever. She is big into writing cards and notes - these sometimes are quite large and require 18 sheets of paper - but her words are thoughtful and expressive well beyond her years. School is a breeze for her and she yearns for a challenge...a project. The creativity in her is something to be hold. One night last month, she spent 2.5 hours completely by herself creating a "disneyland ride," out of cardboard and random junk drawer contents. It almost worked. And, while her verbal dialogue is ceaseless if you are with her (and, I mean, the words. don't. stop), she is also content to have large windows of time by herself. She loves her kitty, Frankie, and smothers him with all her love. He likes actually likes it! They are meant to be :) She never sits facing forward when she eats, and is notorious for leaving part of her meal on the floor. She loves home decorating shows and frequently comments on Joanna Gaines' awesome style and excellent flooring selection.
She makes hilarious videos. Honestly...leave your cellphone with her for an hour and see what you get. She struggles with herself. Her instincts are to explode - both good things and bad things. Her support of you and enthusiasm for something absolutely shines...and is loud!  But, if there is injustice, or adversity, or piano practice, it's the same strength of instantaneous reaction. 
I am determined to champion this girl as she learns how to process all these feelings; she will be a powerhouse one day.

Every night before bed, I tuck her in with her 11 jellycat stuffies and numerous other soft friends. We rub lotion on her dry skin, and we pray. We ask God to give her patience, and peace when she doesn't feel it. We ask Him to help her keep loving others well, and for help loving her sisters when it's hard. And we thank Him. We thank Him for how He made Anna on purpose, with so many gifts and abilities. We thank Him that He has a plan for her, and that He will use her in mighty ways as she follows him. We thank Him that He has promised to be behind her and that He has also gone ahead of her. And He always forgives her and always loves her. And then, without fail, she buries her face into my neck and cheek and tells me she loves me. She often tells me I'm the best mom. She wraps her arms around her top three items that she sleeps with: her bunny, her buddy (blankie) and my old housecoat.
And my precious eight year old baby goes to sleep. I love her so.
Happy super belated birthday, my girl. It's OK to not get everything right all the time. Love, Mom

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