Monday, March 18, 2019

.maya turns ten.

Last week Maya's teacher shared with me a book called, The Good Egg. She had read it to the class that morning and was so excited about it, as she felt like it was such a "Maya" book. She is a wise, perceptive woman. This book tells the tale of wonderful egg. Extremely well behaved, thoughtful of others, kind, always looking after the needs of others before herself. The problem was that this good egg was surrounded by other eggs that didn't concern themselves with the things that she did. They were selfish, disobedient and basically caused chaos. And the good egg started to crack...under the weight of trying to keep all the other eggs in line, to keep them obeying the rules and behaving properly. It was too much.

My dear Maya, on your tenth birthday. You love with an incredibly deep love. You give and help beyond what is expected of you. You seek to bless, to mend, to make right. You bruise easily and forgive repetitively. You have a love for justice. This is a hard thing to value when a certain sister consistently walks on the fringes of our home justice system. But we love her no less, and you, no more. I think that this baffles you and bothers you...and that totally makes sense, my sweet girl.
If I could give you one gift on your birthday; it would be this. That you would fully and deeply understand why you are so loved, why you are so incredibly precious. That there is no points system in real love, as much as we all love to keep score. The lesson you are learning, the path that is unfolding before you reminds me so much of my own. The thought that I have somehow lead you this way with my own tendencies to control, with my own messes absolutely breaks my heart. But that isn't a good place for our brains to sit. So, I will champion you my sweet girl. I will teach you and show you that you are a precious daughter, not because of what you do, but Whose you are. I want you to know that in the deepest part of your soul and walk in the peace and freedom that comes with it. And I know my words aren't enough. I can't just tell you the things - "don't be anxious, don't worry, it's OK if it doesn't look right, it's OK if it's messed up..." I have to show you those things.

And I realize, right now, as I write this, that this is even more evidence of the goodness of our God! That He knew, before either of us took a breath and started to keep score, before the weight of the world ever touched our shoulders... He knew. That to be the Mom I want to be for you... to give you that gift I so badly want you to have... I have to go first. To Him, to His truth. Over and over, day after day. And because of that, and sooooooo many other reasons, you, my Maya, are a gift. One of my greatest gifts and I love you so very much.

* Thankfully my girl doesn't take after me when it comes to baking. She takes after her Grammie. My heart absolutely melted today watching my mom teach her how to make custard today. Pictured below our usual birthday pics are some photos of Maya baking cookies. They were ridiculously good...sorry...there's none left.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

.anna turns seven.

Today my baby is seven. She has waited for this day with such anticipation. Always trying to catch up with her sisters, and never quite able to close the gap. I love her so much. We have seen such huge growth this past year in Anna...she made such a giant leap from little girl to big girl. She can read anything now, and I often find her bible open on her bed. She has lost much of her clinginess, and flies out the door to school and social events without much of a backward glance. 

Her biggest struggle and her biggest gift (how it usually goes for most of us) is her feelings. This girl FEELS her feelings...everything is magnified. Her excitement is contagious and loud. Her sense of disappointment is devastating and loud. Her anger is explosive and loud. Her love is overflowing and....loud. She does things big and I trust and pray that she will use this gift one day like her Dad - that she will lead and make a difference.

And that one day is coming fast...too fast for this mom. While I absolutely LOVE the stage we're in now; when I let myself rewind 7 years ago to this moment, holding my fresh, perfect heart hurts. We have this sweet video from when Anna was probably 2 months old, and I am singing to her, and she is just staring up at me with a full body smile. She still gets that exact same expression at bedtime sometimes, when I tuck her in.  I am still able to set her world right with a song, a snuggle and a prayer. And I know that won't last forever either. 

This whole "being a mom" thing really does wreck you in the best way, and I am so incredibly grateful that I get to be wrecked by bonus baby...I had no plans for her of my own, but so, so glad that God took matters into His own hands.

And in closing - a promise Anna made to me yesterday: 
Anna: "Mom, cats kiss so gross. With their tongues!!!!!!! I am never, ever going to 'cat kiss' anyone. Especially a boy." 
Me: "Do you promise, Anna?"
Anna: "I promise."
Me: "mmmmhmmmm"

Happy Birthday baby girl. I love you so very much.

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