Thirteen: Take Two

Ten days ago she turned thirteen.  We celebrated the gift of her with cake and song and laughter, but I never celebrated with words.

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Emma Joy is a blessing to our family.  A true second born, she is often striving to differentiate herself just a bit from everyone else.  Her passions include soccer, the Kansas Jayhawks, Doctor Who, 80’s music, and baking.  Her dry, witty sense of humor is often unexpected, coming from this seemingly quiet, reserved girl.  She excels in the kitchen with anything involving the words “bake” and “dessert”, and she even volunteered to make her own birthday cake.  (Which isn’t all that surprising, considering the Rainbow Cake fiasco.  More on that another time, if you missed it on Facebook.)  She rocked that cake and I decided I will never bake again.

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This year brought Emma’s first opportunity to travel to Haiti and she worked hard and the Lord provided as she raised money (by baking) to pay her way.  I was so encouraged as her Mama to watch the Lord bless her efforts and watch her rise to the challenge.  And since then, her own outpouring of generosity has shown God’s work in her heart.

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Emma is steady, but in a different way from her older sister.  She is becoming very good at finding hidden things that need to be done.  Trash taken out.  Stray items picked up.  A sister read to.  She is reliable and another girl I can depend on to get things done.  She is such a gift and continually becoming a true “joy” to me.

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Happy thirteenth, Emma.  Welcome to the teen years.  May God richly bless you and may you continue to seek Him and follow hard after Him in all that you do.




2 thoughts on “Thirteen: Take Two

  1. In response to the “counting someone else’s blessings” statement:
    Last year a friend gave me a tiny sign for Christmas that said, “Count your blessings.” I hung it above my sink so as I washed dishes throughout the day, I would remember to be thankful all God had given me. Just two weeks later, we lost a pregnancy. Then my husband almost died from a virus he contracted at work. Then we adopted a child and faced terrible battles we never saw coming, including PTSD for me. Then we lost another pregnancy….a little girl that my daughter had prayed for every night for a year. Then we said goodbye to our new son so that he could be with parents that could meet his 24/7 needs without risking the safety of other children. My world crumbled. My faith was something I clung to as an old habit but not of something my heart truly wanted to believe. I was bitter; I was totally broken. Many times I shook my fisted hands in prayer, furious with all the Lord had allowed. And still, the little sign hung silently above my kitchen sink, “Count your blessings.” We had been blessed. The trials we faced nearly destroyed us, but that is the key: NEARLY. Instead of being totally spiritually demolished and remaining bitter and proud, I allowed myself to brake completely. And the Lord has begun to pick up the pieces and rebuild me into something else. Something perhaps more useful and definitely stronger than my former shell had been. Our family will never be the same that it was before our great year of loss. It was as if we “divorced” our former, happy life, in favor of whatever the Lord had in store for us next. But true Biblical blessings are TESTS, which are wonderful because they can ultimately bring us much closer to the Lord and stronger in our faith. Many blessings to you, my sweet friend.

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