Fourteen

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This one.  Today she is fourteen and lovely and nearly as tall as me.  This year she will begin high school and learn to drive.  And it only just now seems reasonable to me that I should have a five year old, but I look over and I have a young woman.  And it seems just yesterday that she was sitting on the couch watching Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues with her eyes watering because she would.not.blink.  And how does this wonderful world spin so fast?

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Sidenote and unrelated fact about the above picture: Grace is now babysitting for that swim instructor’s two year old son.  How time flies….

This child is our guinea pig child – the first born that is one constant experiment in parenting do’s and don’t’s.  And we’ve learned so much and we have so much left to learn and the next several years will bring a whole new level of education as we navigate goals and plans and new freedoms and responsibilities and the inevitable interest in and of the opposite sex.

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But for today we give thanks for the gift of this girl – the first of our five.  She remains steadfast, responsible, strong, more than a little stubborn sometimes, funny, incredibly artistic, smart, and with a heart captivated by Haiti.  This mama heart is not ready for the letting go that the next few years will bring, but God has plans for her.  Big, good, wonderful, beautiful plans for her life.  And she is His to use.

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Happy Birthday, my beautiful Grace.

Love,

Mama

Thirteen

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In August she turned thirteen and over the summer she somehow turned into a young woman and my heart turns over as I watch her grow.  She is stunning and she is funny and she is kind.  She is generous and steady and one of my favorite people.  She is not perfect, but she is growing daily in His grace.  She has survived thirteen years as our guinea pig child – the one who has had to weather the majority of our mistakes and failures as parents.  She has risen to every challenge we’ve given her and she’s never given up on us, her imperfect parents.

Our years with her are growing fewer and fewer.  I am thankful for the fun we have together, for the beauty and laughter she adds to our family, for the quiet love for Jesus she is growing, for the gift of being her mother.

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Grace, may this next year (the nine months that are left of it 🙂 ), draw you closer to Jesus and your family.  May you continue to grow in grace and beauty and wonder of the world around you.  May you seek the One who has relentlessly sought you and follow Him wherever He might lead.

For His Glory ~

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Two Weeks in Review

I’m at my little workstation in the kitchen.  The house is quiet but for the laundry tumbling, tumbling, tumbling in the dryer up the stairs.  A candle is lit and coffee is near at hand.  I hope to steal a few moments of the present to record the past before husband and children pour through front door and end the silence with joyful noises.

This morning, and the past two weeks really, was defined by a ten mile run.  It was out there.  Waiting for me.  Intimidating me.  Ever present.  I was so happy when I got up this morning, knowing it would be behind me in a few hours.  I know, there’s something wrong with me.  😉

When my running partner decided to train for a half marathon, I knew it was only a matter of time before she passed me in running ability.  Today was that day.  The last two miles were brutal and she (cheerfully) coaxed me along.  I briefly considered throwing her into traffic.  😉 The proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.” has come to mind many times over the past year of running with friends.  Even alone, I am not fast.  But with these two partners, I have maintained a greater consistency and endurance than I would have had alone.  And, today, I would likely not have finished the ten running if Nikki hadn’t been there.

With that ten behind me, I feel lighter and freer.  🙂  Except for my knees, which feel like death.

The balance of the past two weeks have been school and activities and normal life.  Grace finally got to celebrate her tenth birthday last weekend with her friends.  Outdoorsy girl that she is, she wanted a camp out.  And camping out in Kansas in August (when her birthday was) sounds like a little taste of hell, so we told her she would have to wait for the weather to cool down.  And cool down it did!  I did not pack enough bedding and we spent the night snuggling together in a borrowed camper.  But the little girl voices still going strong at 2:30 in the morning assured me a wonderful time was being had and the life-long memories really were worth the non-existent sleep that night.

Opening gifts with friends

Someone knows this girl well

Out for a morning "hike"

I love it out here

I was simply praying that no one would fall in

Ellie - No other explanation needed

Grace and Friends

Have a beautiful Saturday, friends!  Enjoy the creation He has made and give Him glory for it!

~ Sara