Happy 16th Birthday to the Girl!

There is truly no other way that I can post today except to honor the girl that God entrusted me to raise.  She is a compassionate, kind, and brilliant young lady.  I am proud to be her mother, and I know that she will do great things in her future as she does great things every day.  I guarantee that we would be friends even if we were not related.

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Sixteen years ago, the girl came along a month too early.  As the (pastor) huz mentioned in his sermon this week, he called a friend and said, “Jim, she just didn’t come at the right time.”  But she did – she came in God’s timing.  The huz and I had not turned 22, had not been married even a year, and had not finished college.  She came in the middle of my final senior semester.  I had to change a few classes because of her early arrival.  She went back into the hospital for jaundice and RSV, and the first few months were really hard.  Her timing was just out of whack.

And she has kept us on our toes every since!

But – she is more than an interruption or something to be endured…she is a blessing, and she always has been.  Even in the first few months when we had no idea what we were doing as parents (and had to rely on a lot of advice), she was a blessing. She was beautiful, and she has been beautiful throughout her entire life.

As a girl of sixteen, she blesses us daily.  Oh – she is a teen and has her times of difficulty, but overwhelmingly, she is awesome.  The huz and I will have had a long day, and we come home to find that she has cleaned the kitchen without being asked to do so. She has an empathetic heart and cares about those around her.  She wants to include those who might be left out at the lunch table or in a class.  This past summer, she spent many weeks at camp.  The huz and I had the chance to see her in action, and we were impressed.

I have to admit that I am not ready for her to be sixteen. I am not ready for her to start driving a car alone, for her to have a summer job, or for her to receive emails from three or four colleges each day.  The reality that we are marching more and more quickly to her departure is one that scares me while it excites me for her.

I know that her future is bright and filled with great things that God has planned for her, but I want her to always remember that I am her mom.  I want her to ask my opinion just one more time while I want to prepare her to make decisions on her own.  I want to be important to her, but I need realize that I am no longer the center of her universe.  Maybe I never was.

Regardless of how I feel about today, I want her to know that I am blessed to be her mother, I am proud of her, and even if she does not think she needs it – I will always pray for her.

Happy Birthday, Darlin’!

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