Thursday, August 14, 2014

To Reese on her 8th Birthday...

Its hard to believe it's already been a year since sitting down and writing this post.  7 was a magical year of new maturity, conversations, closeness, and challenge. 2nd grade was a breeding ground for growth and social learnings. This year especially I would say was one of the most enjoyable to be your mom.  No longer do you need me to help you pick out clothes (when I try you make sure it is known you can do it on your own:), get you a snack, tie your shoes.  The physical demand of being a young child's mom is lessening as each year passes with you. Yet a new level to the emotional and deeper spiritual journey has begun.
This year your deepened in your faith. Last year began a big year of talking about what God is doing in your life, the brokenness of the world, the savior that came to rescue us, how God is uniquely calling us to run to the hurting and the hungry, the sick and the orphaned. I can say that Kenya changed you. It put a God sized desire in your heart to be with the broken. Ever since our adoption, but maybe even more so, that trip, you are keenly aware of others feelings and needs. God urges your heart to pray, you are emotionally tied to Africa already in a way my heart only had hints of as a girl. Your faith is becoming your own and it is a joy to watch that grow.
This year you really flourished at school and bonded with your teacher. In a public school, in a liberal city, it was not a question for us you would remain at your school indefinitely. You, little light, are someone God wants to use to point others to him, to surprise people with your kindness and different way of thinking, and to challenge people to look to him. All year long you would talk with your teacher about your faith in different ways. What you are praying for, what you saw God do in Kenya, how He is a huge part of your life. The last day of school your teacher pulled you out and had lunch with just you in your classroom to pour into your life just a little more on your way out, and she told you how much she noticed your light shining. She wrote you a note to encourage you to keep shining, keep praying, keep sharing to others about Him, keep loving others well. It was one of the best moments I have seen for you in school. It was such an affirmation that you are a little arrow, like Psalm 127 says, ready to launch out and pierce the enemy for His good. I am so proud to be your mom. Your boldness and big heart inspire me to live on purpose.
This year you have developed in gymnastics. Something you love so much and you feel God's blessings as you do what he has gifted you to do. You are developing a community of girls that is precious. To see you circle up at the end of practice and share prayer requests and pray with your coach is amazing. To watch as you learn what hard work, persistence, perseverance and even how prayer can impact your abilities and results. I watch as you encourage others when they are having trouble to get something and as you pray through and seek help when you struggle with something. I continually remind you to anchor your identity in Him, you are not a Gymnast, you are a daughter of God who he has blessed with an amazing talent in gymnastics. It is a platform, not an identity. And it has been an amazing learning and growth opportunity for your relationships and character.
This year you have grown as a Big sister. You have released a little bit of the pressure to perform that you often default to and are growing into your own on learning how to mess up gracefully, ask forgiveness, talk with me about how to pray for transformation and strength in the midst of sin. You know you are not responsible to be everyone's example. You are just a girl that will mess up and seek Jesus like anyone else. But yet you are deeply moved when you hurt your siblings. You feel deeply as you have shared in the grief of your sister's story. Life's struggles with siblings are pointing you to your perfect Father and I pray you can see beyond your imperfect mom to see Him more clearly.
I have messed up over and over again with you. The amount of times I've said I am sorry for my sin to you does not even cover the countless times I've missed that opportunity. This year, it will continue. But I ask with the boldness in James 1:5 for God to give me wisdom, and to give it in abundance, on how to be your mom and steward the life in you I have been given to hold loosely for Him. My prayer goes back to that little arrow in Psalm 127 that will be released over and over again into different situations to pierce with kindness and with truth places where it is missing. This year will bring new challenges at school, with friends and influences mounting and the struggle of identity and self esteem on the horizon. I pray you are anchored in the one who made you, just how he wanted you, with a part to play in His huge story. My prayers are too much to list for you for this year, but know you are fiercely loved, known deeply, accepted fully, and prayed over frequently! I am honored God chose me to be your mom!
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