Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Where do I even begin, my Gracie? You are such joy to me, I could write for days. (but I promise I won't. . .) ;-)

I've never met anyone who lives in such a loving way. Truly you desire for everyone around you and everyone you know to be happy and having a good time, and you will do whatever you must to get them to that point. It is one of the sweetest things I've ever witnessed. And they don't even have to be human. ;-) Certainly if you see a sad *person*, you will do your best to cheer them up. But 4-legged friends get just as much attention when they need it, actually maybe more. You are always thinking of things you can make or do for people to make them happy. Crafts to make and send, special chores to do for your sister or your Dad, little gifts that you see that would be "just the right thing" for someone you know who needs to be uplifted. You won't stop until you see them smile. And if you can't cheer them up and see the evidence of it in their face, it makes you sad. This is true compassion, and it flows from you unfettered.

I'll never forget the night I went into your room to tuck you in one last time (it was probably my 4th time for the night ;-), 'cause I just can't lay my head down unless the very last thing I've done for the night is to check on you and your sister.) This one night you were clinging to your "Memaw" blanket and crying. When I asked you why, you said you just missed her and wanted to know she was ok. We had one of my favorite talks that night, during which I suggested you pray and ask God to speak to your heart and let you know that Memaw was safe with him and happier than anyone on earth. :-D This is what I found under your pillow the next morning:

It made me cry. A little bit because I miss Memaw too, but mostly because I am so overwhelmed with joy to know that you are learning to talk to God in ways that really matter to you. I hope He spoke to your heart in such a special way that night, and I hope you will continue to listen for His voice.

You are one of the most carefree and joyful little girls I think I've ever known. I could never begin to count how many times you've said to me, "Mom, I think this is the best day ever!" And you mean it sincerely. This is not because you are having extravagant experiences. It's just because you find joy in just about everything you do! With you, there is always a reason to celebrate, always a reason to get excited, always cause for happiness. What a gift to live with someone like you, Grace!

I love the way you love your sister. She would probably never admit this, but I'm pretty sure you are her best friend (and she has some really good friends!) But you are so encouraging to her, telling her often what good ideas she has, asking her for help or advice (and valuing her opinion when she offers it), and spending time together playing and laughing. You two have your less harmonious moments just like any siblings do, but more often than not these days, I hear you giggling instead of arguing and collaborating instead of competing. Such a blessing to me!

One of my favorite things about you is how much you LOVE family time! We were having a talk about this in the car just the other day. I don't recall exactly why we were discussing it, but you were going on and on about all the fun family time we would have once Macy was home from camp and Dad was home from Honduras. I expressed how happy it made me that you loved family time so much, and you were utterly confused as to why anyone *wouldn't* love family time. I didn't expound much :-D, but suffice it to say that you are pretty unique for a 10-year-old these days. And I love it!

But my very favorite thing about you is your walk with Jesus. You just love him, Grace! It's so awesome and amazing to experience as a Mom. Certainly there is a great deal you don't understand yet about your faith. Honestly, there is a great deal you will never understand. But you embrace what you do know with all of your heart, and you're never afraid to ask tough questions that will help you learn and grow.

I'm so proud of the young lady you are becoming, the way you love your family and others, the way you invest in others so naturally, and most of all the way you continue to deepen your relationship with God. You are more of a blessing to me than I could ever fully express, and I am so very grateful that God allowed me to be your Mom. It is one of my very favorite things to be! I love you so much!

No comments: