It’s been 8,030 days now.
8,030 days since she entered our world with both index fingers pointing as if she had something on her mind. Her debut promptly turned everything upside down. It’s been a good upside down, one I wouldn’t trade for the world. But at times, it has felt quite out of my comfort zone.
She’s our oldest, and today she’s 22, go ahead and cue Taylor if you must.
In those 22 years, she has gone from being that big sister who just about squeezed the life out of her siblings … to … the fiercely loyal and protective type who exercises her big sister privilege to keep them in line, even when they don’t necessarily feel the need for such things.
From being the instigator of all sorts of things, good and otherwise … to .. making dates with every single one of us when she’s home and even planning the details of a family vacation.
From enduring our somewhat ridiculous approach to the whole scary kids dating thing … to … choosing well this man for whom we are immensely grateful.
From not always appreciating the input of parental wisdom … to … a love and respect that shows all over her face.
From schooling at our kitchen table and helping with her younger siblings … to …choosing to teach kids as her life’s work, quite possibly on the other side of the world..
And all of it with that really big signature smile that I’m quite sure she inherited from her Grandma.
From sorting through the frustrations of a strong-will … to … learning how to submit to God, bringing a tenacity to follow His leading through thick and thin.
And all along she has opened my eyes to the understanding that the smirk isn’t always mischief, but sometimes its the wonder of what lies ahead. That running into the plans of our Creator with everything in us holds tremendous beauty – even in the unknown. That even though the other side of the world is far away, really far away, I couldn’t be more proud and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After 22 years, of this I am sure – you, my daughter, have taught me the importance of holding on loosely to those I love, so they can become all they were designed to be. You too, have been the best sort of blessing to me and to our family. My prayer is that you will grow deep in Christ as you seek Him with everything in you to become the woman and wife He has created you to be.
Your Mama loves you! More than you’ll ever know!