Raising this girl was so easy when she was little. A rule follower by nature, she didn’t push the limits much but I could always see how strong she was underneath the surface. She definitely had a little fight in that heart of hers, especially if she was passionate about something. Music, drawing and writing were all things she loved. As she became a teen she still didn’t rock the boat much and was fairly easy from the day to day parenting aspect but the hard part of parenting was just beginning really.
Guiding our kids when they are young through all those wrongs and rights of the world; the dos and don’ts, sharing moral values, all of those things are the easy parts of parenting. You wanna know when it gets hard? When you start seeing this bright, beautiful child you raise make decisions that you fear are going to break their heart. And you know what is even harder? Knowing that you have to kind of keep your mouth shut and let them experience it all for themselves. ALL of it! The crappy boyfriends, the damaged friendships, the anxiety of life are all a necessary part of growing up. Keeping my mouth shut is not always a gift I have but when you are dealing with an adult it really does become more of a situation when you only give advice when asked.
And you know what else you do? You pray….alot! The past two years I’ve seen this girl go through some of her biggest struggles. I wanted to help and I felt so helpless so many times as no matter what words I offered they were not enough! So I prayed for her in a lot of ways but mostly I prayed for God to present himself in ways she could no longer pass up. It has been my greatest joy to see her turn to him!
It’s been a great year for my girl as she has traveled to Napa, New Orleans and Miami enjoying her girlfriends. She also became a mommy to her little Pesto and I think they have both worked to heal each others hearts!
She has also remembered the love of her family. Not that she really ever forgot but I do think there was a period when, for the sake of growing up, we were not really her first choice to hang with. The two of us have definitely had two big battles where we both learned something (or at least I think we did). We have all just loved having her spend so much time with us!
So, my sweet girl, as you turn 26 I only have one piece of advice; continue to find joy every day! Whether it is in your job, listening to live music with your friends, enjoying a run with your sweet Pesto or laying on the couch feeling lonely watching Netflix, see the joy in the moment. Embrace it, soak it up and let it all continue to fill your heart. You are beautiful inside and out and I could not be more proud to call you mine!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4