This next week holds so many “firsts” for us! Today, as Daddy pulled into the driveway after work, we waited in the doorway. You happily and confidently stood on your own and waved. Without hesitation, as he approached you clapped and excitedly took a step. Not just any step but your FIRST step. We had long anticipated this moment and as the three of us stood in the doorway, dancing and cheering, I was so thankful that we got to witness this special milestone together.
This Sunday, you will be dedicated to the Lord, an outward sign of our hope and desire for you to live a life that honors Jesus. It is by no accident that on the very same day, we will be celebrating my first Mother’s Day. Thank you for making me a Mama. As the first born (and only child- to date), you are therefore my Guinea pig for all things motherhood; for that I am both grateful and sorry! In my short tenure as a Mama, I have learned many lessons (the hard way, of course) and know that there are many more to come. Yet, no matter how often I mess up, you still look at me the same, with those big brown eyes full of unconditional love and admiration.
And then there is your birthday. Your FIRST birthday. Sweet girl, where did the time go?! The moment I laid eyes on you, it was love at first sight. I’m not normally one for blind dates, but boy were you worth the wait! I am convinced that it was just yesterday that I heard your heartbeat for the first time, held you in my arms, brought you home, changed your first blow-out diaper (the first of many, I can assure you), took you on your first walk, watched you smile for the first time, and so many more priceless “firsts”.
From the day you were born until you graduate from high school, there are approximately 936 weeks. We are down to 885. The book Don’t Miss It: Parent Every Week Like It Counts was an excellent reminder that I want to live every week with you as intentionally as possible. I have no doubt that one day, I will look back and feel like today was a lifetime ago and yet just somehow it passed in the blink of an eye, all at the same time.
This week, your Daddy and I spent some time reflecting on who we want you to be. You see, to us, it matters little where you go to school (though we do love the Flyers, the Tigers, the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish) or WHAT you do for a living. Rather it matters WHO you are, who you love and how you live and love, because that is what really counts. Our prayer is that we can look back on the years that God granted us with you and see that you were:
Loving– Love unconditionally and wholeheartedly. You will never regret loving with all you have. You just won’t. We have the best example for how to love (see Ephesians 2: 4-10). God knows and loves you immeasurably more than you or I can even fathom. This is so hard to comprehend, because some days, when I hold you and look into those gorgeous eyes, I can’t understand how it could be possible to love you even more. Every night, as I lay you down, I tell you “I love you all the way to Heaven and back…and Jesus loves you even more!” I hope you grow up believing this to your core.
Kind– Regardless of what you see in your lifetime, and I know you will see some ugly things, kindness matters. There is beauty in this world, so find it. Better yet, create it! Choose the high road, even when it is hard. Don’t fear those that are different than you; embrace them.
Humble– You are better than no one and no one is better than you. Admit when you’re wrong so that you can learn from it.
Authentic– The world will try to define you, label you, change you. I want you to remember who you are. You are strong, you are loved and you belong to a God that has designed you, just as you are- perfectly imperfect.
Hard working– Unfortunately, the world doesn’t owe you anything. This is hard I know! Some things won’t come naturally to you, while others will. You may have to work harder or longer for certain things. Hard work is not a bad thing; I promise. Stick with it and never give up.
Faithful– I pray, more than anything else, that you have a love for God that bleeds out not just into what you do, but who you are (see Psalm 63:3). Be a woman of your word, full of honesty and integrity.
Quinn, I hope that you learn these things not just from listening to your Daddy and I, but from watching us, even when we don’t know you are looking! I hope that you have a zest for life that is contagious. It is an honor to call you my daughter and it is one of my greatest joys to watch you grow, learn, laugh and love. Thank you for allowing me to be on the front lines of your life.
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