(The birthday girl = angel in the pink shirt with her thinking face on.. Lol)

Wasn’t sure what to title this post… But after taking a deep breath and slowly releasing it, that’s where I’m at right now. Sigh… Our darling princess just blew out her big number 5 candle today and my emotions have been a wreck. I woke up wanting to cry. She got a little teary-eyed as she got hugs and kisses from her daddy when we dropped him off at work. A lump gathered in my throat when I talked to my dad and he wished her a happy birthday.

Five. Years. Old. Five years ago tonight I was holding my 3 hour old little miracle in my arms. I never knew the roller coaster ride that awaited us as parents. I have the worst memory but I recall every moment of her life as if it were yesterday. Explosive diapers. Her first word. Mama. Rolling over. First 8 wobbly steps in our city apartment. Potty training during Gary’s traveling assignments across country. Running after her cousin, Patrick, as we explored the Garden of the gods in Colorado. Dropping her passy at the Denver Broncos stadium and instantly hitting big kid status. Tantrums. Smiles. Jesus talks. Love. Hugs. Kisses. Holding her baby brother for the first time.

I’m watching this little baby of mine grow into a beautiful young lady. I feel warm tears filling my eyes as I’m typing right now. As painful as parenting can be at times, those beautiful moments far outweigh the rocky ones. The moments when we pray for ambulances and fire trucks flying down the road. Watching her compassion leap into action when tears are rolling down someone’s face (many times it’s my tears she’s wiping). Listening to her sing songs about Jesus as we ride down the road. Seeing her inner strength come through when all she wants to do is cry, but she puts on her strong face and pushes through whatever is bothering her.

There have been so many times I have questioned myself. Am I really adequate enough to be her mother? God, am I doing this thing right? We have such a short period of time to nurture and raise these little ones into mature, loving, selfless, God-fearing adults who pay their tithes and taxes. It goes by far too quickly! We bat an eye and they’ve gone from pull-ups to Chevy pickups.

I am so grateful for every moment that God has shared this precious girl with us. There are some nights I just cry and pray over her. If you know this bubbly angel of mine, you know she is her mother’s carbon copy up one side and down the other, inside and out. And this terrifies me. I wasn’t the easiest teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a Christian home and followed Christ, but I was bull headed and very stubborn. Very. I had to learn everything the hard way. And I did. Time after time. And this is exactly how Kendyl is. We buck heads a lot. A. LOT.

There are times when I wonder why God didn’t give me a more easy going, low key, compliant, soft spoken shy little girl. He knew there were some jagged edges that needed to be buffed out of me and decided to show me in a mirror image of myself, just a wee bit shorter version. I have learned so much from being her mom. So many of my writings have come through daily life experiences with her, and God has spoken so clearly to my weary mommy soul.

God knows us inside and out and I honestly believe He gives us the children we need that will help us through the fire to refine us. He knows that patience and endurance have to have their perfect work so that we may be complete and lacking nothing. James 1:4 We may feel like we’re lacking a ton, but He makes it clear we’ll be lacking nothing. IF we endure and let patience run its course. Remember, raising children is like running a marathon. Not a 500 meter dash.

Lately I’ve gotten up in the morning and simply prayed God would help me to be the mom my kids need that day. Every day is a new day. New grace, new challenges, new mercies. They may need us in a difference way today than they did yesterday. Today may require more hugs and patience and less hard looks and “what were you thinking?!” remarks. More “Oh baby, I’ve been there… I know how you feel…I’m proud of you…. I love you….” And less, “I can’t believe you… I’m so disappointed….”

Love deeply. Encourage often. Give all you have. Listen patiently. Play pretend. Speak softly. Every moment, everyday, show them unconditional love. Let your home be a safe haven. A place where acceptance builds walls and keeps them protected from the fiery darts the enemy shoots towards them. Don’t take a moment for granted. Inhale….exhale…. Sigh….. They’ll be graduating high school before you know it and you’ll miss these days…

Living Life Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

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