Oh, my sweet girl,
I'm so happy you were born. I'm so happy you're in our family. I'm so happy the world gets to experience the gift of you. So with all that happiness, I give to you your Top 10 Lists.
Top 10 Things You Love:
- Singing (the soundtrack to our lives is lovingly provided by you)
- One-on-one time (quality time is totally your love language)
- Being tickled
- Reading (every time we go to the library, you leave with no fewer than 20 books for yourself)
- Being read to
- ArtForKidsHub and SuperCarlinBrothers YouTube channels
- Baby animals and baby humans (you're a fan of all things cute)
- John Crist, Tim Hawkins, and Brian Regan
Top 10 Things You Don't Love:
- A semi-short but very specific list of foods: cumin; beans; casseroles; applesauce; Saltines; anything spicy
- Humid weather
- Emptying the dishwasher (but you like eating on clean dishes, sooooo ...)
- Seeing kids argue; it makes you so upset to see people not getting along and not resolving their differences
- Struggling with a hard problem (I know there's probably not anyone who really loves struggling, but it seems to be an especially repellent notion to you - one of my many prayers for you is that you'd learn to find beauty in the struggle)
- Realizing there's a conversation going on and you not being involved
- When plans change without your prior approval (but you're not the parent, sooooo ...)
- Naps, unless you have a fever (Sunday afternoon naps are the BEST! How can you not like them?!)
- Watching sports on TV (but your daddy loves sports, sooooo ...)
- Being told that you're wrong (but you're human, sooooo ...)
Top 10 Things You're Good At:
- Saving money (you're not a stuff kid, so there's very little in terms of toys that you're dying to have)
- Helping me in the kitchen
- Making toast, macaroni and cheese, and PB&J sandwiches
- Drawing and decorating birthday cards for people (handmade cards are also your love language)
- Doing handstands and the almost-splits
- Wall climbing
Top 10 Things You're Not Good At:
- Facing challenges with a go get 'em attitude (you so want to succeed the first time you try something new and when you don't, you're very hard on yourself ... my little apple sure didn't have far to fall ...)
- Trying to fool me (it brings such joy to my heart that you're a terrible liar and a horrible actress - I pray you'll always be unable to tell a lie without it being plainly displayed all over your face)
- Responding and not reacting (though you have improved by leaps and bounds over this past year)
- Doing a backbend without assistance
- Speaking a foreign language (but that doesn't keep you from trying)
- Letting other people talk
- Curling your tongue (you're the only one in our family who can't ... this doesn't go over very well with you)
- Watching a movie quietly (Who's that guy? Why is he crying? Where is that family going? What's going to happen when the friend finds out? Why is she in a cast?) A common theme in our house is, "If you'll watch the movie, I'm 99% sure your question will be answered." Because if you just want answers to these questions, we'll turn off the movie and just read the movie's Wikipedia page.
- Raising one eyebrow (if you ever figure this out, please tell me how you did it. I want to do this too)
My peach. My doll. My precious girl who made me a momma. You, my love, are in a class by yourself. You are an extroverted introvert who knows exactly when she's hit her max capacity for people-ing and needs to hide out for a bit to recharge. You're a wickedly sharp girl who has a penchant for sass and sarcasm. You're a people-pleaser and a talented artist. You crave quality time and are equally delighted by the spotlight a quiet reading nook. You are sensitive, emotional, strong, clever, artistic, kind, and smart. Your brother idolizes you and your parents adore you. God sure gave a gift to the world when He gave it you.
You're nine. Your last single-digit age. Halfway to eighteen (don't tell this to Daddy; it makes him sad). Assuming you go off to college when you're 18, we're at the halfway point of having you at home. THAT is mind-blowing.
My mind is filled with Bible verses that I pray over you. Verses about being honest and kind, verses about being humble and thankful, and verses about working hard. But what comes to mind most often with you, my angel girl, is this verse:
"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses the knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
My heart practically is bursting with my desire for you to wholly rest in the perfect love that God has for you. His love is amazing, complete, and beyond what our little human brains can process. There's nothing you can do to make God love you any more; He's already your Number 1 Fan.
I pray that He would reveal His love to you in wonderfully unique ways - ways that speak directly to your heart. God is so amazing, my girl. He calls each of us to Himself individually and specifically, and I pray that He'll make you sensitive to how He shows His love for you.
There is sweet rest that comes from knowing that you're fully and completely loved by the Creator of the universe. Having this knowledge can prevent you from looking for validation and approval from the wrong things - temporary things, flawed things, .
I love you more than I can possibly express. And even with that, God loves you infinitely more. So He wins.
But I win, too, because I get to be your mom.
Happy birthday, my sweet peach.
Hugs and smooches,
Mommy & Daddy