Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Stephanie!

My daughter, Stephanie, is having a birthday today. That means that twenty-five years ago, I was giving birth to her in a hospital in Reston, VA, terrified, very young and absolutely thrilled that epidurals did what they claimed! (smile)

I also remember being a bit confused by the wave of emotions that were very new to me. Holding your first child for the first time is probably the closest thing to heaven on this side of life. Seeing her eyes, her wiggly body, hearing her cries, counting her fingers and toes... It was more stimuli in a few moments that I ever thought possible! How did this perfection come from me? Were those tears in my young husband's eyes? I'd never seen him cry before.

Someone once said that once you become a Mother, you wear your heart on the outside of your body. I believe that. I've never felt so vulnerable, so proud, so thankful, so filled with joy, as I have since becoming a Mother. I'm so thankful for the gifts of my children. I proudly wear my heart on my sleeve.

I'm also so blown away by the fact that it's been a quarter of a century! That is just plumb crazy. How the time flies! I'd always heard time goes quickly, but I never realized just how quickly. I remember when she was about four years old and we were pushing her in her stroller on a cool night. The time had just changed, so it was darker earlier. She looked up at the dark sky and said, "Mommy, I think God must've cleaned the moon tonight. It's really bright!"

Gosh, that seems like yesterday.

Stephanie has been through a crazy year of transition and she has handled it with such grace. I am always so inspired how she looks at life. She has a way of seeing the lessons God is weaving into her life in the sweetest ways, even in the hardest times. What a gift. She posted on her Facebook the other day:
Tonight the Lord let me catch a tiny glimpse of what he might feel with all of us. I am working at a senior living center that cares for residents suffering from dementia. While trying to get a resident ready for bed tonight, I kept reminding her that I was trying to help her and I cared for her and wanted the best for her. All the while she was hitting me and calling me horrible names. It reminded me of all the times God has told me that his plan for me is ultimately for my good yet I kick and scream and lose heart. He knows what's ultimately best for me. I'm grateful for his patience.
Wow, I would hope that is how I would have seen it. I know that I would think twice about complaining or having "hurt feelings" over something like that after reading her post, though!

If it were not for this precious woman, I'm not sure where Rod and I would be with our faith, either. I'm not sure if you've had a chance to read how God used her in our lives to help us see His Truth, but if you haven't, please take a few minutes to read this. It's pretty incredible how God uses our children, isn't it?

Today, I'm thankful for the gift of my daughter. It never ceases to amaze me that I feel like I'm the one receiving a gift on my children's birthdays! I get to remember the incredible ways that God has blessed me with each one of them and the world gets to join in with me as we get to celebrate them for the entire day!

Happy Birthday, sweet Stephanie. You are so incredibly precious to me. I love your heart for others and your deep trust and love for the Lord. You give me strength and you inspire my heart to love well. Thank you for all you've brought into our lives and our home! Enjoy your special day!!

Love, Mom

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