Monday, January 14, 2013

A Letter to My Seven-Year-Old

 Dear Gabi,
     God has blessed me with four amazing, undeservedly-wonderful children.  You, my sweet girl, are one of those blessings that I thank God for daily.  You are the one that changed me from wife to momma, and although I love you and your siblings equally, there is just something special about the firstborn.
     With you, darling, I have experienced all kinds of momma firsts.  Together, we have navigated our way through growing and losing teeth, tantrums and sweet first words, reading and playing together.  I cherish the relationship that you and I have, and I hope it only grows stronger throughout the years ahead.
     I am humbled and inspired by the person you are at age seven.  I want to tell you about these things that I admire about you because I want you to hold on to these things and make them a part of yourself always.
    1.  First, you have such a tender heart.  When things aren't right between you and someone else, you can't do anything else until that has been resolved.  I hear it in your earnest prayers to God and in your conversations throughout the day.
    2.  Secondly, you exhibit such a spirit of kindness, especially towards your brothers and sister.  I rarely have to remind you to share - you are always a step ahead of me, volunteering your things to others.  Even at seven, you recognize that your autistic brother needs more kindness and understanding than most, and you freely offer it to him without expecting anything in return.
    3.  God has blessed you with an overflowing well of love.  Our days are full of hugs, kisses, and "I love you's" from you.  I hope you know that every time you give Daddy one of those hugs and kisses, you melt his heart and strengthen his resolve to be the best daddy he can to you.  Never stop sharing your love.  Unfortunately, there will be people in the future that make you want to hide and hold love back.  Resolve now to love openly, despite others.
    4.  We named you well, Gabi!  You and I have dozens of conversations all day, and though I may not always look like I am paying complete attention, I am savoring the fact that you trust and love me enough to share what you're thinking.  I pray that you will always feel free to share your heart with me.  I love to listen to your thoughts - it makes me marvel at the lovely young lady you're becoming.
     This weekend of celebrating your seventh birthday will be forever engraved in my memory.  Spending time with you shopping, getting your ears pierced, and having the privilege to get your your first American Girl doll were all priceless experiences.  I am so proud of you for getting your ears pierced!  I know that your fears often get in the way of you having some great experiences.  I totally get how paralyzing those fears can be, no matter how silly they may seem later.  I know every fiber of your being didn't want to go back to the earring store to get your ears pierced, even though you wanted it so badly.  But you managed to find the tools to overcome that fear, and I can see how happy you are that you went through with it.  I will be reminding you of this victory time and again as you face more fears in the future.
    For this year of your life, I have two wishes.  First, I pray that you will grow in leaps and bounds in your relationship with Jesus Christ this year.  Also, I hope that you will be able to make some new and wonderful friendships this year.  I know this is not your strong point.  You hide behind your shyness and wait for others to make the first move.  Ask God for courage, my sweet love, this year to speak up and to be the one to introduce yourself.  You can do it, and you will reap the benefits of good friendships for a lifetime!
    I love you, Gabi!  Happy happy birthday to you!  I can't wait to see what wonderful things this year will bring for you.
          all my love, always and forever,

 {happy surprise!}
 {Daddy's girl always}
{happy chocolate cake}

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