8 things on your 8th birthday.
And I know that you won't always want or welcome my advice, so I promise to try to refrain from constantly blurting out my opinions as you grow.
I said I'll try, I can't promise anything.
In the newness of this season I have learned a lot. A lot about waiting and listening. A lot about letting go and letting you grow. And a lot about how I try to control things that were never meant to be in my control.
Motherhood is humbling, sweetie. It's a journey of grace, and love, and joy, and pain, and sleepless nights. It's dancing in the rain, and soaking up the small stuff.
And just as I blink and remember my 23yr old belly swollen with your newborn goodness, I also know I'll blink and we'll be ten years from now.
You are unique. Unique among your siblings, and unique among your peers. You won't be any good at being someone else, but you will be great at being you. Embrace the beauty that God created when He knit you together. Inside and out.
Everyone is not doing it. Not everyone is acting that way. Not everyone talks like that. And not everyone thinks its cool. Be a leader.
You are worth it. You are worth that dream you want to chase, that goal you want to reach, and anything else your little heart desires. You are worth waiting for, worth fighting for, and worth the respect of others (especially the boys, my dear). You are worth it because He says so.
Don't be a gossip. You don't want to be that girl. It never ends well. God wants your words to be full of grace.
Focus on your heart, not your appearance. Modesty is admirable. The pressure from our culture can be nasty, be prepared to fight for what you know is true. The state of your heart is more important than your size, or choice in designer clothes - you are more important than a number. And at the end of the day, people want to be with someone who's heart is full of passion and joy...not with someone who only talks about her image or lack there of.
I am your mother, not your friend. This is a hard one for me because I really want you to like me and I know that sometimes you won't. For now though, it's my job to raise you. We'll laugh and talk and shop like girlfriends later. I can't wait.
Show grace. Love people even when they're not your favorite people. Everyone needs Him and you never know what the kid next to you is dealing with. Nothing trumps the grace that He has shown us. It truly is amazing grace, Ella - don't ever let anyone tell you different. Share it with everyone.
I'm here. Anytime you need me. Anytime you need to talk or cry or rejoice, I'm here. I want to know whats happening in your little world. I will wait for you to tell me and I'll try to accept the times that you don't. Just know that I hurt when you hurt, and I rejoice when you rejoice. Tell me all about life, I'll listen.
I love ya, baby.
Yes, you'll always be my baby. And no, I won't call you that in front of your friends anymore.
There is nothing I wouldn't do, no fight I wouldn't fight, and no other earthly love like the one I have for you. It is unique and mysterious and a gift from Him.
You made me a mother 8 years ago, and ever since it has been a gift to watch you grow into the smart and loving girl that you are.