I LOVE this time of year. The excitement, the hustle and bustle, and I LOVE shopping for people. I love picking out gifts for people and thinking about what they will enjoy. This weekend (tomorrow in fact) Richard and I will leave the kids with my parents and spend the entire day shopping. And because I know how much my sweet husband does not care for shopping, I've overdone it a little on the organizing the day part. I've got a spreadsheet of the stores, what order to go to them in, and what to get at each store. Added to the spreadsheet are the appropriate discount coupons and codes. It's a sickness. I can't help it. Then we'll get to enjoy a nice dinner and night out. I look forward to this every year!
When that phrase comes to mind I think life. New life. 9 months of wonder. Making plans and God creating and molding. 9 months of development for a new tiny being. Excitement, joy, and so very anxious to hold this new person in your arms.
But the phrase 9 months today, means 9 months without the physical presence of a mother, daughter, sister, wife, and friend. 9 months without Jenny.
But this past 9 months HAS been about wonder, development, and molding. Anxious to feel and new found joys. A new life. Mine.
Just one without Jenny.
Well maybe not without, just temporarily postponed.
9 years ago today, God gave me a gift I daily do not deserve. The blessing of being a Mom. It is a gift that encourages me, strengthens me, challenges me, scares me, and blesses me. I could have never guessed how much joy and growth would occur within 9 years of time.
I have many identities but a favorite is being Ashlyn's mom. She is smart, funny, outgoing, kindhearted, generous, empathetic, talented, loving, hardworking, and she is mine.
Sweet Ashlyn, your smile is contagious. Your joy lights a room and I pray that your light never fades. You are a wonderful example to me of happiness and excitement. Your giggle brightens my life and I'm so thankful for all the special smiles we share. Your sensitive heart speaks to me and while I don't have all the answers to all of life's questions, you take my limited knowlege and wisdom in like a sponge and are always searching to understand. I pray that your enthusiasm for learning never slows and that you search the Word and God's heart with the same zeal. I will never be the perfect Mom, but I pray every night that God will cover those mistakes with his Grace and Love. Ashlyn, I will fight for your faith with every breath I take. That you see Jesus in me and know I seek him even in the midst of my mistakes and fumblings. God has given you great gifts. You heart is amazingly kind. I smile when I see you run into church to see your friends and then you stop to hug some of the Elderly in church. You make them smile and I love how you care for them. You take after me with your love for reading. I love that we share that and I love picking out books that I know you'll enjoy. You have an amazing athletic ability. Very few can outrun you and I love to see your concentration when you play any sport. You have a natural talent that surprises any who watch you and I pray you can use that to God's glory. I love to hear your sweet voice sing. I love to watch you sing and dance and I love to hear you sing along with your ipod. You have no idea we are listening but it softens my heart. Thank you for being open with me and confessing things to me that are difficult to say. Please know that you can always come to me and talk. No matter what it is, I will not love you less. While part of me is sad to see this time slipping through my fingers, I can't wait to see the plans God has already made for you. Plans for your future and plans to bring him glory. I love you sweet girl.
What a wonderful day! It was filled with mixed emotions but there was HOPE and it blessed me.
We spent a wonderful day at church and then to my parents. We decided to ditch the traditional ham and my Dad grilled us AWESOME steaks. You can definitely tell it's a holiday when the dessert dishes outnumber the dinner/lunch dishes~
Just a glimpse of what the kids and I worked on for our Easter treats!