Sunday, August 14, 2016

And then.... She went to Kindergarten

I will never forget the morning I learned about you.... I'd been feeling so sick for so long and had absolutely no thought that it could possibly be you. Nevertheless, when I woke up on December 1st, 2009, the very first thing I learned that day was that you were on the way. Daddy fist bumped the air and skipped out the door with an extra spring in his step...  I spent most of that day crying - silly me, I had no idea that you were my miracle.

I will never forget our first sonogram and telling the doctor we wanted to be surprised by who you were  - we wanted to pray over your character for the full 40 weeks without knowing specifics. It was our joy to pray as we watched you grow, to dream as we prepared our lives for you.... we moved to Coppell because of you... it was my joy to eat cottage cheese and fruit to my heart's content (and it warms my heart to know that cottage cheese is still your favorite food).

July 31, 2010 was the day you were born and was the day my life changed forever. Daddy screamed "its a girl" then had the chance to hold you close.... and then it was my turn. I remember the room, the smells, the euphoric and surreal feeling it still gives me when I think about the first moment you and I locked eyes. Sometimes, you still make that same resting face and I'm immediately transported back to this moment with you in my arms for the first time. If I ever lose my mind, I'm sure I'll never lose that memory... its forever engrained.  We hadn't even named you yet.... but I knew. I knew you were going to be my Eleanor Michael... a little girl of compassion and honor who's life brings glory and honor to God... that is what your name means and that is who you've become.

To say that the next six years have been a blur, or on warp speed, or too fast, or too wonderful, or too EVERYTHING would be an understatement. Nothing could have gone by faster... and yet, I pray I remember details as I do now, for a lifetime. You are not perfect. But you are my joy. From your first coos, to your sarcastic humor... I've had more fun getting to know you than I could put into words. Watching you blossom into this confident, funny, caring, loyal, unique, witty, kind and beautiful little girl is pretty much more than my heart can take. I've learned so much from you and have so much respect for you, already... your humble, yet assured countenance is so graceful. Your kind spirit is contagious. Your smile (even with your mouth closed) displays a heart inside of you so full of joy. Loving you is easy, baby girl. And I had to say all that because now I have to admit this......

Tomorrow, we start a new chapter. Punkin Bottom YOU are a Kindergartener. How do I have a kindergartener? I remember being one, myself! When you walk through that door and you sit down in that classroom, chapter two of your story begins..... and baby girl, you are ready. I may not be, but you are. You are ready to make new friends, fall in love with learning, to be brave and kind and inclusive and hilarious, to continue to be fashioned into the girl God has created you to be... and Eleanor, we can't wait to watch this all unfold! We can't wait to cheer for you, pray for you, pray with you, study alongside of you, challenge you and believe in you.

So as you go... the verse we named you from is, again, a perfectly suited prayer and charge over you:
Colossians 3
12 - Put on then, as God's chose one, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience..... oh Eleanor, you have such a kind and loving heart. May God continue to shape it in His own unique and perfect way for you... we pray you grow to be a girl that is confidently passionate about who she is, sees others, pursues people with intention and works diligently with respect for authority and others.
13 - bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.... we pray you are quick to offer reconciliation, grace and forgiveness. We live in an imperfect world where not everyone will be kind or always choose the right thing, but we pray that you first come to an understanding of the free gift of salvation Christ offers you and that you can truly grasp the overwhelming grace He has extended to you.... this is paramount, sweetie.
14 - And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.... We've always told you that you are the most beautiful girl in the world. And I hope you remember that we immediately follow up that statement with what makes you beautiful... your precious, loving, tender, caring, kind heart makes you beautiful, Eleanor. Never forget that... be loving. We pray you stand out for being kind and unassuming, because you are different in your pursuit of people, and for being FOR others.
15 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful... Its okay to be scared, its okay to be unsure, but Eleanor we pray you lean on our comforter... He is our peace. We pray you take deep root in the knowledge and understanding of Christ, that you know He is good, He knows you, He is for you... and you know how Daddy and I love you more that words can express???.... well, He loves you more. Walk confidently knowing that the Creator of the universe sees and knows and loves you. 
16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.... I can't wait to watch you learn to read. I can't wait to be part of you learning Scripture. I love hearing you sing and it brings me joy to know that as you study, God's word will be implanted on your heart. We pray you hold fast to it all of your days, that it becomes a safe haven and a love story and a way you learn more of who God is... and that it will bring you to praise. 
17 - And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.... You can be anything you want to be, Eleanor. You will work hard, you will lose a lot of races, you will get frustrated and there will be things you don't naturally excel at.... and then there will be the things in which you soar, the things you learn that make your heart sing, that make your heart pump a little faster, that open your eyes to this incredible world we live in and to all the things your incredible mind and body can do. Whatever you do, we love you. We love you, we love you, we love you. Whatever you do, we pray you recognize your life is a gift... and all of the gifts, talents, strengths you acquire are a gift. We pray that you live and learn and respond and grow in such a way that it points to something greater... it points to Christ. 

I would give anything, literally ANYTHING, to go back and revisit different moments (if not all the moments) in these last six years with you. I'd give anything to hold you swaddled up with a paci, cuddle up and listen to you sing "You are my sunshine" as a toddler, go back to the day you took your very first dance class, or saw the ocean for the very first time, or have a conversation with you as a 2, 3, 4, 5 year old again because those memories and moments are some of the best in my life. But I'm ready for chapter two... I'm giddy for the memories we will make in your kindergarten year.... and beyond. 

You are my first miracle, Eleanor. Loving you is easy and profound and knowing you is life-changing. I love you, fiercely, and pray for years and years and years and years to get to know you, to love you, to disciple you and to enjoy you. You'll be my best girl, forever. Like I said, I may not be ready... but I am because you are. You are ready, sweet girl.... and so mama's heart swells. 

Class of 2029... here she comes.