Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Grade Blessing

September 4, 2012

To my dearest Lilli,

          Tomorrow we will get up, get dressed, get our chores done and head off together on a new journey; first grade! I had to sit down for a few minutes tonight, before I tuck you in bed, just to tell you how much I love you.

I was just upstairs, bent over, my back aching, as we finish the preparations for back to school. There is much to be done; washing the new uniform, hanging up your book bag, reviewing our summer reading, packing lunch, laying out those“just-right” socks for a little girl who would much rather be barefoot! I am flooding in laundry and chores and my heart is overflowing with emotions.

Tomorrow first grade begins. This year, your sixth one, has been a year of firsts.  First lost tooth, first badly scraped knee, brushing back that first long ponytail. You learned to read this year, basked in writing your name in cursive for the first time and boldly belted out, by memory, the entire chapter of Psalm 23.

I’ve experienced my own firsts through you too. You and I have tackled the adventure of trying a new way of eating in order to nourish your body and your skin. I learned how to pull out and “catch” your top baby tooth when it was hanging on by a thread! And for the first time I caught a deeper glimpse into the heart and devotion of my own mother and her life journey of growing me.  As I nursed you back to health, those long days home from school as you recovered from tonsil surgery, strep throat and virus, I imagined how my Mom felt as she helped nurse me this past year during my own healing. This year, after my own hospital stay, my heart has softened and I have felt your every“boo-boo” much deeper, they are my wounds too. I can’t imagine loving anyone more than I love you Lillian. And that’s how Meme feels about me.
            You are my girl and your MeMe’s girl too. I see so much of me and her in you, which is why the tears are flowing and I missing you already. You are responsible, so emotionally aware, thoughtful and brave. Your laugh is infectious. You are moved by music and by worship of our King. You are fun and easy to be around. You have had my heart since the moment Daddy held you up, fresh out of my womb, and placed you on my chest.

You see, I realized tonight just how much I will long for you when you are at school; your toothless grin, your request for “snuggle” time and warm hugs, the way you crack up at your own jokes, your desire to show me your love by obeying the first time, your patience with your brother and sister, your huge smile as you call your DeeDee on the phone “just to chat”.

Lacey and Trippy will miss you too. Their world revolves around you Lilli.  Amazingly, your spirit is contagious! You make everyone around you better. You bring out the best in me, the best in Daddy, the best in Lacey and absolutely the best in Tripp, the best in your Aunt Gin. You see and love us for who we are. Unconditionally.

I feel so incredibly grateful for your Daddy. He loves all of us so much, so much Lilli. When I came to him last spring and asked if we could move you to a new school ,he carefully considered my request and has sacrificed so much to bless me, to bless and grow you spiritually and academically. What an incredible father you have.  I see so much of him in you. Your kindness, sensitivity to others, fierce loyalty, willingness to dote on me when I am in need, they all come from Daddy. You are your father’s daughter.

         So here is your first grade “charge”…. Go and enjoy Lighthouse Christian Academy! I’m praying this new classroom will become a haven for your precious little soul, helping your heart grow closer to Christ and more knowledgeable in His Word. Grow in virtues, in friendships, and in relationship with Jesus Christ.

Be the BEST God has designed you to be! He has given you so many gifts, so many ways to shine for Him. Lilli, be a bright light! The brightest light you can be to showcase our Savior.

 Forever yours, Mama