Wednesday, September 7, 2016

first grade.


so much of the words and the story being told in this place are for you and your sisters. when it started there was only you and i wrote it down so i wouldn't forget. it will be a gift to me one day  when you read about how our story changed forever when you were just a little baby.

today you started first grade. you are there right now. you got early and dressed quickly and asked me to curl your hair. you look so beautiful today. we are so proud of you. we don't always see eye to eye and getting on the same page can be complicated. but my love for you runs deep. my forgiveness is endless. i care more about your heart, your kindness, empathy, joy, and loving your classmates than i do about anything else. i know you are going to do fine. your dad and i are confident about that. you are strong and determined. but don't let the grades, the spelling words, or reading get the better of you. i know your a little nervous because reading isn't your favorite thing. but so much of your education for us is revolved around showing kindness, being a friend, and respecting those around you. i will remind you of all this at bedtime tonight. i told you yesterday in the car after meeting your new teacher...but i will probably obnoxiously tell you over and over. be patient with me. i am not that good at a lot of things as your mom. but hopefully you see the good outweighs the not as good. i am very aware of my own shortcomings. i hope i am aware than you even are...but your very observant so it probably wont get lost on you. i am working daily to focus more on who you are and your character less about behavior and trying to manage it. releasing the pressure to be "good." i don't want you to perform. i want you to be you. make mistakes. try again. work towards a life that exudes deep love for other people. friendships, joy, creating, having fun, and serving people around you because Jesus served first. before anything else. lets both be me more like that. you want to?

we believe in you. you were created for some many things. specific to you. only ava can be ava. rest in that. no pressure. but learning to confidently live into the girl and someday the woman who God created you to be.

how special is that!? you don't have to be or look like or act like anyone else. i hope you believe this for yourself so hard. i don't always do this well. i fight the lies daily. on the hour that i am not enough. but i want more freedom for me and for you each and everyday. lets do this sweet little girl.

since cancer i experience other peoples stories of suffering so much deeper. the tears and the lump in my throat stay very close to the surface. i am intrigued and seek out hearing how others walked through pain and the fear and the unknown. i am forever thankful for the awareness it has given me for others around me.

i was listening to a podcast recently and the woman speaking suffered an awful stoke that left her paralyzed. when she woke up after a couple months in a coma she said to her dr...i am not supposed to be here. i should have died to which the dr, no if you were supposed to die you would have died. but you didn't. so don't waste this precious life." she went to say that those words are what have fueled her heart, her recovery her family, her progress, book writing, and sharing her story throughout the world.

when we walk through something that maybe we weren't "supposed" to make it out of...i hope we grab a hold to the life and purpose that God has for us. to use our story to tell others about the greatest gift on earth. that isn't found in stuff. but forgiveness and life in Christ. an endless path of grace and joy in eternity. we are not our own. but we are His.

lets share our stories with one another. our pain. our joy. our fears. our truth. the real nitty gritty stuff. that makes life embarrassing at times. marriages falling apart. troubled kids. depression. fear. deep insecurities. you name it. lets share it. because in that we find that we are not alone. not even a little.

i do not in anyway shape or form have it all together. i hide inside myself. i struggle with an inner dialogue that tells enough today to be worthy of being a mother and a wife. you stay at home so make sure dinner is made. house is clean. laundry is done. and you better do "enough" to be worthy. it's so annoying to be stuck in those lies. what if we could just live our life oppose to battling internally about whether we are valuable enough. i hate the word enough. it literally plagues me. usually just on the inside. its this conversation within more, relax, do more, relax and just be, do more, and sometimes...if i give it space a still small voice whispers..."stop. you are enough libby. because of Who i am and because i made you." i want to stand firmly on that so badly i can sometimes taste it. or i can tell the woman around me that i love the are enough. you are enough. you are believing lies that you were never meant to. why is it so much easier to share with others than believe for ourselves?

our culture is obsessed with what we do and how much we make. i might be obsessed with that myself. or i've been trained too...either way its never how it was meant to be.

so my little first grader as you go out into the world today without me or your dad or you in the truth that i am fighting behind the scenes and sometimes in front of you to be a mom that is honest. forgiving. loving. and truthful with the battle inside of her. you may feel the same things as me...we just haven't been able to express it to one another yet. but i want more for you and your sisters. i hope i can go before you and be an example of a mom that is choosing Jesus and grace and love everyday. even though some today i wake up irritated with you...for no reason at all. i am sorry about that. i promise to ask for forgiveness every chance i get. let's be a group of girls who love fiercely, intentional, and stakes our life in Christ...not in this world.

your teachers and classmates are lucky to have you. let's love them back.

you're a great friend and a better daughter...even though it can sometimes feel like we don't always get each other. i am committed to working towards knowing you and loving you in the way you need to be loved and cared for...thank you for being patient with me. i desire to laugh more and smile each time we catch eyes.

all my love. forever.