You don’t often show up in pictures or stories on this blog because when I ask for your permission to post things about you, you usually ask that I don’t share them. And that is completely okay. I respect that and want to honor you in that regard.
However, I am so thankful that you gave me permission to write this post. Because it’s something I’ve wanted to share for a long time.
Thank you for how you constantly challenge me to be myself. To not worry about what other people think. To let my personality on the inside shine out on the outside.
As your mom, I couldn’t be prouder of you. Maybe our tastes in clothing are completely different. Maybe there are moments when I wish that you cared just a little bit more about what you wear. But then I realize, that’s my pride — and that’s me caring more about what other people think than about letting you be who God created you to be.
I’m so glad that you care so much more about people’s hearts and about reaching out and helping people than you do about what people think about you. I’m so glad that you are confident in your own unique style and personality. I love how you rock those gym shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes like nobody’s business.
I am so inspired by your desire to attract friends who really care about you as a person and who want to love you for who you really are than about trying to change who you are in order to have other people like you.
Thank you for how you continually encourage me to be true to who I am. To blog authentically. To live authentically.
Thank you for how you challenge me to stop caring what other people think and to be all that God has created me to be. Your courage and confidence as a person has motivated me to “come out of my shell” little bit by little bit.
You’ve challenged me to post more of the real-life stuff. To let people into our home and life — even when it’s messy and chaotic. To be okay that who I really am is not necessarily going to be exactly who people want me to be — but it’s going to be true and true is always better than fake.
I’ve seen you step outside of your comfort zone in big ways this past year. You’ve joined the swim team, you’ve poured hours and hours into swim practice, you’ve worked hard to improve your strokes, and you’ve faced your fear of competing in front of large crowds.
Other people had no idea that you were sick to your stomach about having to step up on those starting blocks and dive into the water, but I knew. And my heart wanted to burst when I saw you hold your head up high, dive in, and attack the water.
Moving away from your home and relatives and friends was very hard for you. But you bravely faced many new things — a new neighborhood, new church, new routines, new friends, and a new lifestyle.
You’ve experienced loneliness. We’ve cried together over what we left behind. And then you’ve dried your tears, punched fear in the face, and met new family after new family and went into new situation after new situation.
It hasn’t been a smooth ride for you, nor us. But you’ve trusted God through it, talked openly with us about your fears and hurts and sadness, and pressed forward — embracing the newness and choosing to live fully right where you are.
Thank you for how you love well, care deeply, and give generously. I couldn’t be more proud to be your mom.
You are one-of-a-kind and God has some great adventures for you in your future. Keep charging ahead with brave resolve, contagious courage, and unshakeable confidence.
I love you, sweet girl. You’ve forever changed my life.
Your Grateful Mom