Friday, June 22, 2007

She's Sweet 16!

This week has been so full of joy and happiness as we have come together for our 3rd annual Shine Retreat! What made this one even more special? The blessing of our daughter's 16th birthday!

We were so blessed to be able to have many of her friends, all wonderful and truly amazing examples of Christian lives. We did miss those who weren't able to be with us, but know that they were there in spirit!

You can read a wonderful account of the event here on Mickey Miss' blog. I would try to write my own, but hey, I'm on vacation and my brain is not in "think" mode! So I'll hijack hers!

A huge highlight this past week was the visit from some of our cousins from Michigan. It always so hard to say goodbye and can't wait until the next time we see one another. And now that I know that they sometimes read this blog, I get to say HI GUYS!!!!!!!!!

Let's see if they can figure out how to comment...

Now on the subject of 16 year olds, I must say, it has been a true joy to raise one. Bean is such a wonderful person, such a thoughtful, caring, and loving soul. Her family and friends adore her. She is definitely a 16 year old girl, complete with mood swings, but she holds herself to a very high standard and usually lives up to that standard.

Being her mother, I try to find the times to tell her how much she means to me. But, I usually fail. I know we all remember how hard it was to talk with our parents when we were teens. But I assure you, it is just as hard, if not harder to talk with your teen when you are the parent. They feel we don't understand them, and we only wish they could understand us.

I know she reads my blog, so taking advantage of this moment, I hope you will indulge this mom and let me tell my sweet little girl a few things.

Bean, you are awesome. You are beautiful. Beautiful to look at and beautiful inside. You inspire me to be a better person, a better mother. I am sorry that I don't say thank you for all of those things you do that I don't seem to recognize. They do not go unnoticed, just unmentioned.

I know that sometimes, well, ok, a lot of times, your parent's rules don't make a whole lot of sense, but believe this. These rules are one way that we tell you we love you. We love you enough to be nosy. We love you enough to be embarrassing and ask questions that might make you cringe. We love you enough to say "no". We love you enough to say, "you must".

Perhaps one day, God will bless you with children and then some of what we done might make more sense. Maybe it won't.

Do not go to bed tonight without knowing this. YOU ARE LOVED! You are so loved! Each day we pray that we are doing the right things for you, the things that God wants us to do for you. Each day, you make us proud. You make us smile. You make us deeply grateful to have a daughter like you!

As you grow into young adulthood, never forget that we are always here for you. We are always a safe place, even when you are afraid that we won't understand. Know that we will NEVER abandon you. We will ALWAYS support you. We will FOREVER love you.

You are our living angel.

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