Ellie Turns 8

I can’t believe my baby girl is 8 years old today.

I’ll never forget the day I met you. Your full set of black hair, dark skin—I couldn’t believe you came from me. Your dad held you first and I watched as he beamed with joy, rocking you in his arms.

I remember feeling awe and fear at the sight of your tiny self. I wondered if I was enough for you. Could I give you all you needed and be all you wanted? From the beginning, I’ve wanted to make you proud, proud to call me your mom.

You’ve seen me at my worst and at my best, and loved me unconditionally through it all. You’ve shown me forgiveness and grace at my lowest of lows, because, deep down, you knew I was doing the best I could at the time.

Your love has transformed me.

You, my dear, have been the driving force and my motivation to NEVER give up, no matter what happens. Through loss, through grief, through pain, your life gives me HOPE to rise. To keep going, keep growing, learning, and becoming more courageous.

I’ve loved watching you discover and embrace your unique self. The way you make all kinds of creations out of whatever you find around the house amazes me.

You never stop creating, and it’s brilliant and messy and imaginative. Your effortless creations reconnected me to a huge part of who I used to be and who I’ve always been, but somehow lost along the way. You brought that piece of me back to myself and I’ve watched you do that for other people.

When you create things you inspire everyone around you to do the same. By you doing what you were designed to do, it gives us all permission to do the same.

Freedom. Imagination. Joy.

That’s what you bring to this world, and to my world, and it’s made all the difference.

As you grow, I want you to remember to keep doing what you’re doing. Hold on to your creativity and imagination. Embrace it and be YOU. Unashamed, unafraid, and uniquely YOU.

You don’t fit into a box, none of us really does. We try to make ourselves simple or conform to the status quo so we can understand ourselves, but the truth is we are more complicated than any one element, with so many different layers, emotions, talents, and interests. Don’t put yourself in a box, draw outside of it and make your own way, your own path, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not enough or something isn’t possible, because only you get to decide that for yourself.

Always know you are enough and you are not broken. You are created in the image of God. You are His workmanship, created to do good works in this world. You’re already doing them. So keep going, my love. I’m proud of you!

Love, Mama