Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy 15th Birthday, Hannah girl!!

Sweet Hannah girl,

You are the greatest surprise I've ever been given.  It took the nurse 4 times to tell me I was pregnant, and I still didn't quite hear her until she handed me a bottle of prenatal vitamins and an appointment card to come back for an ultrasound in two days.  You were prayed for by so many people.  The green crocheted blanket you covered your dolls with was made by a sweet lady who went to our church.  Mrs. Faye told me she prayed through every stitch that you would be born healthy.

And you were.  Those 37 weeks were some of the scariest weeks of my life, and it wasn't until you were born that we knew you were healthy.  We lived with so much uncertainty those 37 weeks, and to hear you cry was the sweetest, most precious sound I had ever heard.

Hannah, there aren't enough words to even begin to describe what a blessing you have been to me.  The joy you have brought to my life has been more joy than any person deserves.  When I say, "I love you from the tippy, tippy top of your head to tippy, tippy bottom of your toes" it doesn't even begin to measure my love for you.

My love is unconditional.  There is nothing you could ever say or do that will change that.  Nothing.  We aren't always going to agree, and I'm not always going to approve of your behavior.  However, I will ALWAYS and FOREVER love you.

I'm in a bit of denial that you are now 15.  It just doesn't seem possible.  One day I was holding a 6lb 9oz baby girl, and today you are preparing to take you driver's permit test.

There are so many things I love about you.  So many reasons I admire you.  I thought it would be fun to list 15 in honor of being 15.

1.  I love your sweet spirit.  I love how you have a deep desire to take care of others.  You are always so sweet to volunteer to help others.  I love how you can see needs those around you have, and how you have the want to help.

2.  I love how you can see beyond the surface of others.  You can always see behind the curtain someone has put up in front of them.  When I was so angry with the bullies you were having to deal with you said to me, "Mama, they aren't bad people.  They are just making bad choices."  Do you even realize how mature and insightful you are??  Sometimes I forget I'm talking to a teenager.  You are more mature than a lot of 30 year old people I know.

3.  I love your giggle.  I love when you laugh your entire body laughs.  Hearing you cry for the first time was a sound I will never forget.  I longed for months to be able to hear you cry, and I also have your laugh memorized in my heart.  They way your nose crinkles, your eyes squint and your curls bounce when you laugh brings so much joy to my heart.

4.  I love your quick wit.  Goodness.  You can snap back with some of the funniest comebacks I've ever heard in a matter of 1.5 seconds.  Sometimes you leave us speechless with your wit.  Add in your sense of humor, and you have us laughing to the point of tears at times.

5.  I love your boldness.  I love how you will call me out when I'm wrong.  It's not always fun to hear, but what a blessing to have a daughter who will show me when I'm wrong.

6.  I love your tender heart.  I love how you look after others and want to make sure they are okay.  You have always wanted to comfort those who need to be loved.

7.  I love how much you love little kids.  You certainly live up to your nickname, "The baby whisperer".  It's so sweet to watch how tender you are with them.  I know you say you never want kids because you want a career in the CIA, but I believe one day you are going to make a fabulous mommy.  But not for at least another 15 years, right? : )

8.  I love how you love your family.  I love that you have a deep desire to spend time with all of us.  Not many teenagers have that desire, and I'm so grateful you do.  Thank you for constantly reminding me how important family truly is in life.

9.  I love how you pretend to not like your sister, but really you love her so much.  It's so obvious you really do love her, especially when you have just come home from spending time out together somewhere.  It is my hope and prayer that when you grow up you will be best friends.

10.  I love how you are always so willing to help me with whatever I need.  It's just another example of how you love to help others.  You have a heart of service, sweet girl!

11.  I love that you have dreams of your future.  I love that those dreams are so far opposite from each other, but you are so certain you are going to be able to do both.  When you were 4 you were certain you were going to marry J.P.  You were going to be a farmer girl in the day time, a waitress at night and be a doctor that delivers babies on the weekends.  Now you want to work for the CIA and be a music super-star.  I'm excited to see what the future holds for you.

12.  I love that you will sit up late at night and watch Hallmark movies and "I Love Lucy" with me.  I love that you get into them as much as I do.  I love Saturday nights when we watch, "When Calls The Heart", and how excited we get to see what's going to happen this week.

13.  I love when you help me cook.  I love being a team with you.  I love chit-chatting with you while we cook.  It's some of my most favorite moments.

14.  I love that we get to spend so much time together now that you are homeschooled.  Homeschooling has had it challenges, and it's been tough working  through all the kinks.  But I love having you with me.  I love that we get to eat lunch together every day, and that you are my side-kick wherever I go.  What a gift to have those moments together!  I love just being with you.  

15.  I love, love, love that every night before you go to bed you tell me you love me.  I love, love, love that before you walk out the door when you leave you say you love me.  Sometimes things are challenging between us.  They are called "growing pains" for a reason, and I love that in the midst of the hard days I have those little reminders that even though you are so angry with me you could scream, you still really do love me.

Hannah girl, I could list so many other things I love about you.  The thing I love most is I know you belong to Jesus.  It's so evident by the way you love others.  Your constant willingness to help out when those around you need help, the way you come to us and tell us you think we should do _____ to help someone and they way you always want to comfort those who are hurting are all evidence of the Savior who lives inside of you.

I know this has been a really hard few years for you.  You've had to go through some really hard things the past few years.  Always remember your identity is in Jesus, Hannah.  Your worth is in the price He paid for your ransom.  He is faithful, loving, compassionate, merciful, gracious, steadfast and will never ever leave you or let anyone take you from Him.

You are His, and He is yours.  Forever and ever.  Cling to Him.

I love you, baby girl!!  You are a gift to our family, and to so many others around you.  I'm told by so many people how much they love you.  We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Happy Birthday!!  It's is my prayer that this year is the best year of your life.