Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 19th Birthday, Sara!!

This sweet baby girl is 19 today.


I remember people telling me to savor every moment warning me time would go by in the blink of an eye.  They weren't kidding.

It seems like yesterday she was born.  It's hard to believe how many "firsts" we have experienced with her.  She was our first born.  I remember the first time I saw her over the curtain in the operating room.  Four hours later I finally was able to hold her for the first time.  I remember the first time I fed her and changed her diaper.  Her first bath when she pooped on me for revenge when I lifted her out of the water.  The first time she slept through the night I felt like a new person.  Her first smile made my heart leap, and her first laugh out loud made tear up.  There was the first time she rolled over, the first time she sat alone and the first day she crawled.  The first morning I walked into her room to find her standing in her crib all smiles and giggles.  Her first word was a delight to our ears.  Her first steps we cheered.  Her first birthday came all too soon.

Before we knew it, she was experiencing her first day of preschool.  And the first day of kindergarten where I embarrassed her because I cried.  Her first day of high school I was more fearful than she was, but not near as fearful as her first day of college.

So, now we enter the first day of the last year of her teenage years, and I'm finding myself full of mixed emotions.  Mostly, I'm grateful.  Grateful she's my daughter, but mostly grateful she's a daughter of the King.

This past year we have watched Sara mature way beyond her years.  Our little girl has become a precious young woman.  We've watched her compassion for others grow, and the love for her Savior become deeper.

And we are grateful.

Sara is now a sophomore in college.  She was just hired a few weeks ago to work on staff at Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic where she is surrounded by Christian women of all ages.  She was asked this year to join the ministry team for RUF (Reformed University Fellowship).

And we are incredibly grateful.  Grateful the Lord holds her close and continues to soften her heart toward others.  Grateful that she deeply desires for those around her to know Jesus, and for her own love and knowledge of Him to increase.

We are so blessed to have her in our lives.  I could write a book about how much I love Sara and how proud I am of her, but Hannah and I thought it might be fun to do something a bit different.  We sat down and I asked Hannah nineteen questions about her big sister.  I'm still laughing at her answers, and still teary over how sweet and precious some of her answers were.

So, I asked Hannah ....

1.  Describe Sara to me.  She is a true blonde at heart, efficient, compassionate, a protector and photogenic (a.k.a. a camera hog).

2.  Describe your sisterhood.  For Sara it's what yours is mine, and what's mine is MINE.

3.  What is your favorite thing about Sara?  She provides me with many opportunities for new jokes.

4.  What is your biggest pet peeve about Sara?  Refer to my answer in number 2.

5.  What is the greatest thing Sara has ever done for you?  She always puts me first, and she's overprotective of me.

6.  What do you think is Sara's favorite thing to do is?  Plan her future marriage to Judah Akers from Judah and the Lion.

7.  What does Sara want to be when she grows up?  Well, if she marries someone poor and she has to work, she wants to be some sort of social worker.  If she marries someone rich then she'll be a shopaholic.

8.  What would you say Sara's motto is?  Work hard, play hard, nap hard.

9.  What is the funniest thing Sara has ever said?  "If you put too much salt in the water it will dry it up."

10.  What is the craziest thing she's ever done?  She tried to put me in the dryer when I was a baby and tried kill me.  (For the record, Hannah had the colic 24/7 the first 4 months of her life.  Sara overheard someone telling me to put her on the dryer because the vibration might help soothe her.  Sara thought they said in the dryer, so I walked in the room while Sara had Hannah around the neck trying to put her in the dryer because Hannah was making her ears hurt.  I was literally out of the room less than 2 minutes when this happened.)

11.  What is your favorite Sara quote?  "My family should really count their blessings.  I've cooked dinner two nights in a row and I've not caused anyone to die yet."

12.  What is your best memory of her?  Anytime we have sister time.

13.  Is she a good sister?  Depends on her mood.

14.  Are you ready for her to move out?  YES!!  Will you miss her?  She'll be back when she's hungry.

15.  Will she make someone a good wife one day?  I pray her future spouse can go days without eating or is rich enough to afford eating out every day.

16.  People are always asking both of you who is the oldest.  How does this make you feel?  She must act pretty childish, huh?

17.  Is there anything about Sara you would change?  No, because I wouldn't want her to become the favorite daughter.

18.  What is the sweetest thing Sara has ever said to you?  "When I move out will you move out with me?  I can't live without you."

19.  As the oldest, Sara is supposed to be setting an example for you.  How do you think she's doing?  I would love to be just like her.

From the moment Hannah was born, Sara referred to her as her baby.  Another child tried to touch Hannah while we were still in the hospital, and that was the beginning of Sara being protective of her little sister.  Don't get me wrong.  They fight like cats and dogs sometimes.  They've hit each other, scream at one another and call each other names.  They are sisters, after all.

But I have loved watching them grow into being friends as they get older.  I tell them I am praying that they would just at least like each other when they get older.  I'm actually praying they are best friends as adults.  I pray they are all always close.

Hannah may have answered these questions like a true little sister, but I've watched Hannah plan for weeks what she was going to buy Sara for her birthday.  The saved money she earned from babysitting jobs and the time and effort she put into Sara's gift was so precious.  Sara was super excited about everything in her bag, and when she had time to stop and think about what all her sister had done, her sister's efforts meant more than the contents of the bag.

Those Judah and the Lion tickets are a close second though.

Happy Birthday, Sara Bear!  I'm in disbelief you are nineteen today.  I know we tease you ... a lot, but we are so proud of you.  I pray this coming year you grow deeper in your love for Jesus and you learn to show that love to others even more than you already do.

You are so very loved.


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