Strength for the Climb

My blog is a personal journey of the blessings I have been entrusted with and the strength I have been given to make the climb. I invite you to follow along as I write about faith, family, and Down syndrome.

Dear Anna...

One of my closest friends' sister had a baby on Tuesday.  Although, she's not just my friend's sister, she has become a friend of mine and also happens to be kinda our neighbor, as a mile separates our homes.  Her name is Anna.  I have known her since she was in high school and have watched her go off to college, find the man she loves, watch her say goodbye and grieve her firstborn, and today I saw the beauty of her gaze on her newly born daughter, Kate.

When Anna was pregnant with Kate, they discovered that she has a heart defect which later led them to find out that Kate would be born with an extra special chromosome.  

In April I was asked to share a devotional at Anna's baby shower.  When reflecting on what I wanted to share with Anna and others at the shower...I thought of  the feelings a mother goes through when becoming a parent.  I asked Anna's mother, sister, and husband to also write 'Dear Anna' letters.   What does every mom need to hear?  Encouragement, belief, love, and support.  Here is my letter to her...

Dear Anna-

What a beautiful day to celebrate you and this precious baby.  Julie asked me a couple months ago if I could share a little devotional and this is what God wanted me and a few from your closest circle of support to share with you...

I can remember the first time I met you.  Your beautiful brown hair was in a pony-tail, you were sweating from hours of practice in the SRC, and you were determined to work hard.  You were a volleyball camper and I was one of the coaches.  Just finishing a drill, you came up to me and asked what you could improve on specifically.  You were introduced to me as Julie's sister, but I am thankful to say that since that year in 2000 we have grown into friends. 

With any new event in our lives, feelings of excitement, joy, anxiety, fear, and doubt can consume our thoughts.  Will I be able to do this?  How will I know if I am equipped? What if I fail?  When I became a mother three years ago, there were many days I doubted my ability to do this or that.  Sleep, wake, burp, change, bathe, feed, rock...all the things I was suppose to automatically know what to do.  Some days a productive day was simply a shower, or celebrating a dirty diaper, a date night, or just time to sit down.  Scripture teaches that God knows all our needs, concerns, and desires but still commands us not to worry. Think about that. Would He ever command something and not enable you to do it? Absolutely not! He wants your trust and—if You allow Him—will prove to you that worry is unnecessary.

 This room is filled with woman from many areas of your life, but the common thread to all of us is YOU!  You have made an impact on us in so many ways and today is a day to share with you that we care, love, and support you through this journey of motherhood.  

We have many similarities in our Type A, planner personalities, work ethics, and now an extra special chromosome will weave us even closer.   Although we will have unique journeys, I want you to know that you will find joy in the unexpected if you allow yourself to truly trust God. 

 Proverbs 16:9 
In her heart a woman makes her plans, but only God directs her steps.  

Anna, God knew what your journey would look like before your parents met in a small college in Iowa.  He knew the day you would fall in love with Paul, the day you would welcome Molly to the world, the day you would say good bye to her, the day you would find out you were pregnant again, and they day you would hear the unexpected news.  God does not make mistakes.  

You will be the best mommy to this precious girl.  When she steals your heart for the very first time, when she smiles at you, when she exceeds your expectations, you will soon discover your life was made for so much more.  You'll become her biggest fan, her biggest advocate, and the biggest encourager!  Your strength of being Molly's mom has prepared you for this baby girl.  

This baby girl will be as determined as her mama.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. 
 Proverbs 3:5-6

I love you Anna!  

When Anna and her husband came over the night they received the unexpected news, we sat around our kitchen table and talked through many of the initial fears we also had.  Each day Chris and I continued to pray for all of them.  We rejoice in knowing God gave them this fearfully and wonderfully made, perfect, precious little girl.  They will be the best parents for her and I can't wait to raise our children together.  We are in this together.

As they left that night and the tears started to change to smiles I boldly said..."Don't worry, it's already worked out...our Jack will marry your daughter and they can live in the apartment that we build onto our house."  

Jack and Kate.  

And yep...this mama is already praying for it.  :)  

All jokes aside, check out the video clip where these two love birds are getting hitched this summer.  Love it.  So...maybe it's not too far off.