Some days parenting just takes my breath away. It’s not because they grow up so quickly (which they do) or even because it’s hard (even though sometimes it is). It’s more the realization of who these precious children are becoming. And, each year as I take birthday pictures, I see it clearly.
It’s not so much that I see it in the pictures themselves. I see what’s behind the pictures. I see what each expression, look, and smile represents. I see what we’ve experienced and what maturity has come over the course of the year. And I feel overwhelmed because I see what God has entrusted to Doug and me. It’s amazing! And beautiful! And, yes, breath-taking.
Today, we get to celebrate everything about this beautiful fifteen-year-old. She was born at a rather busy time of the year. It always seems like we’re in the middle of something each time her birthday rolls around!
Last year it was an emotional move. And while there are times she wants to pack up and move back out to farm country, the things she’s learned over the past year because of that move have been tremendous. The uprooting and replanting has matured her spiritually in phenomenal ways. I love watching her dig into Scripture, sensing her brain process truths, and seeing how each new discovery impacts her blossoming and personal relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
She loves Scripture. She loves digging. And I love the passion in her voice and the light on her face when she talks about the things of God.
This year as her birthday rolls around, we’re in “get back to work” mode after spending a week away as a family. So, when asked what she wanted to do, she just said she wanted to keep everything low key. Nice, quiet family time. She might regret that, though, if her brother and sister keep coming up with goofy ways to “celebrate” her!
She takes it all in stride, though. She’s pretty fond of her siblings, even when they drive her crazy. And in all honesty, not much phases this creative, laid back, hard-to-ruffle teenager! She just goes with the flow.
Although she still loves the violin, she’s decided that she really wants to put most of her energy into the piano. Piano playing is her relaxation. We are determined to get her into piano lessons this year, and she will continue to pass what she learns onto her siblings.
She’s also making progress on her novel, although she gets distracted by little side stories. I finally got to read chapter one! It’s going to be good, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!
I love that she is developing that bit of a romantic side that comes with growing up, but she’s interested in honoring God with her relationships first and foremost. With her nerdy and somewhat introverted personality, she doesn’t always know quite how to merge in with her more athletic friends, but she does love them. I love how she is proud and free to be her nerdy self – she likes being Olivia!
Sometimes she’s not quite sure she’s ready to grow up. But, she’s doing a great job of it! I know we’ll have our ups and downs, and we’ll experience some of those standard teenage tiffs. But, I’m looking forward to this new year. I’m excited to see how God grows and matures her even more. And I’m so incredibly proud to be the one she calls “Mom.”
Happy birthday, sweet Olivia! We love you and are proud of you!