Dear Evelyn Hope,
Oh, my sweet baby girl. There are so many ways in which you have changed me forever. I was on bed rest almost my entire pregnancy with you. I think in some ways, it made me appreciate you so much more because I felt like I had to "fight" for your life. And the only way I could fight for your life was by resting and trusting in God.
Wow. I sure did need that lesson! :-)
You are so much fun. You are petite, and for the longest time, I didn't think your feet would ever grow. But they did. Your slender, elegant feet fit beautifully in your ballet slippers. When we went to see The Nutcracker Ballet at Christmastime, it opened up a world of love in your heart. I absolutely love watching you dance. You are so fortunate to have an older sister. Someone who has gone before you, who knows more about the hardships of this life....but still dances beautifully.
You play hard with your brothers too:
You are very serious about doing your "schoolwork", although you already know your letters and can count...I don't know, at least to 30 but you sometimes leave out one of the teens. :-)
You are a warrior princess. I pray that by God's leading, you will learn what battles to fight, and what ones to let go of. If you find that you are fighting primarily for your own gain, then it is time to rethink the battle. If, however, you find yourself fighting for what is right and true, if you find yourself fighting to keep light and beauty in the world, to take care of those who are not able to stand up for themselves at the time....well then, that is a battle worth fighting. Not only do I pray that you would learn which battles to fight, but I also pray that you would learn how to fight. We live in a world that is captivated by light sabers and other weapons. But this world knows little about the most powerful weapons: the Word of God, held up strong and steady through prayer. A momma, sister, friend, wife-warrior learns that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Many times we are so angry and frustrated with a face in front of us. But be very careful. While people can be very difficult and frustrating.....there is always more going on than we can see. Behind a hard face and a hard heart is often more pain than we can imagine, and it requires compassion and empathy in order to navigate those relationships gracefully.
I guess my encouragement for you, my sweet and spicy 3 year old is this: keep fighting, and keep dancing. This life is filled with a symphony of songs: some upbeat that will have you whirling and twirling through the most amazing moments you couldn't dare to dream of. And sometimes there will be slow and sorrowful tunes that you didn't expect and don't feel like dancing to anymore.
But the secret to the "fight" and to the "dance" is really one and the same:
Rest in Christ.
Trust in Christ.
Be looking for the faithful ones who have gone ahead of you. They have danced to songs you haven't heard yet, but they will help you along and teach you some new moves.
There is no song that will come that Christ has not heard- and yet He turned each note, each melody into an offering of worship to the Father. If you dance with Jesus, you will please the Father, because the Father is forever pleased with His Son. As I have clung to Christ, feeling as if I am tossed here and there by the music, I find that He is the best partner. He never, ever lets go of me. And He won't let go of you either.
I love you baby girl.
Your happy birthday train ride at the zoo.