Ianna’s birthday

October 2, 2015
My baby girl grew up…

Ianna is 15!
When we learned we were expecting our first baby- a girl, I had a little secret prayer…
God, could she have a lot of red, curly hair?”
Well, to show that in the midst of all the ups and downs of life, He does hear even our seemingly silly prayers….
David brought this bow home on her birthday…
so funny because he’s never seen the animated movie so many compare her to.
I can say though, Ianna is exceptionally
Ianna’s name is Gaelic. We chose a garlic name because I really thought she’d have red hair.  However,  the meaning of her name was significant at that time in our life.  
Ianna means “God’s grace.”  
We were learning a lot back then about 
Grace and Forgiveness and Freedom.
That part of our story will be shared in a vulnerable yet hope-filled post I will write at another time.  
During that season we learned how God’s grace is beautiful, powerful, and sets us free.  
The deepest loneliest pain can become a most beautiful treasure. 
Ianna is our oldest.  Her true beauty is from within.  Oh precious women, that inner beauty that you hold- it will never fade.  
Ianna is strong, determined and has a thriving passion for the hurting.  Her passion at this point in our journey has often brought renewed life to mine.   She is the one who started and maintains our Etsy store because her heart, at this point in her life, has purposed to fight for children “like me and my sisters and brothers but who are suffering.”  
She (not I) is the one who worked with Laura on the instagram auction.   
My little red headed baby girl has grown up.  She’s gone from being a little one to be nurtured and trained to a treasured friend who I have the privilege and honor of coaching through this stage of life.  I’m so amazed at how quickly this happened.  (How often, young moms, do we hear “they grow up fast!, don’t rush it!”?  I used to feel grouchy when older mom’s told me that.  Part of me didn’t want her to grow away and the other part couldn’t imagine another hour of a screaming infant or potty training or….) 
Age 4
But, it became true!  Now I’m the older mom!  My first baby is growing up.  She’s growing up into a business minded leader. This gift was evident as a little girl. I recall how the chocolate almonds I gave to her and her little sister disappeared. She had little Leora and 18 month old Liam put all their chocolate candy into dirt holes in the flower bed next to their play house. David asked her why they were burrying their chocolate. Determined and confident she replied “So we can grow chocolate trees and have ALOT of chocolate candy!”  
On days lately when I have felt discouraged, her texts have unexpectedly come in the dark of night. She knows when I’m awake.  Her texts are filled with hope, faith and truth.
She and her sister, Leora, delight in helping to lighten my load. 
They daily ask how they can help me.  
All those nights of holding my crying (screaming) infant- those first nine months of cruel infant colic where we’d cry together because we were tired and I couldn’t ease her pain…All those times I’d loose my temper with David because I was just frazzled…All those years of watching this sweet little princess, twirl, play, protect, encourage and manipulate her younger siblings…all those hours I treasured and often felt too inadequate to endure….All those years of parenting a sweet and spicy little girl….All that precious time invested…It is coming back on us a million fold though our maturing children.  
Ianna Rose.
You are beautiful forever. 
The English language doesn’t have a word for “love” adequate to describe what a mother feels for her children.  
I LOVE you. 
There is not a word to describe how thankful I am for you. 
I am proud of you more than there are words to describe.
But also know that you are loved not because of what you do, but because you are my daughter. 
You are loved always and forever…. On good days and bad, in success and failure, in good choices and poor ones…All the time.   
Life is FILLED with ups and downs, good choices and mistakes.
Know you are loved ALL THE TIME.
You are free.
You are free to explore and to fail and learn and succeed.  

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