Has It Really Been Seven Years?

In some ways, because of everything that has occurred in the last seven years, the day my daughter was born seems like another lifetime. But in many ways, it feels like just yesterday we were headed to the hospital to deliver our second baby, unsure if I was actually in labor. So unsure, in fact, that we took the time to go through Wendy’s drive-thru on the way! Then I sat in triage devouring my french fries and Diet Coke just in case it would be a while until I could eat again. A few minutes later, the nurse confirmed I was 8 cm dilated then wheeled me off to have a baby!

Has it really been seven years since all that happened?

On the eve of her birthday this year, I became suddenly aware that the moments really are fleeting. As I kissed her goodnight, I whispered excitedly, “This is your last night as a 6-year-old!” Those last couple of words escaped my lips, and I felt the lump rise in my throat. I had no idea I would get emotional at that statement. The realization that my little girl was growing up crashed into my heart like a freight train and released a flood of tears.

When our babies are tiny and helpless, the days often feel 100 hours long. But as they grow, time passes exponentially faster. Somewhere along the way, time just speeds up. One minute, this little girl needs me for everything, and the very next, she’s putting her hair in a ponytail, making her own breakfast, and reading her Lego instructions all by herself.

Seriously. How did I not realize it would be like this?

I heard the phrase at least a dozen times. The days are long, but the years are short, they said. But when well-meaning people say those things, it is often at a time when you can’t get a shower or a full night’s sleep to save your life, let alone focus on the fact that one day you’ll look back and wonder how it went by so quickly! I don’t think it even had the slightest chance of sinking into my exhausted brain during that season. I was able only to accept the grace given for the day and focus on making it through with my sanity intact. The phrase, it seemed, was completely lost on me. That is until I blinked and seven years went by!

I could (and maybe will someday) write a whole other post about the responsibilities and privileges we have as moms in those long-short years our children are entrusted to our care. Because they’re supposed to grow up, right? And we’re called to redeem the brief time we have with them.

But, right now, I just want to give praise to God that, by His grace, these first seven years with my girl have been pretty awesome. Even if they did fly by. And that baby who grew into a young lady overnight, she’s pretty awesome too. Her soft heart and love for others challenge me on a regular basis. She is able to see the beauty in things and people; she is quick to recognize and repent of her sin and to seek forgiveness. She has a profound and unimpeded love for and faith in Jesus. She sings her heart out, despite the fact that singing just might not be her gift. I am so grateful to have her in my life, and I pray God continues to shape her little heart to be more like His.

To better remember these days and to be reminded of what a child-like faith looks like, I want to use this post to document some of the preciousness of my beautiful 7-year old daughter:

What do you want to be when you grow up? A missionary. And a Ninja Warrior. (Because why not?)

Who is your best friend? Sophie (her cousin), because she is my pen pal, and I like to hang out with her.

What has been your favorite daddy date? When he took me to Culver’s and we got ice cream. And I think we went to Menards, but I’m not sure.

Why did Jesus come to Earth? To die on the cross for our sins. I accepted Christ as my Savior, and I get to go to heaven to live with Jesus and have eternal life with God.

What is your favorite thing to do? Hang out with family and play with Legos.

What is your favorite thing about your family? That they love me.

What are you most looking forward to this year? Getting my next letter from Sophie and spending more time with my family.

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