today you are four. {audrey rose}.

[Every year, on my children's birthday, I'm going to write them each letter. I want them to know the good, the challenges, the laughs, and my prayers to them.]

My Dearest Audrey Rose,

Sweetie pie, you are four. You have entered the "kid" tag. No longer toddler. I'm going to say this every year, but I can hardly believe it. YOU made me a mama, my first-born and now you are twirling and rhyming words and changing outfits five times a day and drawing the most beautiful detailed pictures and cracking eggs all by yourself. 

Oh my, do you love to sing and dance. You really would prefer to dress up all day and twirl around then play with toys. Often times I will find you in your own world making up songs or singing a princess one and dancing like there is not a care in the world. Will you always dance like that, please? Because, truly, we don't have to worry. That's my prayer for you, that you cast your worries on the Lord. [I have to remind myself of that daily.] 

You my dear, are such a sweet sensitive one. I should have known since the moment you entered the world in such a delicate way--with your heart surgery at just a mere five days old. I love how you feel when someone is sad and rush to them to find out what is wrong. Even if in the middle of a dance recital. [Yes, you did this.] You don't like to feel hurt and you don't like others to either. I pray that you use your sensitivity to help others. And I truly believe you will. Your prayer often includes praying for the boys and girls without mommies and daddies. You specifically pray for the boys and girls without panties, which is funny to hear, but holds a lot of truth. [I shared a story with you about sending undergarments over to boys and girls in Africa, a true need there. That story stuck with you.] You also have recently asked if we can give food to those who don't have any. I told you we definitely can, and I also told you one day I would like to go on a Missions Trip with you, you will understand that better when you're a bit older. 

You are getting good in the kitchen. At any available moment you ask if you can help me cook or bake.  Yesterday, I let you crack eggs and open them all by yourself (before you just cracked and I opened). You have conquered the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is a lifelong skill, pb & j's never get old, even as an adult. I love how you measure out ingredients and then with your tiny index finger you scrape off the extra to level it out. Do you know how many times you ask me if you can have a lick while we bake? You ask until I give in, I'll tell you that. 

Princesses are your thing. I never thought I would give in to the Disney Princess craze, but I have, because it makes your heart happy. And well, I found my prince charming. But know this, you, YOU, are beautiful just the way you are. God made you, and there is no one else like you. He wanted you to have those beautiful big brown eyes and light color hair with a small wave to it. And that beautiful gappy smile. Parts of your looks will change over the years, but remember, it's what's on the inside that truly matters. Let your heart shine. 

One of my very favorite things to do with you is art. I love that you love to draw and paint and color and create and write. Yesterday at the library you drew a picture of a person, I asked who you were going to send it to (you were putting it in the pretend mailbox), and you responded "Jesus." I'm positive He got it. My prayer is that you always desire such a pure relationship with our Creator. 

It's crazy how I can predict so well how you will respond to things and act out if you are lacking sleep. You know why? Because you have my personality through and through. I understand your sensitive side, I can cry at the drop of an "I do" at any wedding. I know that you like structure and boundaries, because I'm like that too. You've never been a big mess-maker, or marking on walls, or ripping pages out of books. (Your sister took on that role.) If a rule is made, you pretty much follow it. And it shocks you when someone doesn't. You point out every single biker that doesn't wear a helmet. Or if there is trash on the ground. 

Your memory astounds me. You will bring up something that happened over a year ago, like cotton candy at your cousin's birthday or how I painted your foot to make a turkey out of it (last Thanksgiving). My prayer is that you remember the smallest things, make the biggest impact. 

My love grows every day for you. Every single day you do something that makes my heart pitter-patter.  I love watching you grow, especially as you begin to really question who Jesus is and what heaven is all about. Can it really be better than being here on earth with your family and Barbie mermaid? Yes, my dear, it really is. 

I love you, a bushel and a peck.



(I was really sick one day, and you just stopped and prayed for God to make me better.)

(Probably my very favorite picture of you. Playing dress up with mama's clothes and hat.)

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