dear naomi. {you are three}

[I write a letter to my children every year on their birthday, or at least near their birthday. I began this tradition last year. You can read Naomi's second birthday letter here.]

My Dearest Naomi Fae,

It's 15 days past your third birthday and I've thought about this letter every day since. I write these letters on your birthday to reflect back on the year God has gifted you with, gifted me with. And this year, I think I just needed more time to acknowledge that you are three. That we are here. It doesn't seem that old, but to me, it feels like you have been with me since before time. In your three short years, you have a story God has so beautifully orchestrated, I can't wait to share glimpses of grace from this year as you grow. And although three is considered small, I see it as a big milestone. In fact, every day is a milestone, every day is a gift. Will you carry those words close to your heart? You are only three, but that's 1,095 gifts.

You grew this year in part feisty-ness and part sweet-ness. I truly love how God gave you both of these attributes, I think they will serve you well in years to come. Your feisty side often comes out before bed. In which you may leave your room no less than four times after we put you to bed. The other night, or I should say early morning at 3am,  I heard your bedroom door slam, I come into your room to find you and Audrey playing. You are always the first awake, but I think it's because you secretly love the extra snuggles you get with mama and daddy as we try to coax you back to sleep in our bed, but never works. Your independence comes out every time you get dressed. You don't like help, and you have been dressing yourself for a good year now. Which is quite helpful for me, until the occasional moment you come outside in a tank top and shorts and a dress over it with an umbrella and cowgirl boots in 45 degrees. Now, let me share your sweet side, because my oh my, your heart is so full of compassion. You my dear, are (almost) always so quick to share with your siblings. You are a beautiful reminder to me of  where to store my treasures--to not become attached to earthly things, but to store my treasures in heaven. This may not make total sense to you yet (or maybe it does, I never want to underestimate a child's faith, your faith has most certainly inspired mine), but I have a feeling you will continue to be a reminder to me of these verses from Matthew 6. Just a few days ago you asked for a plastic bag. And before I knew it, you had it completely full with toys (one of which was Audrey's, and you hollered at her to ask if it was okay) to give to other children that didn't have any. I love the deep joy you find in giving.

On your actual birthday, you got all fancy and we had a tea party inside at our local mall with our little family and then we visited a local chocolate shop.

You know what is one of my favorite things about you right now? Your little, adorable toddler voice. I love listening to you share your dreams right after you wake because I get to hear your voice go on and on. This morning you told me your dream was about Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) having a little lamb (like Mary had a little lamb). Girlfriend, you crack me up. You love to make up stories and then say "I'm just pe-tending mama" and then you giggle. Before nap and bedtime you always request for me to sing to you. And I love you for that, because, sweet honey, you may not realize it yet, but I don't have most pitch-perfect voice, yet, my voice is your comfort. I will never forget the moment I sang to you while you were recovering from your surgery this past May. You were so peaceful as I laid over you, just singing your favorite song Three Little Birds.

Don't worry, every little thing is gonna be alright. 

This is true. Everything is going to be okay, because God has a plan for you. So much bigger and better than I can ever imagine. And I trust in that plan. Do you know how deep my love is for you? Like crazy deep. Well, God's love for you is even deeper.

You never cease to amaze me, like the other day when you learned to write your name completely unassisted and without prompt. You love playing babies, doing puzzles, and changing 17 times a day. And your imagination blows me away. Just this evening I caught you and Audrey playing with a large black trash bag (I told you guys not to put it on your heads, but continued to let you play with it) and you put your body in it to pretend to be snails then you guys put your arms in it and pretended to be dragons. If I ever get rid of all your toys and give you trash bags for presents, you will know why. Toys are out, imagination is in.

Although I mention you and Audrey a lot, because you two are pretty much two peas in a pod, you have a special affection for your brother. You give him toys in the morning while he waits in his crib for mama or daddy to get him out. You always request a hug from him before he goes to bed and when he wakes. I love hearing you call his name through the house--with the L missing. "'incoln, come here! I have something for you!"

You are just right in our family. You were made to be Lincoln's older sister and Audrey's younger sister. You were made to be our daughter. And most certainly the daughter of our King.

I'm so thankful for you, Naomi. Cheers to three!

I love you to the moon and back.

XO- Your Mama

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