February 13...one of my favorite days of the year! On this day in 1992, God gave us our second child and our first and only daughter! Few people bring as much pleasure to my heart as Shellie. The day I met her my heart burst, and it has never stopped. I am so in love with this girl.
So here's my list of top ten reasons I love her so much, in no particular order:
9. Her love for God is so obvious. I see in her the kind of soft heart I wish I saw more often in others. She is a person of unwavering conviction.
8. I love seeing God place in her impulses toward serving Him. In the near future she will be headed with CRU to Germany for a week, and is exploring ways in which God might use her effectively. That is so cool to see in your kid!
7. Her creativity is astounding. It was on full display this past year. She designed some incredibly effective video pieces for SouthField as we prayed and determined what God would have us give toward the building. Everything she touched was over the top excellent!
6. She is a fiercely loyal friend.
5. Her heart is so tender. She's been praying about going overseas for an extended time. As she talked it through, she cried so hard at the thought of not being home to see the building open. She wants to be here and there. How many kids would feel so torn over this? She longs to share this moment with all of us. Her strong desire motivates and challenges my own.
4. I'm glad she decided to spend her un-senior year with her good friends living at ISU. Shellie kicked out college in 3 years, but sacrificed many of the fun times others experience. Getting finished early gave her the freedom to enjoy a year exploring her gifts and deepening her relationships. I'm so happy for her.
3. Only three left...I still have too many. I love her room. It is the happiest, brightest room in the house, filled with her creations and her personality. It screams Shellie! When she can't be here, going in there makes me feel close to her.
2. This past year she grew as a musician big time. Her voice has really come into its own, and she has taken on new instruments. She led a worship experience at church months ago that is still stuck in my heart. She just gets better and better.
1. Shell and Brian gave us the gift of a lifetime. Last May we got to go back to Montana thanks to them. My mind is filled with so many great memories, and so many involve her, whether making us laugh while being photo-bombed by Brian, sharing a majestic morning overlooking the Grand Tetons, climbing to Fairy Lake while collecting amazing wild flowers as well as moments alone exploring the Bad Lands, one of my favorite places on the planet. I am so grateful that they took us back there, and that we got to create so many powerful memories.
So, I ran out of numbers...I still have more to go. I'll save them for next year except to say this...few people in this life know me as well as my daughter. She pays careful attention and knows the details of my life. She knows my heart. To be known that way makes me feel alive. Very few people know me on that level, or have been willing to take the time and effort to go there. I am more in love with her every day. What a gift this baby girl has been to me.