304261_10150501338634741_311021005_nToday you are four.


It’s not possible that four years have passed since we first looked into each others’ eyes. But you are no longer a 6lb. 11 oz. baby, and I have the 39″ mark on the inside frame of my pantry door to prove it.

I always knew I wanted to be a grandmother, but you, Lilli…you turned my world upside down with your surprising blue eyes, and immediate bond with me, the grandmother who would become your Mimmie. You and I have something that I hope we’ll never lose, as I seem to be your “safe place,” a blessing I don’t take for granted.

You love to be at our house, and working the horses with your Aunt Maddie. I see you perfectly relaxed in this place, confident in the love we have for you, and in an environment that feels just right. Did you know that is a dream come true for me? That I’ve always wanted to have a place that would be just that, for you, and your brothers and sister, and any more grandkids who come my way? It is pure joy to see you relish this place, and all the things you love in this life.

In contrast to the joys of being four, I also see you trying to make sense of the world this year, as you’ve had to navigate a walking little brother in your house, and understand where you fit in, in the scheme of things. You’re old enough to be held responsible for your decisions, and for listening to Mommy and Daddy, and sometimes that doesn’t all work out the way you, or they, would like. You’ve found yourself having to deal with your own consequences while the little guy is fawned over and never seems to get in trouble. Through your four-year-old eyes, you are unable to see that he’ll be in the same boat as you one day (sooner than later!); you only see that it seems incredibly unfair. I also see you struggling with the fact that your Mimmie and Papa live a plane ride away, and you don’t understand why we all can’t live together at your house and see each other all the time. You are trying to understand the concept of family, within this extended family context, and, closer to home, in that your older siblings live at their mommy’s houses most of the time. You miss us all, and it’s hard to wrap that precious brain around.

All of this breaks my heart, because I don’t want you to have to struggle, or get in trouble, 10014650_10152747790789741_2108945683_nor have any hard thing come your way. But you know what? It’s wrong of me to think that way, because those very things are what help you grow. Those hardships, that rub against you like sandpaper, are what refine you into the fine person I know you’ll become. If you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t fully understand joy or peace. They are absolutely necessary to keep us focused God, the One who keeps us anchored and safe in the hard times. You don’t have to worry about Him not being there for you, because He’s EVERYWHERE at the SAME TIME. God knows how many hairs you have on your head (and why it took so long for them to grow there!). He has Lilliana Grace engraved on the palm of His hand and He will never, ever, forget about you.

Nor will I, my darling. You have made an already wonderful life so much better, because you are the one who made me a Mimmie. Your name is engraved on my heart.

Happy, happy birthday!

Mimmie loves you, Lilli…as big as the sky.


“…I will not forget you.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV