Cheyenne, today you are 14. Happy birthday sweet woman child of mine. 

When I was pregnant with you, I remember feeling so scared–not knowing if I would be good enough for you. I prayed you would be strong and happy. I know there are probably better words to choose but at 17, those words made sense. And each year, I see the fruit of those prayers. 

No matter the heartache you faced,  

             not understanding how to read

the pirate patch 

                            the skin virus

       the mean girls and their little notes

                                            the teasing 

                school probation 


Girl you smiled through it all. I hated to see you hurt but I am astounded over the gifts given within that pain. You are compassionate. You care about other people. You don’t like anyone feeling left out. 

You are yourself. Your father and I are chasing off boys because they like how you are just YOU. You’ve discovered the gift in wearing your own skin–the grace in being yourself because no one else in the world can be you. 

Woman-child, I still feel the ache to hold you in my arms, to rest your Shirley Temple curls into the nape of my neck. I miss seeing you for months into months in your fairy costumes–glitter and tool. Wal-mart isn’t nearly as vibrant since you stopped wearing your glittery wings. 

Now I see you on the verge of womanhood. Growing up, growing out of my arms. I am so incredibly anxious to watch you grow. To have your first date. 

        To discover your true calling

                   To see your art in a museum

                           To drive a car

                                         To meet the love of your love who understands you, inside and out and loves God just as much as you do. 

                     To see you hold your first baby. 

                            To share your gaze over your newborn and for you to understand what it is I feel for you. 

This birthday seems just a bit sweeter and precious because of a tragedy our church family faced yesterday. Life is so precious Cheyenne. Take the gift of Today, hold it, embrace it. Wear it like a string of pearls, living each moment to the fullest–like a collection of memories meant to be unwrapped and worn one day at a time. 

And as I reminisce over your fat cheeks, sparkly eyes and curly hair, I leave you with these promises:

I promise to always tell you the truth.

As you get older this will prove more difficult but always necessary. It will put me in a position of being your least favorite person at times and that will make me sad and sometimes angry. But I will do it. Because the world will tell you the truth in one way or another and I think it is best for you to know that someone will always be honest with you no matter what the cost.

I will always love you madly.

I will be your biggest cheerleader and feel your smallest pain. This love will cause me to be unreasonable, to love you wildly and sometimes smoother you. You are my firstborn–the one who made me a mama and for that I am forever thankful. This means I will love you until my last breath, no. matter. what.  wherever you go, whatever you do, let this mama love warm your heart and remind you that God created you to accomplish so many things.  

I will grow with you.

This will be the hardest for me. I want you little and you want to be big, to go to your first dance, to drive a car. I promise to the best of my ability to help you grow. Just know that you will not go through life alone, I will be with you sharing lessons, giving grace and instilling wisdom. I will pray over every step you take. 

I will be your mother, not your friend.

Life can be tough with a mother who loves you fiercely. I will get in your face in you are in the wrong

and will show by example what is right.  The same fire that moved me forward when you were little is the same fire that burns in my heart for you. I will fight through the growing years so you will make it into your adults years. You will have many friendships but you can count on me to always be your mama, no matter how old you are. 


Happy birthday Cheyenne. I love you so. Thank you for making me a mama. 



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