The morning is still new. Birds are singing. It is still outside. The flag is barely moving.
It is a beautiful day! Today is also Leah's birthday.
Happy birthday dear daughter! (yes, I know she is my daughter-in-law)
As was stated at Ashley and Michael's wedding - each kid is loved like a true daughter or son... we don't classify them as "in-laws" as there is just something about that word that often people make fun of. (actually especially about mother-in-laws!)
Leah - what can I say about her?
I remember when Joshua came home from camp. Summer of 99 I believe it was. He was 17.
He showed us a video that was made at Senior Teen Camp at FBC. And he told us about a girl he met - and her name was Leah Hayes.
Well let me tell you - it did not take long to play the name game, and find out that Leah was no stranger, or should I say her parents were no strangers to me, back in the old camp and church and youth days.
Shortly thereafter we met Leah, when Josh brought her for some of out "Thomas Reunion" at FBC. And then it went from there - I think one of the first outings with the family was at the Beausejour Rodeo and Stampede! It seems like forever ago. So much has happened since he introduced us. I guess time has a way of passing...
I also know that "life" has a way of affecting/changing/molding/influencing us...And we know how hard life has been lately.
As a mom, I can honestly say that I love you so much Leah. You are truly the girl that God provided in response to our prayers on his behalf - when he was a tiny baby... You Leah, are a GIFT in the most purest/truest sense of that word. And how much we love you. Not sure you will ever know the depth of that... but we do.
I have watched you and Josh fall in love - and work through those early years of dating - and how you supported him in his year away at Fire College. You have walked through a lot of incredibly hard stuff in your young lives. I remember watching you as you walked through Josh's work related accident. How hard that was - I remember wanting to rush to his side and dad gently reminded me that YOU are the one who is right there to walk through the tragedy with him. You have encouraged him in all of his endeavours. You and Josh together are a strong force! Your strengths compliment one another.
And over the past years I have watched as you and Josh walked through the incredible joy of expecting Jay and the incredible sorrow and grief following his silent birth. It has been so hard as a parent, and I know your parents would say the same thing - to watch you in the depths of grief - the depths of despair, and not be able to do a thing for you to ease the pain. I have heard the wisdom come from your lips... I have heard as you wrestled through this pain, and continue to. This alone has made you and Josh older than your chronological years. We would have given anything if we could have taken away your pain.
Over the past 5 months since Everett's birth, I have watched you as a mom.... an amazing mom
I have watched as you patiently and persistently figure out your little man's schedule for sleep so that he gets the best quality sleep he can have! I love watching and hearing you as you unabashedly tell your little guy how much you love him, and how incredibly beautiful he is! How that delights my heart! Sometimes you second guess yourself - but I want to tell you that you are wise. You make good decisions. You are a wonderful mom!
Today is your birthday. You are so loved! We thank God for you - and it is our prayer that this year will be one that continues to bring healing to your heart... a year that continues to bring great joy to your heart... a year that brings surprise and more than you could ever ask for, or imagine from the Lord. He is Sovereign, and yes, we do not always understand his ways... But He holds you tightly in the palm of his hand.
I want to have a bit of fun with your name - hopefully I can do it one just one cup of coffee!!
Let me count the ways you bring joy into our lives - we watch you laugh. You are hungry to learn new things, especially now in regards to parenting. You lean on the Lord for your strength. You love fully - your husband, your sons, and your family and friends. You are a lover of all things that bring joy to your life!
Embrace life! Throughout your life God has given you wonderful friends. You embrace each one, making them feel loved and special. That is a gift. You live life fully! Enjoy this day and the years to come Leah!
Always a thinker. I see that in you. Sometimes when we talk, I notice you quiet and then you speak. You want to find clarity in what is said. You sometimes worry about how what you do/think/say will affect others. You are a wise woman, a godly one, and one who is interested in growing more in wisdom and strength! Keep thinking Leah - and keep allowing yourself to pour into the lives of others whom you touch! You are also an amazing wife and an amazing mom!
Honest. Whether through your words or your actions - it is your desire to walk the talk, and life for Jesus. You care about that. What we see is what we get -- you are the authentic, genuine person God has created you to be. You are also hardworking, humble, honorable, humorous. I am sure there is much more!