Little Girl(s)

*photo courtesy of Amy Joy Photography – please check her out!*

On the first night that Ellie was born, just over 3 years ago, I was in the hospital having trouble sleeping at like 3am. I stood up and stood over her tiny little body, and I cried over the miracle and great fear of having a baby girl. Then I wrote her a letter.

Having another little girl a week ago, I’m in this crazy nesting mode. I’m about halfway through organizing all the paperwork in our entire house (mostly this is because I forgot to renew my teaching¬†license and I have to track down 3 years worth of CPDUs to input into the system before June 30…whoops!), and I found the letter I wrote Eleanor that first night I knew her:

“Eleanor – shining light, Lynn – water, calm
[and I’ll add Grace – God’s undeserved favor, Olivia – olive branch, a symbol of peace and the truth of God’s promises]

Little girl[s]
I fear for you, because I know what it’s like to grow up as a little girl.
I know the fear of being overpowered
and the fear of being seen as too powerful.
I know the tender heart
and the hardness that comes from never being enough
But Christ is enough.
I know the heartbreak of being unloved
and the brokenness of being lusted after
and the healing of being fully known, fully accepted, and fully loved
because He is enough.
I know the disjunct of imperfect Christian parents.
I know the reconnection of fighting for togetherness
because He is enough.
I know the pain of expected perfection
I know the pride of being right
and the collapse of doing wrong.
He is enough.
Boast in Him – His grace is power and gentleness.
It is tenderness and firmness.
It is whole and exactly right.
It is able to overcome human mistakes.
It is a once broken cord that is stronger when reattached; it is healing stronger than before the break.
It is humility in correction and a covering when there is shame.
His grace is enough.
He is enough.
I only pray that your heart will ache and thirst for this grace – that you’ll be a shining light for His name.’

Dear Baby Hurricane (Week 13),

You have certainly already started a hurricane in our hearts as we try to figure out how we could love something so much that we haven’t even met yet. We wonder who you’ll be. We have already started dreaming about who we think you’ll become. We think you’ll fit your name really well – you’ll be a fierce storm, protective of those that you love and passionate for the things you believe. I think you’ll be as stubborn and strong as me. I think you’ll have Daddy’s sense of adventure and fun. I hope you’ll have Grandpa Kneezel’s brains, Uncle Matt’s sense of humor, Popsicle’s musical talent, Grammy’s willingness to serve, Grandma Kneezel’s huge heart, Aunt Andrea’s kindness and compassion, and, most important to me, Aunt Carol’s passion for the Lord (and her eyesight, please, please, Lord). On a sillier note, I hope you have Daddy’s tan skin, Mommy’s hair color, and Uncle Matthew and Great-Granddaddy’s eyes. I hope you have Daddy’s long legs and someone’s athleticism (because I sure don’t have that and I can’t think of who does. Maybe Aunt Andrea?). Oh, and my feet (not really my feet necessarily, just NOT Daddy’s or Grandpa Kneezel’s).

Of course, we don’t want you to feel any pressure to be perfect, and we will love you enormously regardless of who you become.

I hope you find things to love. I hope the things you love are the best things. I hope you are brave. I hope you are careful.

It’s terrifying, little Hurricane, to think of all the changes the tiny storm will bring our lives, but already, we can’t imagine our lives without you. I’m sure you’ll run like a maniac through the house destroying everything you can reach in about two years. I am confident in this because I have heard stories about how your Daddy acted when he was a little kid, and I am seeing your cousin Sam do those things right now. I bet you’ll have a lot of spunk and tell us “no” an awful lot. I bet you’ll be disappointed in all the times we tell you “no.” I bet you and me will get in some pretty big “will-wars.” Don’t worry, I will win.

I just want you to know that I’m planning to change all of your diapers, even the ones that make me puke. I’m planning to clean up all of your puke. I’m planning to feed you as often as you need it. I am not looking forward to potty training you at all, but I will do it. I’m sure you’ll follow the Hamrick family bed-wetting tradition (sigh). I will teach you how to read and how to sing and how to dance and which ones are fingers and which ones are toes. I’m planning to spend lots and lots of money to make your life comfortable. But it is up to you whether you will be happy or not.

There is one other thing. Daddy and I are praying for you. So are Grandma and Grandpa Kneezel and Grammy and Popsicle and Uncle Matt and Aunt Carol and Uncle Andrew and Uncle Aaron and Aunt Andrea and about a million other people who love you. We are praying that we can show you the Lord in all that we do. We are praying that when you see us fail, you will understand sin a little better. We are praying that when you see us forgive you, you will understand what Christ did a little better. We are praying that our choices will plant a seed that the Lord will harvest, and you will become His child.

Daddy and I are so excited to hold you in our arms and keep you safe and warm. We want you to know that we will be putting you in your own bed, though, not in ours. Don’t even get your hopes up. We are excited to introduce you to wonderful things like Olive Garden and the Cubs (Daddy and absolutely everybody else in the family says Cardinals, but we’ll see) and MUSIC! Oh, I cannot wait to introduce you to music. In fact, I’ve already started. Daddy and I know that no matter who you are what you love or who you become, you will definitely be a most beautiful storm.