to peek inside...

my beautiful girl turns 10 this month and is still counting her gifts,
so i'm revisiting this,
the beginning of her count
and the sharing of some of her gifts...

we stand on wood boards connected long
down walkway into ocean,
eight of us feeling the cold whipping of the wind,
spray of ocean wetting our hands,
husband and sensitive artist child creep
down steps to peer at sea lions
resting on boards below,
while bookworm daughter freezes at the sight
of small crowd of strangers
standing between her and daddy

tears well,
threaten to overflow
at the thought of not going below,
not getting the up close look at
magnificent creatures of the deep
and internally she weighs her options,
missing out
or passing by the people
and i watch her,
gently urging her to step past,
it's okay,
but something in her makes her
she just won't move,
and when husband and artist child resurface
and beckon us to follow them back to car,
she finally snaps out of fear and
lets her tears pour forth

i hold her close,
whisper into her brown curls,
"it's okay.  let's go talk to daddy,
maybe he'll take you down again.
but baby,
you have to learn,
people are not scary."

when we reach husband,
he takes hold of her hand and
leads her back,
to the steps,
to the sea lions,
to relief in her young mind,
watching them go,
i sorrow for her fears,
desperate to show her that people are just
created in His image,
broken, imperfect people
just like us,
and nothing to fear,
but all i can do is love her,
guide her gently, and show her how to
love people,
knowing His grace is sufficient.

i show her my gratitude journal,
and give her a beautiful notebook with her favorite,
on the cover,
ask if she wants to count gifts from God too,
keep track of the countless ways He blesses us,
and she beams,
runs off,
and writes,
and i know when she begins to see gifts,
grace in all,
she will begin to see people as a gift too,
and her fears will subside...

a peek inside layla's journal...

230 moses smiling at me
231 day at the beach
232 going to the pizza place
233 watching the girls play
234 pearl
235 daddy
236 chickens
237 sunny day
238 almost my birthday
239 the sparrow out my window


  1. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl.

  2. She's so lovely. I hope her 10th birthday will be happy as mine: almost 30 years ago, and I still remember so much about it.

  3. ah. so sweet. SO sweet. Birthday love to your beautiful girl. And kudos to you for being such a wise mama.

  4. Love it and I really love your patience...what an awesome set of parents.