Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To Our Beautiful Gracie

The following are letters to Gracie.  We wanted to write her each a little something before her new brother came into our world and although it is personal I don't want to forget to add it to the scrapbook.
 my sweet gracie,
our first born
the one because of whom we were first given the names, daddy and mommy
the one who changed our lives forever
who taught us how to love more deeply
and because of whom, we have a greater understanding of the Father's love for us...
you are truly a gift from the Lord.
you are loved.
you are cherished. 

being the first born
there are different burdens you will bear
but we know God has equipped you for what He has called you to. 

your world is about to change
and you are about to receive one of the greatest gifts... 
a sibling
this sibling will be a tool the Lord can use to teach you the world is not about you
to help you learn the importance of sharing
to love through anything
how to forgive
 how to put others before yourself. 
this is just the beginning of all that you can learn...

what joy you will find in having a best friend who understands you in ways 
others never will
a bond only you two will understand. 

i knew i would love being a mother,
but i never knew how deep my love would be for you.
a daughter, 
one who brings so much joy into my life. 
you are more than i ever dreamed of. 

gracie, you are the spitting image of your mother
you have an overwhelming love and caring side
you have naturally come by your fun wild side

but I can see you have taken on the serious side of your father
you miss him when he is gone
you want him around every moment that he is home

gracie you are so loved
God knew how perfect you would be in our lives as the first
he knew how much you would teach me and show me
the healing that you have brought to parts of my life

Lord, thank you for a gift that we are so undeserving of.

even now I am sad that our little world is going to change
but i am excited about this expected arrival of our first son
Only god knows your birthday
He knows the name that is yours

We have dreamed of you
Prayed for you
Hoped for you
And loved you
Before we even knew of you

With anticipation we wait

                  Yesterday was your third birthday.  WOW!  It seems like only last week I was bringing you and your mom home from the hospital to stay.  I really was apprehensive about being a father to a daughter because I grew up with only brothers and didn’t know anything about a daughter.  The apprehension faded fast.  All I wanted to do was to hold you in my arms and let you sleep the time away either on my shoulder or in my arms.  I can remember just watching you for hours some nights not wanting to put you to bed, but instead just hold you sleeping while I rocked you.  I have never seen the love of a mother to a daughter.  Your mom, Gracie, loves you with all that she has.  It is something very special for your father to witness the way she cares and loves you.  At this time in your life you are defiantly a mommy’s girl.  You remind me so much of her and I just enjoy seeing how a like the two of you are.  You have brought so many smiles and laughs to your mother and I it’s hard to imagine something brightening our days more then you have.  Your personality just radiates a fun-loving caring spirit that has blessed us over and over.   I will never grow weary of your head on my shoulder, your little hand holding my fingers, or the way you wrap your little arms around me to give me a big hug. 
Your life and our lives as your parents are about to change.  Within a week we will be welcoming your baby brother, Nolan Alan Schenk, into our family.  I am so excited to see you as a big sister.  I am so excited to see you and your mother share your big hearts with our knew family member and can’t wait for his arrival.  I wish I could explain to you in a way that you’d understand about how needy your little brother will be.  I want you to know that even though Nolan will need a lot of love and care, your mom’s and my love will not waiver or diminish in any way.  I know that you will love Nolan very much and will always be very protective of him like you are with your younger cousin Sawyer.  I know that you will be a great help to your mother even at such a young age, because it’s just who you are.  I know you will teach Nolan many things and will always be a great big sister.  It gives me great comfort to know that even at 3 years old you will be here with your mother and brother helping them any way you can.  My prayer for you is that you will grow into a Godly woman.  One who seeks God with her whole heart, mind, and soul.  Your mother has Jeremiah 29:11 framed on your wall “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  My hope is that you will trust in God’s plan for your life and not grow weary of seeking out what that is.
One of my favorite books in Bible is Proverbs.  I want to share with you a passage from Proverbs 31:10-31:
“10A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
I want you to strive to be this kind of woman Gracie.  I love you so much!!!

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