Gillian is Seventeen!

Girl, what a year 16 was!  You wrote in my Mother's Day card this year, which always falls shortly after your birthday, "thank you for being there for me because I know this year has been hard".  Oh sweet girl, it is my privilege to "be there for you", to walk beside you and shine light on the dark, to speak truth into your struggles and to hold you when it is all too much.  And let's be real, it can be too much for all of us sometimes.  You have blossomed in this year of 16.  Truly.  Your Dad and I have seen an air of confidence about you that wasn't there before.  A deeper smile, a louder laugh and a lightness that has been fought for.  Way to press in and do the work.  Please don't ever stop.  This one precious and wild life is a gift and I want nothing more than for you to live it to the fullest with Jesus.  In this year of 16 you were invited to be a part of the Nehemiah team with Royal Servants and you spent all summer traveling and serving with them.  From Poland to Slovakia and Israel too.  You returned to us marked.  In the very best way.  A love for Jesus and his people that was so much more than where you started from.  More knowledge and new friendships that took you to Boston and made you hungry for adventure.  Your volunteer role with Freedom Reigns moved  to a new level and you are leading a session and have been asked to train one of the new horses.  I just witnessed you working with Dancer for the first time and it was something special for certain.  There was a countenance in your positioning, the way you communicated with the horse, the calmness.  It was so beautiful to watch.  Your level of horsemanship has increased ten fold this year.  You planned a trip to London and Paris with your Dad to visit the Le Cordon Bleu campuses in each city.  After an email chain of conversations with admin representatives you had scheduled tours and asked questions.  And so off you two went.  A whirlwind of a visit, filled to the brim with sight seeing, housing inspections, tours and eating.  Not to mention a special birthday dinner at a Michelin star restaurant.  You showed initiative and a commitment to your dream.  You began a new discipleship relationship and we have seen the fruit of that in many ways.  Not to mention, you started a new job with Starbucks and are now sporting the green apron.  Whew, what a year!  So with all of that, all of the new and unknown I pray you enter into this year of 17 boldly.  Unafraid.  Ready for change and ready for a new chapter in your journey.  I pray you continue to love, to speak the truth, to be you.  Beautiful, known and created in His image,  YOU.  I love you Gilly-Bean, happy 17th birthday!

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