Dear Ellie Jo,
This morning, before the sun came up, before my alarm clock went off, before I heard birds chirping, we woke up. I heard you in your room and I went to get you. I brought you back to my room and fed and snuggled you. I watched the clock change from 6:16 to 6:17, and just like that you turned six months old.
It didn’t really happen that quickly, of course. It happened slow. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, since the day you were born that time has been going away. I know where it went. But it’s gone just the same. It went to innumerable couch cuddles and late mornings in bed. It went to mini-road trips to visit your grandparents, to doctor’s appointments, to nap-filled days, to your first time at church, to long work days. It went to feedings and diapers and baths. I look back on the last six months, Ellie, and my time it is full of you. It is full of learning and growing–not just for you but for me. You are the baby who made me a momma, and we’ve spent the last six months figuring out what that means.
Six months ago, when we met you, I was struck by your beauty. I remember in those early days wanting to comment on something other than your looks, but I didn’t know you yet. What an incredible feeling it is–to love someone so much even though you know them so little. Every day as you grow, I learn about you. One of my favorite things to do now is to compliment your other qualities.
Eliana Joanne, you are smart, perseverant, persistent, thoughtful, and joyful. You love fiercely already. You like to figure things out, you love to smile, and you are stubborn. How I pray the Lord gives us gentle hands to help shape that part of you without breaking it.
Sweet baby girl, I pray for you, that your tiny heart will know the love of the father real and strong and soon, that your heart will be tender towards that love and towards his people, and that the Lord might bless you with the gift of motherhood one day. And if he does, sweet girl, prepare yourself. Because being a momma has already been the most spiritually formative thing I have ever experienced. I didn’t know what it was to trust until the Lord began teaching me to trust him with you. And I pray for us, Ellie, that trusting in Jesus will be the hallmark of our home. Because even after I spend 3 hours looking for a safe car seat for you, I remember that Jesus is the only one who can really guarantee your safety. And I remember that your safety might not look like I want it to. And I remember that being a clench-fisted momma won’t teach you to have faith. That white-knuckled fear doesn’t teach you how to trust. And I sigh a little bit and I pray, Ellie Jo, while you’re there on the floor, trying to figure out how to crawl. That you will keep on growing and I will keep on trusting.