We celebrated Mara's 18th birthday yesterday. What a great way to start the new year!! My sister put together a blessing book for her...asked people to write or draw a blessing for Mara or what she means to them...etc. I feel like I completely blew it. To read what others wrote and how eloquent they were made me feel like a chump. Grrr...mine was short and simple and very heartfelt. It wasn't all flowery and beautiful like what others wrote but it came from my heart.
I love my niece, Mara. We practically grew up together! Lol! I was in 9th grade when she was born. 15 years old and an aunt for the first time. I remember babysitting her at my parents house while Cinnamon and Scott went out. She was just a couple weeks old. Mom and dad were downstairs but I was supposed to watch her. She was lying in a playpen (pack-n-plays weren't invented yet-lol) and I just watched her. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She was so beautiful and tiny and I did not want to shirk my duties as her sitter. I was scared to death to pick her up so thankfully she slept the whole time but I would snap to attention every time she would wiggle or make a sound.
Fast forward a few years and you have Mara the toddler. She was a very well spoken toddler. She was opinionated and did not back down when she thought she was right. Here I was a high schooler and I would argue with her about anything from Barney (who she adored) to what she was having for dinner. It probably drove my sister crazy that her little sister who was old enough to know better would argue with her 3 year old daughter. Mara was a total spit fire and I adored her.
A lot more years later and you have Mara, the 18 year old. She is beautiful, funny, talented, and just lovely. God has blessed with her so many amazing talents. She has the most amazing voice and she uses it to praise her King. She totally rocks on the guitar. She loves little kids and they love her back. Madeline is completely enthralled by her and wants to be just like her when she grows up. She is funny and sarcastic and I love her sense of humor. She is a confident woman of God who has purple hair one week and red hair the next. She is a total rock star!!
It has definitely been my privilege to watch her grow up and to grow up along side of her. We are blessed to have her in our lives and I can't wait to see what God has in store for her future.