My mind cannot fathom that 16 years ago today, I had just spent over 16 exhausting hours in labor before giving birth to my first baby. Ashley is everything I prayed a daughter of mine would be and more.
It is so strange if I stop for a minute and remember my own 16th bday. I was interested in going out with boys, with partying and with being with my friends 24/7. I had no clue who I was in Christ and I certainly wasn't interested in school, other than passing my subjects. It's funny but I don't often share a lot of my teenage years with my children even though I have two teens at the moment. There isn't a lot I'm proud of and certainly no advice my own 16 yr old self could have given my daughter were she here today. You see, my 16 yr old Ashley has a strong head on her shoulders, and she is treasuring the time she has as to be young. Where I was insecure, she knows her value. Where I was weak in my convictions, she is holding true to her own. Where I wanted to be anywhere but with my family, she loves hanging out with us.
I could go on and on about all the wonderful things I see in this young woman of mine, but God says it best when He describes a women of noble character as being "clothed with dignity and strength" in Proverbs 31. That is what I think of most when I think of my Ashley.
Our future years together under my roof may be short lived, but I am fully confident that she will continue to be a blessing in all she does on this earth. I pray for her to continue to grow in her walk with her Savior, to always love and give to others, to someday have her desires fulfilled of being a wife and mother, and for her to know whatever paths she takes that her Heavenly Father is there setting the steps in motion if she will continue to walk with Him.
I love you beautiful daughter of mine. You make this mama so VERY proud!