Wrapped in Grace

I brushed her hair away from the corner of her eye, staring for a moment into her deep browns and stalling time in my heart.  She is growing up.  Bursting forth before my eyes into a beautiful, radiant young woman.  Where have the last twelve years gone.  How can it be only twelve when she looks 16 teen and I feel like it has been 20.  And isn’t time funny?  In my mind’s eye she’s still a little toddler, on her knees pointing outward and upward toward the creeping buses lining the long driveway cutting through the center of campus.

Her life is odd.

She wasn’t even supposed to be here yet.

Our plan was to come back to this holy ground as she would enter high school.  Instead, we arrived before she was even conceived.  She burst forth into our world wrapped in grace.  A firstborn child who shouldn’t have been to twenty-something parents without a clue.  Her first home was shared with 40 teenage boys in a brick and pillar residence hall.  Her first independent steps planted in the heart of boarding school campus on the way to the dining hall.  Her first terrors at the sound of the tractor-mower cutting the lawn.  Her first time being disciplined — all because his daughters were ones we knew and wanted her to emulate, and he endorsed Shepherding a Child’s Heart, which set the course for our parenting style.  Her first disappointment at the betrayal of friends, the natural course of girls like sisters living in community.  Her first dreams formed around the hoops and bleacher hours, as she dreamed one day she might also play hard on the court in front of her.  And she will.  This month.  In her blue and white uniform, long coveted.

How did we get here?

Where hope begged and tears prayed for what she is now and where she wants to go.

She’s no longer a little girl.  She is a seventh-grade beauty, conquering the pressures of social drama and academic challenges with grace and poise, tears and pouts, determination and discipline.  She’s learned to persevere through emotional and physical pain.  She’s becoming a comforter and encourager.  A helper and friend.  An independent thinker.  A reflective and inquisitive soul.

We’ve trained her up for this time in her life.  It was worth the effort.  Every bit of required joyful obedience and heart-check up prayer has borne such tasty fruit. Every beyond bedtime conversation, filled with repeat and repeat and repeat of the same story-response-advice-encouragement ingrained in her mind our love for her and her ability to overcome through Christ’s strength.

She is becoming a woman of strength and dignity for God’s glory and because of His grace.

She is becoming a friend to laugh with and cry with and pursue God’s things together.

She is becoming more.  More bright.  More beautiful.  More like Him.

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9 thoughts on “Wrapped in Grace”

  1. A beautiful young women inside and out she certainly is. Bless you Leah Grace 🙂
    You go girl on that court with God speed!

  2. and i see we are right about on the same page of grace.
    my girl is a few years older… but it seems when they hit 12 life just keeps on growing. into reality. beauty and grace and mamas who seek the right ways to let go and let grow. your daughter is a beauty… and in her eyes i see the more….

  3. What an absolutely beautiful post, Lisa! Your daughter ~ your treasure ~ what a gift! God’s given you the opportunity to raise, love, teach and train this amazing young lady. What a privilege!

  4. What an awesome post Lisa! I love that you are seeing the fruits of your labor. When I first met Leah I could see what a beautiful heart she had for Christ and others! She is an amazing young woman who I am confident will bless all those she comes in contact with. Thank you for sharing! I’m definitely one of Leah’s number 1 fans! what a doll! can’t wait to see her on the court:)

    1. Sweet friend, as much as you’re Leah’s fan, I am yours. Thanks for the delight of your company, the preciousness of your heart, and your partnership in our ministry!

  5. What a tribute to your daughter. She is a beauty! Mine is turning 18 soon and it doesn’t seem possible. Yet, as she grows into such an incredible woman of God, my heart swells with pride and thankfulness.

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