Sweet Sixteen, dear Julia

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My dear, sweet, smart, empathetic girl is sixteen on the 16th, and I’m so wonderfully proud of the person she’s becoming. Some of you know our scare with her in the aftermath of my trip to Haiti a little over a year ago. I’m happy to report she’s doing amazing, just finished her sophomore year with flying colors.

She is one of the bravest people I know. After suffering much at the hands (and words) of her French teachers when we lived in France, she dared to go back there this last fall and face what happened there. Something shifted in her, a holy determination to be healthy.

And this year she has grown up like a wildflower, raw beauty, inner strength, and a heart for Jesus that encourages and challenges me. She is making it her faith, not mine, not ours, but hers. I love that.

In light of all that, let me list 16 things I love about my daughter Julia:

  1. She loves to eat healthy.
  2. She enjoys being outside, and encourages me to do the same.
  3. She loves children, and is so very adept at loving and leading them.
  4. She has more empathy than most every person I know. She feels your pain, detecting it when others can’t.
  5. She is hilariously funny. Her one liners keep us all laughing.
  6. She adores her sister and brother and loves to spend time with them.
  7. She takes initiative.
  8. She is a great worker. Her first job? Selling salsa at the farmer’s market. Her employer LOVES her!
  9. She has great fashion sense, and knows what looks beautiful.
  10. She loves animals. Her kitty, Scout, wraps her body around Julia’s head when she sleeps.
  11. She thinks about her future, and even bought nursing books at Half Priced Books to start now on her career.
  12. She is self starting. She did online school this year and made sure she finished all her assignments without me nagging her.
  13. She loves to travel.
  14. She enjoys thinking of ways to bless people.
  15. She is generous.
  16. She loves Jesus.

I could list so many more traits, but what I really love about her is her great, big heart. She loves. Oh how she loves. And I love that about her. I feel so privileged to be her mom. She teaches me about living a life of love every single day.

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