This is my Amy, whom I've neglected on this blog ever since she graduated from high school and deserved her own personal blog post about all her awesome accomplishments in her short life. I am going to fix that right here.
This kid is the one who sees something around here needing to be done, and she does it. That is, in between doing things for OTHER people, when she is home long enough. I know it looks like she is doing some serious spelunking in this photo, and she kind of is. She is actually under the stairs, which, she says, is slightly less exciting than a cave, but almost as messy. I reluctantly gave her permission to clean out under there and throw away anything I haven't looked at in four years. It was hard to let her do that. I might need something, like a nutcracker or a roll of heavy brown paper. Anyway, a couple hours later she emerged with two rotten bed pillows, three large empty totes, a box of forgotten stuffed animals, the decorative pillows that came with our comforter set and were carefully arranged on our bed for about three days, and seven ancient, mostly empty buckets of latex paint, which all went out to the garage for the trash pickup. I can actually see to the back of the stairwell now.
This is the kid who has a waiting list of mom employers who want her services. She cleans, cooks, changes diapers, herds large groups of children, cleans up vomit and poop and spilled milk, and loves on babies. She treats moms to good coffee and adult conversation. She teaches 'tween girls how to be a blessing to others and makes everyone feel special. She gives weary moms a rest from screaming babies, laundry, climbing stairs, mopping floors, and needy toddlers. Her vehicle of choice, when she has the money to buy her own, is a 12- or 15-passenger van. She will taxi small people to the park, the skating rink, to Culvers, or to the lake with a trailer full of kayaks. Maybe she will even bring a bunch of kids to church. :)
This is the kid everybody loves, the one whose absence her sisters mourn and whose company is sought out by kids all over town, as well as by her real and virtual adult friends.
This is the kid who does dishes mostly without being asked. I did ask her to do them last night because I was feeling rotten, and because she is the one I can always count on to answer, "Sure, Mom!" with a happy heart. This is a kid I can trust to make good choices about her companions and her entertainment.
This kid is a BLESSING.
This is not the kid I raised.
The kid I raised made me pull my hair out in frustration! How many times I cried to the Lord, "WHAT WILL I DO WITH THIS CHILD?!?!?!" If I had only known that Jesus had her in his hands and that he was actively ordering her life, I might have been able to relax. (More likely I would have asked the Lord if he was sure he knew what he was doing.) The kid I raised was boldly rebellious. Immediately after telling her to sit still in church, she would stand up backwards in the pew with a big grin, and wave at all the people. The kid I raised screamed about her school work and raised fits over what was on her dinner plate. The kid I raised put a big hole in her bedroom door. (She just now admitted it.) Her rebellion was all right out in front. At least a parent couldn't be fooled. The hard part was consistently doing something about it.
No, this isn't the kid I raised.
This kid I have now is the kid Jesus raised.
Amy trusted Jesus Christ as her Saviour. At the end of that summer, I had a different child. God took the child I raised and made her a new creature with a new heart. I didn't deserve to get her back like this, but here she is, a kid who loves God and his word. A kid who gives generously of her treasure and her time, her talents and passions. A kid who daily blesses her family and everyone else in town.
I love you, Amy. Today you are my favorite kid. ♥ (Well, one of them.)
And thank you, Jesus.