LaurenJonesFamily08292015byMichaelDantzler-3 (1)

My dearest daughter,

As I reflect on the last three years of watching you grow, I’m overcome with emotion. I’m overcome because I still cannot believe God blessed me with such a smart, spirited, loving and beautiful daughter. I stare at you sometimes because I cannot believe you came from your father and me. You are truly the best parts of both of us. Many times when I look into your beautiful brown eyes, I can see your daddy looking back at me. You look so much like him. I know he is watching you from heaven and is proud of his little girl. All of your uncles, biological and otherwise, love you with the love your daddy would have given you. Uncle Warren, Uncle Adam, Uncle Tyler, Uncle Sam, Uncle Paul, Uncle Fred, Uncle Travis, Uncle Leroy, Uncle Jonathan and the list is so long, are smitten with you. Uncle Tyler said to me just last week that you’re going to get all of his money. They love you. There are lots of men in your life who love you and are ready to affirm you like a father.

Since you’ve come into my life, I have to say your “I love you mommy’s” and the way you throw your tiny arms around my neck have become something I look forward to and are what help me continue pressing forward. Even our family and friends say you give the best hugs. You’re such a loving girl. Your need for affirmation and affection reminds me of myself. You can’t let a day go by without telling me you love me twenty times. You love snuggling with me on the couch or in the bed. You are exactly how I was with my mom growing up. I always loved sneaking into my mom’s bed at night. Even as a grown woman, my mom’s bed feels like the most peaceful place in the world. There’s something about a mom’s hug that makes you feel like everything is going to be alright. I know you feel the same way with me. That’s why I make it my priority to keep our home as peaceful as possible and welcome you into my room whenever you need me.

You’ve taught me so many lessons in just three short years. A major one is how God sees me and my worth and value. When you were born I recognized it, and as I watch you grow, I recognize how precious you are and how fearfully and wonderfully God made you. I see your innocence, and I want to protect it. I want you to always know your worth and value and never settle for anything less than God’s best. You are precious. This is something that God’s been trying to tell me for years. Being your mother has finally made me “get it.” The way I see you is how God sees me. It’s been a wonderful lesson to learn through you.

I also see the ways I need to be a better woman and mother through you. You have my lack of patience. You’re demanding. You need lots of attention. Your father used to poke fun at me by saying I’m a “piece of work.” Well daughter, you are certainly a piece of work. You’re helping me grow because I see the areas where I need discipline and grace, and I hope to instill in and extend those traits to you.

On this your 3rd birthday, I want you to know that every sacrifice, trial and tribulation we’ve had to go through as a family are worth it. Everything I’ve had to go through to prepare me to be your mother and to parent you as best I can with the Lord being my helper is worth it. You are worth it. I always want you to remember that. As I tell you every morning when I drop you off at school, God is with you. He has great things in store for you. Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard what God has planned for those who love Him. Always keep God first. He loves you, and mommy loves you.






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