He wanted them to feel loved and valued for who they are.
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Kathryn's mom, Laurence, wanted to commission a portrait of her daughter because she's at a special time in her life. I met Laurence last year at a Christmas party thrown by her mom in Houston.
Kathryn is twelve, a young lady on the brink of womanhood.
My first impression of her was that she looked like a Botticelli painting with her classical features. We took the pictures at her grandmother's house in Houston, and there were so many good ones it was hard to choose!
Kathryn is soft-spoken and intelligent. Laurence says she's not your typical twelve year old – she's creative and inquisitive, and loves to read.
Laurence has watched her grow and change over the years, and says one thing she's learned is to take motherhood one day at a time and enjoy it because the time flies.
That's something I hear from moms all the time. Kids grow up quickly! You have to savor each moment.
I asked her what her best piece of advice is for a new mom, and she said, "Start praying now for them to be who the Lord has called them and designed them to be. He has already designed them! You just pray into it and He will lead you about what to pray for them."
Moms, how do you see your kids growing and changing? Please leave a comment below!
PPROM (Preterm premature rupture of membranes) is a rare condition that happens when the amniotic sack breaks too early in pregnancy.
It sounds horrible, and it is. My friend Lee Cordon, writer of etiquette blog Do Say Give, experienced it with her daughter Maggie.
Because a baby can’t develop lungs without amniotic fluid, Maggie had little to no chance of surviving outside the womb. So the doctors encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.
But Lee refused to give up. She’d gotten to know this baby, felt her kicking, and knew ending the pregnancy just wasn’t the right thing to do.
So she did the only thing she could – went home and prayed for a miracle, along with her family and church. She stared a blog to keep people updated.
Lee says it was during this time her faith was the strongest. “When you don’t have any other hope, you have to rely on the promises of the Lord.”
During the seven weeks she was in the hospital, she remembers a distinct moment when she felt God providing for her. A kind hospital cleaning lady who she saw regularly told her the baby was going to be OK. She said a prayer for her in Spanish and told her to believe. Lee says she was a guardian angel.
Maggie was born 29 weeks through an emergency C-section. Lee wanted to be awake for the first few moments of her daughter’s life, knowing they might be the last.
She was rushed to the NICU and amazingly, lived. The doctors couldn’t believe it. Maggie was a miracle.
Still, the doctors said she would have major disabilities.
Maggie came home and they spent the first three years going to appointments. Lee says it was a big blur of all-nighters and feeding tubes.
But Maggie made it, and she’s doing great now – running, playing, and doing things normal kids do. She’s bright and happy, with a fighter’s spirit. She still has therapy, but Lee and her husband can't complain. She’s alive, and that’s something they thought might not happen.
For moms going through a similar experience, Lee says never give up hope.
“During periods of hardship and suffering a tiny glimmer of hope can get you through the most difficult days. Cling to that hope and don't ever give it up.”
Have you gone through something similar? Leave a comment below.
When her son developed a rare life-threatening complication, Ginger was faced with every parent’s worst fear.
Read more about Ginger’s story, and how her experience made her rethink joy, suffering, and faith.
My collector Ale says her biggest fear as a mom is not having any control over her kids' lives.
Ale is the mom of two precious boys, Sam and Noah.
"I love them so much and I fear that something bad is going to happen to them. I often fear that they are going to get a terrible sickness. Or that someone is going to hurt them," she says.
"So many wrong things going on with our world that my source of worry can really be an endless battle."
So how does Ale keep her worries at bay?
"Prayer is really the only way that I can deal with all my fears. It is nice to know that God has absolute control of my boys' life," says Ale.
My other collector, Lauren, says the biggest lesson she's learned as a mom is that her kids are going to be who God means for them to be, not matter what you want them to be.
So in all areas of their children's lives, these moms have learned that God is the one in control.
Many of the moms I work with say they just couldn't be a mom without their faith. It's about learning to trust God every day in the lives of their kids.
It's what saves their sanity – knowing there is a God who loves their children even more than they do.
After all, He's the one who gave them to you:)