If you don’t like sappy tributes and videos, you may want to move on to another post but I wanted to share a blessing in my life and “immortalize” the tribute in a blog post.
Bria is 16 today.
I loved her from the womb, despite the shame and fear I felt as a single mother. I remember driving everywhere without my seat belt because depression had numbed my desire to live.
But I loved her still, feeling hopeless that God would ever be able to “fix” this mess into which I was ushering her.
I named her “Bria” because it means “strong” and I felt certain strength would be a necessary part of her character. She grew into her name very well.
The tiniest remnants of childhood are giving way to a woman…a remarkable woman.
I never imagined that she would be one of my greatest influences. My own daughter, still very much learning and growing, nevertheless makes me want to be a better woman, a woman more fully devoted to pursing Christ, a woman striving to serve harder and love deeper.
She is more capable than I am, and yet more feminine. It’s a blessed combination of personality–hardy and delicate, always at the appropriate times.
She dons her work boots, her jeans and scarf, and out she goes with a bucket. She man-handles the cow, comes back with the goodness of warm, raw milk, and disappears, returning with her flowing skirt and hair tied up, ready to help where it is needed. I would find out later that she had to repair the fence too.
She believes that life is not worth living without a hearty day’s work and some days she works circles around me.
“I think the downstairs living room needs painted.” One fleeting thought and she’s off to paint it–tape it, move the furniture, climb the ladder to trim, and back down again. Her Daddy said she couldn’t do it in one night, but she did.
If the horses are out while Dad is away, she puts them up. “Let me try, Bria”, I say, not sure how I’m going to fulfill the offer. Her look says it all. It’s not demeaning, but just a protective kind of “I’ve got it, Mom”, glance, full-well knowing she is better than me at that sort of thing.
(She knew from a very young age that her mother was broken. She felt an innate need to protect me then. And though my Father has done tremendous healing, she still tries.)
She gets things done. In an amazing kind of way–one of the many things I love about her. It’s just part of who she is. I call her the “Tasmanian House Cleaner”.
Don’t pity her; she hates that.
She wants to be her siblings’ best friend, though we struggle just like any family who lives inside flesh-covered houses. She takes them for walks,tries to interest them in the Greek period she’s studying, and usually resists tattling.
“Whose plates do I need to get?” I ask after church. “Yours. I’ve already got the kids’.”
She washes all our clothes.
She is still catching up to her womanhood, but she’s not far behind.
She loves walking in the woods, reading, nestled between hay, taking pictures, researching interesting subjects, playing music, watching movies, making things beautiful, planting vegetables, blogging, sewing.
She handles a gun with the same precision as her knitting needles.
There’s a beautiful dress hanging on the form in her room that she sewed. I break out in hives if I have to sew anything beyond a hem.
When she was younger, she got upset because a boy flipped her pony tail; she thought her purity may have been compromised
She prays for a husband that loves to work. She prays for a husband that loves the Lord. And contrary to critics’ assumptions, she prays for a husband that loves children–house fulls.
She cries. She gets frustrated. She wrestles with wrong attitudes.
(She just walked up modeling her new “invention”…a split skirt especially tailored for horse-back riding. It’s actually really cool!)
She’s of the romantic variety…flowing things are her thing.
She is a sinner saved by grace, with the same struggles as anyone. And at the same time, the Lord has seen fit to make her a vessel of grace poured out on my life and I am daily humbled by this gift.
She is my best friend and I am hers.