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Friday, June 20, 2014

18 Things I Admire About Leah

Our daughter Leah turned 18 last week. She is our third daughter and fifth child. When Leah was born, Miriam was 14 months old and David was 22 months. Life with five children, three of whom were under two, was a whirlwind. When Leah was only 4 months old, Miriam had a life-threatening illness that involved a 3½ week stay at Children’s Hospital in Dallas and almost a year of recovery. As I look back, I fear that we were so stressed during Leah’s first year of life that we didn’t give her all of the attention she needed. Perhaps our bonding wasn’t as strong as it should have been. Maybe that’s why, more than any of our other children, Leah has always been sure to let us know she is here

She is louder and more outspoken than any of her older siblings. Never one who was content to “go with the flow,” Leah has stretched me to my limits as a mom. While the other children readily accepted my love, Leah pushed and questioned and fought. She forced me to prove my love. While this has never been an easy road to travel, as time goes on, I see it has been good for both of us.

18 Things I Admire About Leah
1.    When I was a teen and my mom and I would go head to head, she would usually wind up saying, “I hope you have a daughter exactly like you when you’re a mom.” Leah IS that daughter.
2.    She has an unquenchable spirit.
3.    More often than not, she lets me know exactly what she’s thinking.
4.    She is passionate about the things and people she loves.
5.    Leah is great with young children, especially babies.
6.    She has a keen eye for fashion.
7.    Leah doesn’t limit herself to people her own age. She makes friends with people from different walks of life.
8.    She is a good listener and cares deeply for the people she loves.
9.    Leah loves and respects her pastor and listens to his advice. She recognizes that he has her best interest at heart.
10. When she is happy, Leah’s smile and ready laughter can light up an entire room and raise the spirits of everyone present.
11.  She can be one of the sweetest people on Earth when she puts her mind to it.
12. Leah is physically affectionate – she’ll hold my hand, sit on my lap, brush my hair, and gives great hugs.
13. She owns her own actions and decisions.
14. Leah is fiercely protective of the people she loves and is ready to “charge up” anyone who would hurt them.
15. Leah is willing to ask questions and won’t be satisfied until she finds the answers she needs.
16. She is not too proud to admit her shortcomings and mistakes.
17. Leah is physically strong, and she takes care of her body.
18. When interacting with her friends, Leah is quick to provide a shoulder to cry on and gives good advice.

More than any of my other children, Leah has forced me to go to and remain at the foot of the Cross. Interacting with her has forced me to examine my motives and expectations as a mom, and to recognize and admit my own hypocrisy.  One thing I know, I love Leah with all my heart, and I believe that she loves me. She makes me prove to her 
what I have always said to each of our children since they were infants – “there is NOTHING you can do to make me stop loving you.”

Happy Birthday, Leah. I love you more than you will ever know, and I thank God He’s allowed me to be your mama.


  1. Sounds like Leah is a spit fire! Hope her birthday was filled with love, joy and laughter till her sides ached! At 18 she will believe with all of her heart that she understands just how beautiful a gift you gave her with this lovely tribute, at 28 she'll realize she didn't completely understand but she will believe with all her heart that she does now, at 38 she'll read this again the memories will flow so quickly that she will feel her head spinning and as it slows down she will believe with all of her heart that she truly has been blessed in so many many ways and the first blessing she knew was to have a Mom like you!

  2. Wise words, Lolly. I find the same thing has happened in my life with my mom. I'm just thankful Mama is still around for me to to commiserate with and to hear my apologies. Life has a way of humbling us, doesn't it?