Nikelle and Andelise walking the "runway" at Nikelle's 7th Birthday dress-up/fashion show party.
Nikelle opening her presents.
My daughters have the blessing of having their daddy tuck them into bed most nights. I store up in my heart the moments where I can eavesdrop as I put the baby to bed. I listen as Nike reads a Bible story to her Daddy and sister, Jaycie. Rod doesn't just let her read the story and go to bed. He does his best to attempt to explain to her how the story applies to her life. Like the story of when Samuel anointed David as King. Samuel and Jesse were both looking for the son they thought would be most fitting for the throne. God reminded them in 1 Samuel 16:7 that "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." What a valuable lesson for a little girl to learn early on - and to be taught it by her daddy! Nikelle's heart is so tender to wanted to please not only her earthly father, but her Heavenly Father as well.
I think I can sum up this year with a conversation I had with my daughter a day or two after her party. Her absolute favorite gift was from Grandma Carlson. Nikelle opened her present to find the American Girl doll, Felicity. Felicity loves horses so she is a kindred spirit to Nikelle. This gift was also a reminder of a trip Nikelle and Grandma took to the American Girl doll store in downtown Chicago on their way to see Mary Poppins on stage. This doll not only reminds Nikelle of a special memory with her Grandma but also allows Nikelle to enter her world of imagination where she enjoys spending so much of her time.
The conversation I treasure was about this gift. "Felicity is my second-best friend," she informed me. Curious, I inquired, "Who is your very best friend?" I anticipated her answer to be one of her little sisters or a good friend from school. Very matter-of-factly, Nikelle answered me, "Jesus". I was suprised and pleased to hear that as I continued to ask her if she talked to God a lot and expanded a bit on her response. Our prayer is that her identity is always found in our God.
Nikelle reads "Felicity" to her new American Girl doll friend, "Felicity".