Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Decade with Nikelle Evadne

Better late than never...

June 28, 2012

Dear Nikelle,

This past week, your old toddler car seat went into the trash and I used the diaper changer as a concession table for your 10th Birthday Sleepover celebration. It’s hard to believe we’ve had you in our lives now for an entire decade! I’ve gone from wondering if I was truly equipped to be a mom to doubting if I will ever be able to sufficiently prepare you for the world you will one day venture into without me.

There is only one more year before you go off to junior high. People have warned us not to blink and here you are entering double digits… where you will remain unless you live to be 100. As I catch a glimpse of you out of the corner of my eye, I’ve found myself doing a double-take before I am convinced that this lengthy preteen is really my little girl growing up…

…and how you have grown up over this past year. It has been so fun to see the advancement you have made in band with the flute. The arts are your niche and we want to encourage that. I rarely, if ever, have to remind you to practice your instrument. That is why we know this is a path that will likely stick. You just enjoy learning how to make music come alive – whether it is with the flute, the keyboard or just with the voice God enabled you sing with.

Most days you can be found reading, drawing, working on crafts or organizing playtime for your sisters. You still find your way into the hearts of those around you as you embrace relationships with open arms and a world of trust. We have made a lot of memories as a family this year. With each approaching endeavor, there was such great anticipation expressed by you. The smile you wear reveals your fervency for life.

At the bus stop each morning, we read Jesus Calling (for kids) by Sara Young. It was nice to share that moment together to begin the morning. As the bus pulled away, your baby sister and I would wave goodbye. Although many times, you were too caught up in conversation with friends to remember we were waving. Turning to walk back to the house, Ande would question why you forgot to look out the window of the bus and wave. I was reminded that moments like these are numbered. Maybe that is why I welcomed the opportunity to walk you and your cousin to the shelter each day at camp. All too soon, the time will come when you won’t want your mommy tagging along. I need to do a better job of embracing the occasions you still want to climb up into my lap to cuddle. Although it is a lot more difficult to sit for any duration of time under your weight, I wish we could freeze these moments in time. Your height almost matches mine but your heart is still so open, young and innocent.

You have brought comfort to my heart this past year as you’ve shared your thoughts, conversations and experiences with me that I was not privy to first hand. To know your initial thoughts are turning toward God and His Truth makes me want to jump up and cheer. But I control my emotions and tuck them away to ponder in my heart for future years to come. I know that these next years are critical in your faith walk. These are the moments that will drive you to the question, “Is this faith mine or my parents?” Oh, how I pray that you will come to the conclusion that it can be both! For the God your Daddy and I serve is the One True God who loves you intimately, created you uniquely, died for your sins personally and is now preparing a place for you in Heaven as completion of His plan for your life. This is my desire for you. I realize you will probably question what we’ve taught you. The questioning does not worry me because I want the answer that our God is worth surrendering your life for to come on your own accord. Identifying your life with Christ needs to be a personal declaration or it will never come with the passion to live boldly and make a difference for Him.

It is good to know your desire is for friends to know Jesus. Even in the middle of your birthday party, you were jamming to worship music. There is such great joy in hearing words flow from the mouths of my babes straight to our God. I hope and pray our home will be a place you and your friends want to be, not only because it is the residence where our family dwells but also where God’s love flows abundantly.

You have such a loving, giving, selfless heart. As you opened gifts that were given to you in honor of your special day, your 6-year-old sister sat waiting expectantly. Getting up the confidence to ask you if she could participate in opening your gifts, she was not disappointed. You even embraced duplicate gifts because naturally, your sister could use one as well. In my opinion, you are the BEST big sister in the world. What a gift Jaycie and Ande have in looking up to you. Your current choices reflect Jesus’ love and it makes a difference in the lives you touch.

I just finished reading the book, Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (missionary in Uganda). She says, “If one person sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute. In fact, it is worth spending my life for.” God reminded her that “I have one purpose… and that is to love.” My prayer is that you will always remember the extent of God’s love for you and that will motivate you to love others His way in return.

“I believe there is only one truly courageous thing we can do with our lives: to love unconditionally. Absolutely, with all of ourselves, so much that it hurts and then more.” – Katie Davis

My prayer is that our family loves this way. That you will believe you are loved unconditionally by your daddy and I. My desire is that your sisters will know this love from you and share it in reciprocal. This is how we are loved by our Creator and it is how we are to love in response.

I pray God will equip me to love you the way that is best.

I love you and want God’s best for your life,



  1. So good to get a view into Nikelle's passions and personality. I hope we get up to Chicago sometime so I can hear her sing and play her instruments. I can't believe she is a decade old. I lost my breath for a second when you brought up the fact about the double-digits. It's such a blessing to see your leadership in your kids' life. You are a sweet example of a heart that longs after God.

  2. Rod and I had talked about being outside at your wedding and how little Nikelle was back then. We have such great memories together!