Thursday, June 16, 2011

She's Sweet, She's Sassy and Oh-So-Strong-willed......

.......and I'm so glad she's ♥home♥!

We wanted her to know she was missed, so we gave her a grand homecoming.... =)

....and worked very hard on her Welcome Home poster!

Robert's contribution ~ I just love the "Thumbs up for you, Ashlyn!" =)

part of Jacob's (her greatest rival) contribution:
the "You Are My Sunshine" is by me, not him's our song from way back when ; )

We hung it on her door, giggling about how surprised she would be to see it.

For those of you who REALLY follow my blog, you know that my Ashlyn has been away on a Middle School Summer Choir Tour/Missions Trip.  For five days, our group from church has served and ministered to others, witnessed and reached out with Christ's love, and grown their relationships with the Lord by putting their faith into action.

They started off their trip by enjoying a super fun day at  Disney's Blizzard Beach, then traveling to Venice, Fl. to serve, sing, and reach out to others in the local community.  Our kids canvased neighborhoods, going door-to-door inviting people to church, distributed information on the upcoming VBS at FBC Venice Beach, sang in church services there and at Southside Baptist in Sarasota, sang at assisted living centers and ministered to residents there, and served at the Center of Hope.  On their last day there, they enjoyed going to Siesta Key Beach, where they swam and spent much time taking every opportunity to witness to others.  You can read even more about their trip here.

Last night, we were treated to a homecoming concert during our Wednesday evening church service:

As a worker in the choir {who wasn't able to go on this trip = ( }, I can honestly say they have never sounded better.  I was so blessed by how they sang from their hearts, and by hearing testimonies of how God used them on the trip.....and how He changed them. =)

How thankful I am for a church who invests so much into my children!!  I listened all the way home to my daughter talk 90 miles/minute about the trip.....and about how she talked to others about Jesus, about how the group felt so united in their mission and about how different everyone was because of it!

How thankful I am for that strong-willed spirit! 

Say what?

I know, I know......not exactly the attitude most have about their strong-willed children. ; )

They challenge us ~ a lot.  They can exasperate us.  Much.  But each day when I look in the mirror, I am reminded that just as she is not perfect, neither am I.  Just as God is never finished with me, He is never finished with her.

I am thankful that as strong as that sassy side is that only those closest to us get to see, there is that genuine sweetness and compassion that she possesses.  There is a desire within her to follow Him,  to do the right thing, to do much good......and while I often wonder if she desires such things because she has been raised that way and is immersed in a lifestyle that encourages it or whether she has made it personal within her own heart, I am trusting her future in the One who created her.

I believe that the attributes we possess that society says are negative can  be a tremendous positive when placed in the hands of the One who works all things for good.   He makes no mistakes in the gifts He gives us.  How many people do you know who see a strong will as a gift?  It's all about perspective.....and a Bibical world view really helps, too.  ;)

When you learn to look at everything through the light of that Eternal lens, He'll show you, too. 

He gave my girl that strong will to use for His Glory.  That's what I tell her when she gets mad at herself for losing control of it.  Satan wants to use our gifts ~ esp. our strongest ones ~ for himself, and learning to redirect that sin nature that he uses to do so is not easy.  That strong will that tends to cause so much trouble, though, can be her greatest strength.  It can give her a steadfast faith that is not easily shaken and it can allow her to do great and mighty things for His Kingdom!  I pray it will be so in her life.

And so I call on God's promises for her, that "He who began a good work in her will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" {Phil 1:6, slighly paraphrased ; ) }!

Am I saying that being blessed with a strong-willed child is an easy task?  Are you kidding me (I actually have 2!!) ?!  If it sounds like (or reads like) I think I know what I'm doing, don't be fooled.  I haven't got a clue.  I wasn't raised the way I'm trying to raise my children.  I'm just trying to do my best for them through Him along the way.

She's sweet, she's sassy and Oh-So-Strong-willed......and I'm so glad she's home.  And so thankful that He trusted me with her.....I'm so glad she's mine. ♥

For five days, I lived in a boys' world (and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them)......and now the family scales have shifted back into balance.  You might think in a family of five that 3 males and 2 females are not a balanced equation.  Being such a strong-willed gift, she counts for two ~ HA!!!


va_grown said...

Smiled thru your whole post!

My 3 children are all strong-willed (although my daughter is the most pliable of the 3) and I swear God sent them to me to teach me self-control over my own stubborn streak! (But don't ever tell my husband I admitted that!)

I agree with you, God made them that way because he has big plans for them!

Jill said...

I'm glad it made you smile! =) I won't tell your husband your secrets if you don't tell my husband mine! ;)