This is my darling daughter, Chloe, "modeling" for us.....with her Orange Julius in hand. Hey, she was thirsty. Shopping is thirsty work! This was last weekend when Josh and Jeremiah went on a hiking and camping trip. So, what did me and the girls do?.....Shop! What else is there? Even in all of my pain and challenges I look at pictures like these or the girls themselves (and my son) and remember that I am truly blessed. I mean, look at just this one! At Chloe. Could she be more perfect! Created in the image of God! Wow! She is such a joy, and often gets overlooked in the larger scheme of things with the older two and ALLLLLLL of their activities, which is why I am highlighting her today! She is so sweet and innocent (something I never have been. Didn't have that priviledge.) and so content (also something I have never been.). She's also very talented. She is still developping her gifts and talents, so it is hard to find things to write about with her. She loves music and has taken a few intermitent(sp?) piano lessons. I'm told she is picking it up very quickly. I've always suspected she had some musical talent! She has a very sanguine personality and how does she usually express it?....Why she sings, of course! What else is there in life, after all!!!! I was the same. I would always make up songs about life events and sing other songs preveiously written, like "Jesus Loves Me," which I knew from the earliest point of my childhood that I can remember, even though I did not know Jesus personally at the time and did not even know you could have a personal relationship with Jesus. My parents church didn't teach that and my parents certainly never taught me that either! I've since found out they don't even believe in the same Jesus, I do. My Mom told me that she does not believe that Jesus is God. Wow! That was a shock to my system, since, at least to me, it is so clear in scripture that that is who Jesus claimed to be, so as far as I'm concerned, if you don't believe that Jesus is God, then you don't believe the bible, and subsequently, aren't a believer. Ouch! My mom's on her way to hell! Thank God I can pray for her! Anyway, I got off track a bit. Nobody ever told me or Chloe that musicals weren't realistic. Somebody told me that in the last couple of years. They said that people don't break out into song in real life. I was like, "They don't? That's funny, cause I do all the time! So that's why people look at me funny in the grocery store when I'm singing or humming to myself while I'm shopping!" Seriously, I do. I don't sing loudly, but I sing. Only when I'm generally in a good mood, which I believe is my true personality, not this ugly depression thing that takes over way too often and for too long. I haven't been singing much recently. But Chloe? Chloe sings all the time. When she first started going to school all day, Jeremiah and Angela came home and told me, "Mom, it's embarrassing! She sings in the lunch line and everyone stares at her, and she doesn't seem to care! She just keeps singing!" I just smiled and said, "So she's happy. Let her sing!" And so we do! We just let her sing, but as she got older we'd hear her "experimenting" (that's the only thing I can think to call it) with her voice in her bedroom, changing octaves to make different sounds and what-not (those of you who've studied music would probably have better terms for it than I do). She has always just sort of bounced through the house singing to herself. She recently came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and you have never seen a child so on fire! She's always telling me how she's going to "make" her friends be Christians. I keep telling her you can't "make" people be Christians. They have to choose it for themselves. Okay, so she's a little overzealous, but haven't we all been at some point in our Christian walk, if we take our faith seriously at all! I was the same way when I first came to know the Lord! I was irritating! (Boy we do seem to be a lot alike, don't we?!) She's recently asked to be baptized, which is something we're still talking about. She has to talk with Pastor Kim about that and then we'll see. So be looking for that post. I am sure at some point this spring, my last child to be baptized will be baptized. I've not mentioned her coming to know the Lord, because to be honest with you, it's an odd and wonderful sort of thing, that I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around, that all of my children are now believers! I love it, but it definitely feels like a new chapter in our lives as a family is beginning. Something to ponder. My son will be going to junior high next year and turning 13! Things are shifting for sure, and in some ways (like teenage thing) I'm not sure I like it. I like that they're believers, but I'm constantly asking, "What next, Lord? Now what?" I know their faith is just beginning to bud and flourish and this is only the beginning, but not having any idea what's coming bothers me sometimes. I mean, I know in general, but it's a little nerve-wracking thinking about the temptations and challenges they will soon be faced with, and that really, I don't have any control over that. And that they will have to make those decisions for themselves. I can't make it for them. I feel like slowly, but surely control over my children's lives is being taken from me, and for the record, I. DON'T. LIKE. IT!!!! It's how it was meant to be, I know, but I'm a control freak, people! I can't allow this to happen! But I don't really have a choice, do I? No, I don't. So here we go! This new chapter in our lives is beginning, and all I can do is pray! And pray, I shall!!!!