Our dear Mackenzie Claire,
Today is your last day as an 8-year-old. Tomorrow, you turn 9 years old. NINE! Goodness, gracious - how did that happen?
My dear, 8 truly has been excellent.
In the past 365 days, you have lived it to the fullest. You've played a variety of sports (highlights including: first year of volleyball; winning basketball and softball leagues; first "official" timed 5K; plus other running races, the Salty Pup Triathlon, and swim team). You also learned how to tap dance and moved up to the beginning ballet class and was on the cast of the Prairie Nutcracker production. And who can forget about piano? You've enjoyed learning how to play beyond "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and participated in your first piano recital.
You're reading at a rapid pace, with books found everywhere - under pillows with flashlights, in the van, on the dinner table. You love being in the present. When you're at school, you love your time there. When you're at home, you love being here. I love how you adapt and find things to love, even when it's difficult or not as expected.
Little miss, we have loved seeing you grow this past year. We're overjoyed in God's softening of your heart. You have grown into a girl who loves the Lord. You take pleasure in reading your Bible and taking notes from the lessons and devotions you study. You ask questions - lots of questions - and we pray you keep asking questions and growing deeper and deeper in love with Jesus as you turn 9.
We love you, Mackie Claire, and pray you use the adventurous spunk that you've been given to His glory. Continue being a light in a world of darkness. Keep being kind even when it's difficult and there's no kindness in return. Lift up your classmates, your friends, and rise above the messiness of this world.
Here's to a new 365 days to celebrate the life you've been so sweetly given. Happy 9th Birthday, Mackenzie Claire!
Love you, love you, love you, my precious sweet pea.