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8 Years Ago…

Having a sappy day, week, month, life 🙂 but just got off the phone with one of my FAVORITE people in the world, and I use that term very sincerely. His name is Braydon and he’s 8 years old today and he is my nephew. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!!!

I remember exactly what I was doing 8 years ago today, I was in a hospital room and my sister had just given me the incredible privilege of allowing me to share in the experience of this little guy entering the world. I remember thinking I could not believe how cool God was when I watched all of this happen, how He had designed all of this to work and when I watched Braydon Bug take his first breath and exhale his first wail I was completely in love with being an aunt and my first little nephew. I remember walking over to that little warming bed they place them in and just staring at him, totally caught up in the moment of life happening and my getting to watch it. I think my sister and I both stayed up all night that first night in the hospital just looking at him and marveling at how amazing he was. Was sweet sweet time with my sister and with this new little guy.

You know it’s kinda been like that with him ever since. It just so happened that my break from college that first year happened right after he was born and my sister had to go back to school and so from mid November until January I got to stay every day with him and watch him and smooch his chubby little cheeks and cuddle him and watch him sleep and we got a pretty special bond during those first couple months. One that gratefully we still share. I love him and he loves me and it’s obvious and I love that. I tell him often he better never get too old to love on his aunt Jen and he just smiles that ornery grin.

My sister calls me every once in a while to lay the guilt on and tell me Braydon went to bed crying last night cause he misses me. It is part of her we want you to come home tactic. 🙂 Truth is sometimes I go to bed crying cause I miss them too!

Talked to him tonight on the telephone and he’s such a little man these days. Telling me all about his soccer games and how he’s playing goalie and his trip to the beach and how he now has two hermit crabs, two lizards, and a turtle…something every 8 year old little boy ought to have. We talked about how important it was to listen to his teacher and to be a good friend tonight, I love those talks most where I am reminded of his tender heart. Then we had fun talking about how he needed to be thinking about fun things we could do together when I see him in just a few short weeks when I’m home. And then he got that somber little sweet voice, and I got that I AM NOT going to cry voice and he said ok goodnight aunt jen i love you thanks for calling me on my birthday. I MISS HIM!!!!!!!!!

So little Mr. Braydon this is a prayer I offer for you on your 8th birthday after watching you for 8 precious years and getting to be around at so many sweet sweet moments of your life and treasuring every single one of them! You have taught me sooo much about God’s love and His overwhelming kindness and about the story of His grace. Sooo much sweet boy, thank you!!!

Father tonight I thank You for the precious gift of this little guy that’s sleeping thousands of miles away in a warm bed with plenty of food and whole bunches of love from my sister and brother in law. I thank You for the gift of His life, that probably has taught us all a tremendous amount about the things that are really important. I praise You for his tender heart and for the sweet sweet smile you’ve put on his face. He is precious stuff God and I thank You for the opportunity to be a part of his life. God I beg You to plant seeds within his heart right now that will someday turn him into a warrior for You. I pray that You will claim His heart now and that a childlike faith will grow within him that he will trust You everyday of his life. Use me in ways that will make You shine in his life and will you please allow the moments when I am around right now to be moments that count, that we remember for a long time, that are sealed in our hearts and tucked away for moments when we really miss each other. Father thank You for this gift of grace that came to our family in the form of this little guy. He is one of the very best parts of all of us, and we are humbly grateful for this miracle you created in the life of my sweet sister. Thank You for making her such a great mommy who loves and adores her boys. You are all good God and I thank You so much for this day 8 years ago when we fell in love with a little guy named Braydon that we’ve been loving to pieces ever since. Grow him strong in You Father. In Your Sons precious name I offer you this heartfelt plea, AMEN

I love you to the moon and back Braydon!!! You’ll always be one of the most special parts of my life!

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