Ryleigh Elizabeth ~ 6 years old

Ryleigh, dsc_0395

You are the one that made me a momma.  I’ve experienced so many firsts with you because of that, but also so many others.  Living internationally, learning a different language, extended camping trips, and the list could go on and on.  You are no doubt one of the most flexible, go with the flow, kiddos that I’ve ever met.  I see so much of myself in you (for good and bad) and while you love a list & a schedule – you’re A OK when that changes.  You love traveling and you love being at home.  Learning to read has been a highlight of the year and you are always wanting to pick up a new book and figure it out.  I do love that you still want to be read to though too!

He has given you such a compassionate heart (just usually not towards your sister).  I’ve seen it from the beginning of when your personality began to emerge but even more so this year.  There’s not a time when an ambulance or police car passes us that you don’t voice a prayer for whomever they are on the way to help.  img_8926

Anyone who knows you, knows you are a talker – but you are also an excellent listener and that shows up in how you pray for people about things that I didn’t even know you were aware of.  I’ve loved teaching you in VBS and Bible Buddies this year and seeing how you make connections to what He is teaching you through your friends, worship songs, and our devotionals.

Of course, this past year, the highlight has been that you are now my sister in Christ and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Your concern and passion over praying for your little sister to also become a part of your eternal family has been such a sweet thing to be a part of.

You love your people fiercely and have a boldness for Christ that would be hard to rival even by someone 4x your age.  Some may say you’re bossy but I’m praying that He will conform that into leadership skills that will honor Him in magnificent ways.  We talk alot about how when you grow up that you can be anything you want to be only for you to remind me that it’s anything He wants you to be – and you are SO exactly right.

I’ve prayed from the beginning that He would use you to glorify Himself.  He has proven faithful to that request in ways I never imagined and I just can’t wait to see what He has in store.

There’s not a night that we don’t sing your goodnight prayer together and our mornings this year as we travel to school have already become such a sweet time of memories for me.  Your silliness keeps us laughing and your request for “cuddle time” is one of my favorite things.  img_9001

You love peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, pickles, and black olives.  You’re addicted to cran-grape juice and you’ll pick a kit-kat over any other candy.  You still love a bowl of rice with nothing else on it and you can put a bowl of beans away in a hurry…I guess raising you in Madagascar has influenced your palette.  Which also is probably why you have a love for animals just like your daddy.  Right now you think you’ll be a veterinarian -but you want to work at a zoo because you like all the “crazy” animals…or at least that’s what you say.

Your life verse from before you were born is Zephaniah 3:17 –
The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

I truly believe that His way of reminding me of that verse all the time is by giving you a love of singing.  I don’t remember a time when you didn’t love making up your own songs and singing & dancing to each one.  His joy is evident in you and it is a beautiful thing.dsc_0378

I love you Ryleigh Elizabeth and I am so grateful He chose me to be your momma.

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About Nickolee

child of the One True God, wife to the love of my life, mom of 2 gorgeous gals, and humbled to walk daily in His incredible grace
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