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Dear Self,

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 by in Family | 0 comments

IMG_3323IMG_3225IMG_3272Dear Ashley in 10 years,

The pictures are going to be adorable; they’ll break your heart just a little.

Susanna toddling around with crazy hair and usually missing some key piece of clothing, Isaac with his baby-round cheeks and eyelashes for miles, five year old Ben–all legs, arms and wide grin, and of course, sweet-faced Abby, the quintessential innocent little girl.

You’ll look at those pictures and you’ll think how much easier it was then. You didn’t worry about boyfriends and movies and driving and dates.  You had them all under your roof and you could gather your little chicks together and teach them the Bible while their childish little hearts were soft.

Here is what you might forget…you had them all under your roof all the time.  Snow days were not always welcome.  Those devotions did happen occasionally, but not nearly as often as you intended because by bedtime, you were spent.  And then the messes… The crumbs! The smears! The blobs of toothpaste!

It is going by fast, although you don’t really want to hear that, especially during the witching hour before dinner.  But it is.  It’s flying by so fast, I need to remind you of a few things, things you can share with them in the years to come, when they are all starting to think they’re too cool for family.

  • That moment this morning when you heard Isaac say, “Can I be done now, Abby?” and you looked curiously to see what he was talking about and found him rubbing Abby’s back for her.  And Abby answered, “Not yet.”
  • The other day when you were driving and Isaac said, “Mama! The Ocean!” and you looked and saw a drainage ditch.
  • How you commented on something about Susanna not liking a certain food and (seven year old) Abby replied, “Evidently.”
  • Talking with Abby about the meaning of baptism over a mommy-daughter Wendy’s date. Watching her grasp these spiritual concepts and ask the question, “So, I’ve sinned my whole life… after I get baptized, does God expect me not to sin anymore?”  And you handed her the key to freedom in the atonement of Christ.
  • That moment the other day when (three year old) Isaac said, “Boys don’t like salsa because their tummies are made of metal, so they don’t like salsa.  In girls’ tummies is babies.”
  • How he showed you how to fold your hands to pray before your lunch. And when you said Amen and looked up, Susanna was folding her hands, too.
  • How Ben asked you if you still had a belly button, because he remembered you saying that you lost your bellybutton when pregnant with Susanna. “Did you  lose it, Mama? Do you still have one?”
  • When you were laying down reading a book on your tummy and Susanna toddled over with a wet wipe and carefully wiped off the seat of your jeans, then lifted up your shirt and gave your back and thorough cleaning, too.
  • That moment when Isaac, examining a hole in a kitchen chair said, “I think Satan did this. He’s bad. He’s God’s enemy.  But Jesus made this chair.”
  • When Abby said, “Sometimes it amazes me that I could be, like, a sea horse or something, but instead God made me a person in this family.”

So, when you get that sad mama-ache because they’re all growing up to leave you behind, take a few minutes to remember, give thanks, and be amazed that you’re not a sea horse.


Ashley from ten years ago


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