Of Princes and Purple Rain

Of Princes. I wanted to do something special for my daughter this year.  She is a sincere and honest and fun and intelligent and multi-talented young woman! She will be reaching a significant milestone in the beginning of 2017 and I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I appreciate about her and honor her somehow at the end of 2016 before the milestone hits. Watching her life unfold has really been a beautiful but also a stretching adventure. She really kindof breaks any stereotype or mold people might have for individuals and it has been a journey for me to watch her exploring life and finding her place in it for now. When we get a chance to meet up and talk, she is a never ending source of stimulating conversation, pretty insatiably curious in her quest to understand. Everything. Back in her early twenties, I really would never have expected her life to be where it is now, I would have expected other things to have happened that have not, and not expected some things to happen that have. But what has happened is all good and very beautiful. Not that she was exactly looking for one, but no 'Prince' has come along. But she has always been looking for stimulating friends and conversations, and looking for growth in knowledge and understanding and learning and skills, and she has found much of that. And she is living, in my opinion, a very beautiful life. And she is definitely more happy and confident than she has ever been as she enjoys her life now and as she looks towards her future.

Of Purple Rain. So this year we have a lot of purple in our photo shoot.  It just happened that way because of fabric I decided to use up, and a velvet quilt I had here being a perfect color match. What is 'purple rain' anyhow?  I looked it up and one definition (although not the definition Prince gives for his song) was a longing for something that is not likely to happen the way it was expected to or hoped for. So maybe that fits this tribute coming from this Mother's heart? Hopefully it is ok for me as a Mother to be honest about what I was thinking might happen. Sarah has no 'Prince' and no children of her own, but she has achieved much that she has sought which really is much more important! And look at all these nieces and nephews! Eight of them! And they all love her so much - you can see by their smiles in these pictures! When she is around they gravitate towards her fun crazy Aunt-ness! I hope you enjoy these pictures of her with each of her nieces and nephews. Little Aimee was overwhelmed by the end of the photo shoot so Christina held her for her picture with Aunt Sarah, at the bottom.

Purple is also the color of royalty. And Sarah's name means 'Princess.' There is no 'Prince' but Sarah is still a Princess. Not necessarily what you think of when you hear the word princess - she never was keen on that stereotype herself!  She is more the type from the movie 'Ever After' - strong and independent and thinking for herself and very happy to climb trees. :) Or maybe Mulan. Maybe the idea of a 'Warrior Princess' fits her better...

If rain is tears I have certainly shed many. But rain is also what brings new life to the hard seed in the ground. And I have seen Sarah's life blossom and grow into something quite beautiful. And I am grateful.  Grateful for her and what she has been to me. I am grateful for a season of getting to know her as an adult and doing lots of fun things together - so many wonderful classical concerts and great food eating out and wonderful mind stretching discussions about books and ideas as we traveled lots of places!! We really don't get much of that anymore, but what I have had will always remain a very special treasure to me. I am grateful for what she has taught me. Grateful to God for what He has done and is doing in her life. Grateful that He loves her so much more than I do even, which is hard to imagine. And He loves her better and more perfectly than me too.  And He created her to be just who she is. And the journey isn't over...He is also intimately involved in who she is becoming as well!  As I look towards the future I embrace that with joy and expectation!  Blessed be His glorious name!

I guess I am writing this not only to share my heart and to thank and honor her, but also to encourage any moms out there who are watching life unfold a bit differently than you expected. God is good. And what He prepares and creates is always going to be good and better than we could have wished for. I believe that. I trust that. Whether there is ever a 'Prince' or not, she will always be my special Princess, my only biological daughter that I have been allowed to raise and release.

I have always loved Psalm 34, so quoting the first 10 verses here might be a nice way to end my thoughts on this.

Psalm 34:1-10 ESV

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

To quote some phrases from the Psalm above, Sarah fears the Lord and lacks no good thing. And don't you think her face is radiant? :)

I am so proud of her and grateful for her and hope this in a small way expresses my heart and encourages her and all who might read this. And may the Lord bless my daughter with a life that only grows in its beauty as future decades go by!

God bless you all,

Momma Beall

Photo Credit: Brianna Estrada