Almost exactly fourteen years ago I became a mama when our dear Ellis Ann came into this world. She was long and thin (even then!) and never liked to eat all that much. She loved sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and she captured mama's, daddy's, grandma's and grandpa's hearts within seconds.
She has always loved books and reading is a favorite past time. Ellis' idea of a good time is studying for her SAT (long before teacher Mama even thought it was time), learning about logic, gardening, playing games and writing family newsletters. Ellis is a pro in the kitchen, caring for her siblings and picking out good books.
This week has been a new kind of stretch for our family and for Ellis. Aside from a week here and there at Grandma & Grandpa's, Ellis has mostly been with Mama and/or Daddy for her entire 14 years. This week Ellis attended GO Camp at Freed-Hardeman University. GO is all about going into the world, preaching the gospel, and sharing a cup of water in Jesus' name. It is directed by some dear friends of ours and is an amazing, different kind of camp. We are so proud of Ellis and her leap of courage and desire to learn new ways to serve.
This mama's heart was so encouraged as I saw Ellis with new friends. In the midst of "Justin Bieber fever" and "skinny jeans mantras," my heart absolutely sung to see dear Ellis recognize what was important and hang on every word from those teaching her to serve and to be different, not "of this world."
God is with this precious girl of ours. It is only by His grace that she stands, not afraid to be different, not afraid to lead a lifestyle that is set apart. Thanks be to Him for his gracious mercy, for giving our family the dear treasure of Ellis and for filling her heart with love and a desire to serve.
We love you deeply Ellis Ann. Thanks be to God for your 14 years.
P.S. Here's a news clip showing just a glimpse of what the GO campers did this week. And here's a quote from director Brad Montague about the meals packed for Feed My Starving Children:
Total number of meals packed....139,968 meals packed this week!! That's 648 boxes, enough to feed 384 kids for a year! In the past two years, we have packed a total of 241,848 meals, enough to feed 663 kids! Incredible.