{a letter to my girl}


dear kate~

you stood in the doorway of our room last night, a tall lanky shadow of a girl with wet hair and pj’s saying it was the last time you’d say goodnight as a fifteen year old.

i smiled.

it seems every day holds lasts of these days. and the years have somehow all melted into each other. still so young and vulnerable and forever my baby girl and then this young woman emerging. different from me in so many ways, but in all the very best ways to be, and yet.. a reflection of myself so clear at times, it always catches me.

my firstborn. and how so many of our firsts were together. you have taught me much more than simply becoming a mom and i often feel that i’m really the one who has grown up in these sixteen years.

i couldn’t have asked for someone better to grow up with.


it hasn’t always felt this way, has it? not even six months ago it seemed the only words passing between us were argument and pain. and i wondered if your heart would ever come back. ever be mine again. but then i saw it.. how it was never mine to begin with. it’s never supposed to be!

and i look back and see these similar journey’s we both were on, and still, of bringing our hearts to rest in the One who knows them best. loves them most. cares for them. created them!

isn’t that what it always seems to come back to – where our hearts are running to?

and no man or relationship or material gain or social clout can bring about the peace that is found in Jesus Christ. these things might offer moments of happiness but they don’t bring lasting fulfillment. the world wants us as women to believe our security can be found in how we look or what we accomplish… but it’s never in who we are, but WHOSE.

a woman that knows this- that He alone can satisfy our searching hearts, and in Him we are found – that is a powerful woman! and therein lies the truest beauty of all.. the  kind of beauty no outward appearance can match!




sometimes i just stand back. watching. this discovery. this desire growing. the softness returned. and i’m humbled and convicted. it’s not anything i’ve done. it’s Him. and you finding that source and getting beyond the surface to real change from within.

and i love seeing what’s in coming out as you take all this now and reach to others from this place. you’ve always had such a sensitivity but it’s different now. deeper. that’s where real ministry happens, simply in the noticing. like the girl in your small group who needed warm clothes for fall and you took some of your own money to help her. or that kid on the bus everyone else makes fun of, choosing to sit next to them and just be a friend. or the little ones you always make time for… your sisters and others. stopping to get down on your knees to give them your full attention.

you remind me that this is what it’s all about.
this is what counts. what matters. what is eternal. people.


oh, how i’ve loved doing this life with you!
all of it.
the difficult times as well as great times.
i don’t think we’d be as close. as real with each other were it not for the struggles.

i’ve loved being your mom. but i’ve loved even more being your friend…

those times of just hanging out. laughing. going for late night runs. and jumping turnstiles in nyc! watching gilmore girls or having a heart to heart over a cup of earl grey cream. the connecting and learning and deepening, together.

and i know it won’t always be this way. not like this. in a few years you might be miles away at university. or maybe you’ll marry someone who doesn’t live close to home, like i did. but no matter what, my heart will always look back to these days. these memories. this time.. our growing up years… and i will be glad that i was able to pass some of my life with yours.

so much of me is made from what i learned from you.
and because i knew you – i’m forever changed.

happy birthday my own sweet girl.

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*all these pics are from central park, from our trip to nyc for kate’s 16th.. look forward to sharing all about the trip next week on the blog. it was epic! :)

48 thoughts on “{a letter to my girl}

    1. amber Post author

      i am trying! someone said that once they reach this age it seems to go so fast.. i’m already feeling it. thinking how next year will be her last of high school and then after that… who knows where she’ll be. so strange that something that starts off seeming forever – – those sleepless nights and poopy diapers – – in the end feels like just a blink!!

  1. Danya

    Happy 16th Birthday to beautiful Kate! What a sweet post and love what you shared! So true, how its us as parents growing up :)
    I feel the same. Our kids truly teach us sooo much!
    Gorgeous pictures, mom/daughter models you two are!

    1. amber Post author

      yes… more and more i’m convinced it’s about what our kids teach US and not so much the other way! ;)) are you blogging again yet? i clicked on the link but it takes me to xanga and says ‘page not found…?’

  2. Christy

    There has always been something about Kate that has been so beautiful to me. This post makes me so happy for both of you because a mother-daughter friendship is precious beyond words. The pictures are petty! I especially love the second one. And in Central Park?! How fun.

    1. amber Post author

      i know it may sound strange coming from me as her mom – but there’s always been something beautiful about kate to me too! she’s the child most not like me.. the most a mystery and the one i’ve found through the years has perplexed me and yet fascinated me and just this uniqueness all her own. when i see her i don’t think, ‘oh, she looks like me. or acts like me.’ she’s very much her own person. her own kind of beautiful. weird and yet cool as well how God designed that – these kids that are from us, but not us! i really have learned so much from her~ and we went to nyc for her 16th w/ her best friend and mom. it was a surprise and totally, totally fun. i want to share all about it here.. hopefully this wk. ;))

  3. Jenny

    Happy, Happy BD to your beautiful Kate! So blessed to read of all that God is working out in your lives together. I thought that looked like Central Park :-) Love to you dear Amber.

    1. amber Post author

      thank you, sweet jenny!
      always a treat to hear from you here..
      feels like “the old blogging days” again when familiar faces show up. ;))

  4. Thelma

    awwwwww amber. this was just so beautiful to read. There is something so hauntingly beautiful about Kate.
    And now I must just say, those pics of you at central park??? HOT MaMa!!!
    I do hope you one day post more pics of NY, your trip looks amazing.

    1. amber Post author

      as i said to christy above.. i feel the same. though weird coming from me as her mom – but she’s just always had this look, this spirit about her. i feel like her eyes hold all this question and wonder. “hauntingly…” that’s a good way to put it. :)) hope to share more on nyc. it was amazing~

  5. Dana

    Beautiful words and beautiful girls! Who knew that we would learn so much about ourselves through
    raising these precious children?! Hold on to that girl…life really seems to move quickly from this age ;-)
    (and I haven’t figured out how to slow it down yet…i’ll let you know when i do!)

    1. amber Post author

      ah, yes.. if you discover anything that slows it, even a little, pass that tip along!! ;)) can’t believe we’re more towards the end of her being with us than beginning. you never realize how fast the time has gone until just that.. it’s gone! thanks for all your encouragement!!

  6. Clarita @ Skies of Parchment

    So I’m all teary I can hardly see as I finish reading this post. So SO beautiful. Kate is so gorgeous, breathtakingly gorgeous, just like her mom. And that relationship you share is PRECIOUS. So many women long for a relationship like that with their daughters, or with their mothers. What a precious gift you BOTH have!

    And Central Park in NYC?! Eeeeeek!! I’m so excited to see! :)

    1. amber Post author

      it IS a gift! this relationship, so true!! i don’t think i realized until last yr as we struggled how your relationship w/ your kids is like any other.. you have to be putting in the effort and really striving to KEEP their hearts and be a friend. we can get so focused on strictly being MOM – the cooking, cleaning, checking homework, driving them everywhere, that without really being aware we’ve lost the actual relationship. being together, but not really connected, if that makes sense. my eyes have been opened big time to the fact that if i want a good relationship w/ my kids i must work at it. it’s not going to just happen on it’s own. the mother-daughter relationship is such a beautiful, delicate, intimate one as well… so cool to be best friends with these kids you birthed!! :)))

  7. Shelly

    Both you and your daughter are beautiful! What as sweet letter to her of memories and truth and the friendship you share. So happy to be “meeting” you here (tho I remember reading your xanga blog several times before) and for the initiative you’ve taken to connect bloggers. Happy Friday!

  8. Carol M.

    Where did the xanga years go? LOL It has been fun to see her grow up through your blog.. . She is a beautiful young woman who seems sweet as well. I can understand why you are so proud.

    1. amber Post author

      haha. good way to put it.. the xanga years! it does feel that way, doesn’t it? so many of us have watched each other’s kids growing up across the screen – it’s been a precious community God has built between us all. glad for those who are still in touch and take the time to connect every now and then. *thank you!!

    1. amber Post author

      thank you, my friend. can’t wait to see your girls at 16 someday. it’ll be here much quicker than you think. we know that.. but not really until we’re there. i’ve loved every stage of mothering but the older years are definitely my fav. :)) love too that you and kate share a name! that just always warms my heart. i think every katie/y i know is a dear! xo

  9. Cindy

    belated happy birthday wishes to kate
    and her mother.

    both lovely. both precious. and my throat feels tight with the emotions I felt as I read your words.
    (I think throat tightness is heart related.)

    and maybe NYC related too!
    LOVE IT!!!

    1. amber Post author

      throat tightening is TOTALLY heart/nyc related.
      so true.

      and have i mentioned i’m glad you’re around here again?
      always a favorite to hear from. always.

  10. Andrea

    She is the age you were when my family first met you at a seminar at your church. Your life impacted mine and it is special to see God continuing the work in your daughter. Blessings to you both.

    1. amber Post author

      oh, those seminars at church seem another lifetime ago.in many ways i think they were. the life God had for me then.. so needed and so many i was able to meet through that ministry. i’ll forever be grateful. thank you for taking the time to comment!

  11. Tessy Fuller

    Loved the beauty expressed of the relationship of mom and daughter. She is a beautiful girl and from your words I can tell it is a beauty that goes past the skin. I am so glad you were able to do such an amazing trip together! I can’t wait to read more about it. One of my good friends says NYC is one of her fav places ever. Maybe one day I will visit.

    1. amber Post author

      nyc was incredible. i don’t know what it is that made it so great, because it’s wall to wall people and all kinds of craziness.. but the vibe there feels like you’ve stepped out of normal life and into something totally different. esp central park. i could have stayed there forever!

  12. Luci

    Oh my. You are blessed. She is blessed. And you are both just lovely. Your photography is stunning too. Kate has The Prettiest Eyes! I like what you said about your daughter looking out for others. I have never met you, but I have a hunch she learned that from her mom.

    1. amber Post author

      thanks, luci dear~ i want to have a heart for others. sometimes i think i was “better” at it when i was younger and less busy and distracted. ha! ;) i keep thinking, well, someday when things calm down. or the kids are gone i’ll be able to reach out more. but lately God’s been showing me that, no.. if i’m not willing to give of what i have -limited at times though it seems of time and resources and talent – then i’m not going to be any more willing someday either. i know there’s different ways, more freedom etc to minister in different seasons of life – – but i see that just because this one seems the craziest one of all, there is always, or should be, time for others! and kate’s helped remind me of that again. i’m working on it. ;)) xo

  13. Julie

    16!!! Happy Birthday Sweet Kate. It’s crazy how 16 years goes so fast! :)

    Isn’t it so true how we grow up with our babies! I still feel so young and new at this whole mothering thing…wondering if I will ever get it.

    And yes…. us PK’s have to stick together. ;) I have enjoyed “meeting” your family and “seeing” your children grow over the years.

    Your blog is a blessing to me. You have encouraged me, motivated me, and moved me to tears many times.

    Keep listening to God friend.

  14. amber Post author

    i’m not sure if the “young and new” feeling of mothering ever really goes away.. i still feel the same myself.
    and ditto all the sweet things you said. i’ve enjoyed meeting YOU as well. ;))

  15. Rachel

    16 Amber?! How can she be 16?!
    My eyes just filled with tears reading this letter to your girl.
    Thank you for allowing us the privilege of seeing this piece of your heart that you share for Kate.
    It is so beautiful. So very.


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