Friday October 22, 2010

{and just like that she was a teenager}

On 10.10.10 our Kate turned thirteen!

I think I would usually say right about now,
“Where have the years gone?”
But I told myself I wasn’t going to ask.
Because I know the answer….

I see it stretched out like a timeline before my eyes.
A long, skinny, beautiful, vibrant, alive timeline in the face of my firstborn.
And in looking at her I see exactly where the years have gone…

they’ve gone into a million moments of tears. and millions more of joy. they echo with a high pitched contagious kind of giggle. that makes me think immediately of a little nose crinkled up a certain way that always accompanies that giggle. they’ve been filled with serious talks and times when words weren’t necessary. they’ve held plenty of i’m sorry’s, a few tantrums, and more hugs than can be counted. it’s been about discovery. learning what it means to parent like Him and be a daughter of His. how in learning that individually, it makes the us in our relationship better. it’s been about growing. understanding. giving grace and needing it even more. it’s been about surprises. a few that knock the wind out of you in that unexpected way. but most of which are the kind that find you grinning from ear to ear, for no particular reason, only that your heart is so full. so blessed. so grateful.

So even though I don’t need to ask, where the years have gone? I will say.. man! they’ve gone too fast!

There’s something different about your firstborn.
Not that they’re more special than the other kids – only uniquely distinctive…
in that they were the one to give you the name “mom” to begin with.
And Kate has certainly made me enjoy that name.
And… be very sobered by it at times as well.

I’ve always said she was so much like her daddy.
But in more recent years I see a new likeness emerging…
and I think I recognize it’s blurry image more and more each day.
Though I do wish she’d stop carrying that huge mirror with her everywhere she goes! ;)

One of the good things that’s come from Shayne being gone during this season of life is the friendship that has deepened with Kate and I.
I felt we were close before, but now.. it’s like there’s more of that understanding and sense of just “knowing” that good friends seem to have.
So often we’ll be talking and I’ll find myself thinking, “I like this girl!” :) She’s just an amazing little person. And I learn from her life in a big way.

I used to think it was good parents that made good kids – but now I see it’s the other way around!

Here’s 13 things I love about Kate::
*She’s thoughtful – every week she has atleast 2 or 3 cards to mail out to people, just to let them know they’re special.
*She’s a servant – often doing things before being asked.. and sometimes having to be asked to STOP. she would just keep going and going. :)
*She’s not moody – she has such a steady, calming way about her. something not common in girls {or women} ;)
*She’s creative – always drawing. painting. making cards. designing something. or coming up with big ideas!
*She’s kind – in the real kind of way and not in the, “i’m only doing this cause i think this is how i’m supposed to act” kind of way.
*She’s loyal – usually laid back and reserved unless you talk about her family, or her God. she surprised us all this summer during the musical production she was in with her boldness for Christ. what do they say about still waters running deep? exactly.
*She’s sincere in her walk with the Lord – she’s so faithful to spend time in the Word every morning without being told.
*She’s a great sister – she loves running crazy with Ben, sitting playing dolls with Emma, or cuddling with Reese. She’s the big sister everyone would want. :)
*She’s Canadian – there’s a soft spot in my heart for anything Canadian. ;) and I love that she shares that special little thing with her daddy.
*She’s confident – in a quiet sort of “i know who i am and what i want” kind of way.
*She’s fun – she likes putting on dance parties with her friends and brother and sister!
*She’s comfortable – in that others feel at ease around her.
*She’s got a big heart – and I can’t wait to see all the things God’s going to fill it up with for His glory!!!

We spent the whole week of her birthday celebrating..
with a present to open each day.
special girls night out w. mom.
dinner w.mamaw & papaw.
shopping with the uncles.
and parties at the start and finish. 

EVERYONE enjoyed Kate turning 13!! :)

Here’s a bunch of the pictures from all that~

first party w.some of her best girlfriends


surprise costume party and friends

a pirate. a fairy.and a puppy

and a hippie


when asked what I was dressed up as I said, “a tired mom.” ;)
I think I pull the look off pretty well.

fun games


musical chairs – always been my favorite all time party game. so fun!

Mrs.V  boogieing to the music! We love our Mrs.V :)

Wheelbarrow Race

though some had to resort to different methods

some of the faces from the day


I started a journal that I’m going to keep especially for Kate through her teen years.
To share my thoughts, advice, memories of her. I want to make a point to write in it every day.
I told her she’s free to pick it up and read it anytime.. not just some kind of heirloom thing she has to wait on until she’s married or I die. ;)
And it’ll help motivate me to be faithful on keeping it up – don’t want her seeing empty pages in there!

I think it’s important for kids to hear from those who’ve went before them, so to speak –
as my dad used to say, “get experience as cheap as you can – from other people!”
And I want to encourage my kids to hear others. To learn from them. And always be approachable and teachable…

Kate likes reading my blog and has come to be familiar with alot of you…
so I’d like to turn the comments into something a bit more meaningful than, “good post.nice pictures.” ;)
I would love to have you women {and the few men who read} ;) share any words of wisdom or things you’d wished you knew at 13, etc. {if you want. no pressure. :) plain happy birthday works too}. I think it’ll bless Kate and be the cherry on top of an already super special time celebrating her step through the doors of young womanhood.

Thank you!

and thank you God for the GIFT of our sweet firstborn girl.


51 thoughts on “Friday October 22, 2010

  1. houseintheprairie

    Wow, what a sweet week of celebrating your 13th birthday. Happy belated birthday Kate. Your mama wrote quite a list of attributes…it gives you a real challenge to keep walking with the Lord and growing in your knowledge of HIM and HIS word, the Bible. God Bless You and may you feel HIS loving arms directing you in HIS way.

  2. kaylouann

    Hey, Kate! You were born on my 21st birthday! Didn’t know we share the same day. You have a row of beautiful friends, but you know who your bestest friend ever needs to be? Your mom. My mom was mine and I could tell her anything thro’ my teenage years and she never freaked out or laughed at me when I confided in her about my boy crushes, my fears, my friends, my dreams, everything. Pictures speak 1000 words and I can tell you’ve got love all around you. Love is richer than a million dollars. Keep being as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside and you’ll go far in life and will spread sunshine wherever you go.

    Amber, i LOVE Mrs. V! :)

  3. Izzysgal

    Happy Birthday Kate! Wow, i don’t even know if I can remember turning 13. I think one thing I’d do different is just to enjoy and live in every stage I”m in, instead of thinking….when I’m 16 it’s gonna be so cool. Oh, yeah, those days are fun too, but life goes so fast, and pretty soon you’re as old as your Mom ;). Also keep listening to your Dad and Mom, they love you and want the very best for you. Trust Jesus no matter what, and let Him show you what His plan is for your life. Bless you for being such a good help to your Mom…that’s a terrific gift to her. Be yourself, the real person that Jesus has made you to be….don’t ever try to be someone to please others, God has big plans for you! Hope this year is a really happy one for you!

    Amber, that one pic of Kate looks exactly like you ;0. Love that you are such good friends……that’s a huge gift! Wow, Mrs. V looks like she could really get down and boogie ;). I’m amazed that you put all the effort into making this an amazing birthday with all you’re working on right now….here’s to many nights of good sleep ;).

  4. Missionfieldof5

    Dear Kate,
    It looks as though you have surrounded yourself with a wonderful bunch of friends, a dedicated family….now as you enter this next phase of your life, it will be required of you to dig deep in your faith in the Lord…you do not know what the Lord will bring your way…be ready to stand firm in the Lord, to not waiver, to stay the course and to glorify God through it all.. There may decisions you will need to make, that might not make other’s happy, but if you are following the Lord…those that are upset, may come back one day and say thank you because you were the only one willing to stand firm on God’s words…. Good Luck…may you be blessed with blessings overflowing in the coming years…it looks like you already are….Congratulations.

  5. thisisabother

    oh my, i remember when our oldest daughter turned 13…now she’s almost 41! :) happy birthday! BE 13…don’t rush into wanting to be 21 – life doesn’t need any kind of pushing/yearning for the next stage – it happens quickly enough! :) i wish you a wonderful ‘tweenie’ year w/ lots of good memories & good things happening for you! wonderful pics!

  6. totallycherished

    Oh how I wish you and my daughter, Ashlen could meet!  She just turned 13 in August.  I have a hunch the two of you could really hit it off….and besides that I LIKE your mom…so that would work well for me!  :)

    Something I wish I would have known at 13 was how important it was for me to recognize my value in God’s eyes – my value apart from everyone else’s.  That it wasn’t based on what this friend thought, or what that friend thought, or who thought I was pretty, or wether or not I had cool clothing, but at the end of the day, it was about God.  God and I.  And His caring for me, holding me close.  That He was interested in my hurts and failures.  That He understood me….and LOVED me…not in spite of it, but because of it!

    Stand tall, girl! 
    Hold your head high. 
    May your spirit grow bold for what you’re called to!
    You are a princess!  And not just any princess.
    YoU aRe HiS PrInCeSS!

  7. Richgem

    Kate seems to be practically perfect in every way!!! It’s amazing that she cares enough to send special cards to people and I’m sure the recipients are thrilled. I have a young friend (she’s 25 now) who is missing part of her arm. Every now and then, she’ll send me a card to encourage me. I always cry because I’m so touched by her thoughtfulness. Kate, please keep sending the cards. Your sweetness is Christ’s love flowing through you and that right there could totally change somebody’s day all around for the better! Happy Turning Thirteen and believe me, your mama really does know what’s best! Hugs to you from a Grammy kind of lady in Arizona. ( 8

  8. Cluesy

    Happy Birthday Kate! 13 is such an awesome and special age!
    What a fun party it looks like you had.
    When I think back to when I was 13
    I wish someone had told me that all my worth was in being Me the special girl God made me to be.
    Always remember who you belong to and who loves you!
    Your worth comes from being a special child of God, Not from how many people you can
    Please or how many people like you or think we are beautiful(which you definitely are)

    You are dearly loved and liked by God, just for being You!

    Happy Birthday Kate! Enjoy being 13.

  9. leasejw

    Happy Birthday Kate! My own firstborn daughter turns 13 next year, and your week long party has given me some good ideas for our celebration of her. (I hope you don’t mind if I take some of your mom’s ideas!) I wish my daughter could meet you. From your mom’s beautiful description of you, you are a creative, caring, sincere daughter of the King who blesses the lives of those around her. Keep seeking the Lord as you grow and mature. God has amazing plans for your life and it will be exciting to hear how He continues to bless and use you for His glory. Have fun being a teenager!

  10. WildWomanOfTheWest

    The journal for Kate~ sweet idea, Amber!

    ~ and for Kate: There are times in your life when you may not be able to understand what is happening around you~ but just go with what you know~ He loves you more than you will ever comprehend. Never give up pursuing your God-given passions, embrace your confidence in Him, when it seems too hard to continue forward. He is preparing the way. Your love for your family~ causes my heart to swell.  Much love from Oklahoma ~ Tamy

  11. myhopeisinjesus

    Happy Belated Birthday Kate! I turned 13 a long, long time ago and I can assure you that the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus — you seem like a very sensitive young lady who is dearly loved by your family — you are blessed! Love God and your family and serve Him with all of your heart — you’ll never regret it!

  12. mytoesareblue

    Happy Birthday Kate! I looked like you had a great time celebrating with all the people who love you and who you love. It was so special to see your dad home and that special picture of just you and him.

    Your mom wrote a list of the things she admires about you…and you sound like a wonderful girl. My favourite part is your desire to share your faith boldly and spend time with God every day! Keep on seeking Him and proclaiming THE TRUTH boldly. You are a beautiful young woman, full of a heart for others and a loyalty for dear friends and family. I pray taht this will continue to grow as the years stretch ahead before you.

    Never forget that God’s on this journey with you. It doesn’t always look like what you think it will be, but its always something you can hold tightly to Him in! Praying for the years ahead that you can spend with your dear family (brother, sisters, mom and dad) and learning to love each other more and grow close together.

    be blessed in this awesome year in your life!


  13. pettybunch


    Trust Jesus.  Trust your parents.  There is no one in this world that wants your good more than them.  You are precious, and I know as you continue down the road you are on, mighty and wonderful things will come from your life.

    Amber, I am so with you about that firstborn – you said it so well – “uniquely distinctive”.  Cherish the moments!

  14. chulya


    what a beautfiul name! it fits you to a T. i almost wish i were 13….so i could be your friend. i know i’d love you for a friend because everything your mother wrote about you is everything i would want in a friend.

    God has given you such special giftings that only you can share with the world. …and what a good job you’re doing with them! Jesus takes such delight in you, kate! He is thrilled that you choose to spend time with Him every day! HE is, and will always be, your very best friend!

    cherish who God made you to be! don’t try to ever be someone else. always be true to yourself.
    cherish your very special family!

    precious kate! what amazing things God has in store for your life! XOXOXOX and <3

  15. Anonymous

    From reading, I wish at 13 I would have been more like Kate! ;) But if I were to give advice to any new teenage girl, it would be to continue developing your relationship with Christ, because sometimes He is the ONLY one you can turn to, and if you don’t turn to Him, you will turn either selfishly inward to yourself or foolishly outward to someone who will only hurt you more. He is the ONLY One Who is “Yesterday, Today, and Forever.” Make your friendship and relationship with God most important, make HIS opinion of you more important than any other friends’, and your teenage memories will be so much sweeter. This is what I wish my grownup self could go back and tell my 13-year old self.

  16. fortheloveofblogging

    Happy Birthday Kate. I truly enjoyed looking at all of your mom’s pictures of your parties. You must be some special girl. From reading all the wonderful things your mom wrote about you it is obvious that not only are you her daughter, you are her friend. Cherish this relationship, truly cherish it. I am 31 years old and I can tell you that with age you learn more & more just how much you need your mother. My 11 year old daughter is my best friend in the whole world. She’s a super kid and like your mom I”m super proud of her. Stay strong in your faith and continue on the correct path. I am sure you are going to do amazing work in this world.

    Hope you have had a wonderful birthday week :)

  17. singingrachel

    Hey Katie,  what a sweet party week you had and i loved hearing all about it.  I just kept doing this little “oh fun” as i scrolled through the pictures.  You have so many wonderful people around you and that is going to be helpful to you all through life.

    I have loved watching you grow into a lady these past several years…. you are beautiful and don’t ever believe anything differently.  All the 13 things your mother wrote about you are just what i always thought you would be.  MOST of all, i love the way you shine for God and are into reading the Word.  That fills any mothers heart with so much pride.

    Never let go of God.  I’m so very sure HE has got some really cool things in store for you.  And i pray this move to Canada will go well for you and that you’ll soon be able to find your spot and make new friends.

    Amber, YOU have done WELL.  You are blessed for sure.   Love your journal idea/write every day thing.  I keep one for the boys but i sure don’ t get wrote in it very often so you have inspired me to do better in that and they too are allowed to pick it up at any time to read it.  Who knows, might’ve been you that inspired me in that a few yrs. ago.

  18. cricket79

    I’m gonna try and comment on here, I can only access thru my phone and it won’t let me comment sometimes. I could post on facebook but thot I’d try this instead.
    Happy 13th birthday Kate! I remember my 13 birthday and my dad teasing me about being a teenager. :) what I wish I would of known at 13 would be to be yourself. Don’t try to act like others to “fit in.” Be yourself. I was in my upper teens before I decided to be who God made me to be and not always try to be like others, to be in the “cool” crowd. I had/have lots of friends and I haven’t regretted being me :) always keep your family close, your parents do know what they’re talking about even though you might think they are “old fashioned” :) and them and your siblings can be the best friends you’ll ever have. Hold them close and don’t let anything tear that apart. Friends may come and go but family is forever. Have a wonderful 13th year!
    PS – I LOVED the hippie look! You made an adorable hippie :)

  19. Donna7

    Happy birthday Kate! Not sure what words of wisdom I have at the moment but you sure are blessed to know the Lord. I didn’t get saved until I was 27 years old. You also have sisters, another wonderful blessing. I always wished that I had a sister. Treasure each and every day you have with them; but it sounds as though you already do! :)

    Kate dream big, trust God and be amazed!

  20. aretheyallyours

    The journal is a wonderful idea!  What a treasure it will be to her.

    To Kate: Happy Birthday!  As you go through your teen years, always remember that there is no greater joy that the life the Lord has planned for you.  Every command He gives in His word is there to protect you from evil and to bless your life.  Pray for Him to fill you with His truth so you are never deceived by the lies of the enemy.  You will never regret choosing to follow His ways.  Have a wonderful time being 13!

  21. Ariadone

    WOW, what a lovely post. Such happy celebrating faces, great. How energetic of you to organise such a party in these chaotic days, you are such a good mother. I love the idea of the journal and also that is open to her and not’s so bonding. Good luck with writing it from all daily events. Kate is really a beautiful girl and unmistakenly yours.

    Have a blessed weekend together.

    Lieve groeten van Godeliva van Ariadone

  22. DawneElla

    Happy Birthday Kate! I’m sitting here racking my brains trying to think of what I wish I knew at 13 that could be helpful to you…it seems to me that you are already wise beyond your years. I didn’t know the Lord when I was 13 and my life was on a path that would later require a lot of correction. So I think the best thing I can say to you…is stay on the path you are on, keep the Lord first in your life, you will have a lot less regrets in life as you seek Him first. I think you know how blessed you are to have parents who do their best to point you in that direction. 

    It looks like you had a wonderful birthday party to top off your birthday week! Enjoy being 13! From one Canadian girl to another~Dawne

  23. down_onthefarm

    Happy Belated Birthday to you, Kate…and your mom!
    I know that we haven’t met irl…but I know that I know in my know-er that I love you so much! :)

    The first thing that popped in my brain as far an attempt at words of wisdom was “Live for an Audience of One”
    and then that phrase { the newsboys recently put it into a song ~ awesome}
    “Dance like no one is looking,
    Sing like no one can hear,
    Love like you’ve never hurt before…”

    Good. good. fav quotes for sure. but not quite it. there is something else…first.
    It is the old invitational hymn, “Just as I am.”
    Probably mostly made famous by Billy Graham but we sang it alot when I was growing up.

    “Just as I am.”

    That is my prayer for you dear Kate.
    I wish that I’d have known in my know-er that deeply profound truth for myself…a long time ago. 
    That I come to Him…”Just as I am.”
    He wants to help, comfort, mold, heal, grow, change, and BREATHE life into me.
    But I don’t need to try to neaten and tidy myself up first offering an effort at performance {and pretend.} 
    He is not afraid of my raw, real and intensity…or the mess In and Around me!
    He just loves ME SO MUCH!
    “Just as I am!!!”
    And way way way too much {to-die-for-valued} to leave me “Just as I am!”

    I am celebrating YOU and this very special milestone year!

    you have the coolest birthdate btw. 10.10.10. i just love numbers and i especially love that one! :)
    your mom and i have a friend named carmen, and her baby was born on 8.9.10…also way cool, don’t ya think?!

  24. willeywonderings

    happy birthday, Miss Kate…..    you are blessed with a beautiful mama who loves you dearly! AND you serve a God who loves you even more.  I hear a teachable spirit in you and that will take you far in life.  Hope the move goes well for you and your 13th year will be one you look back on with great joy!

     Amber, love the journal idea, just may have to borrow that one it a few years!  ((hugs)) 

  25. redladybug18

    As I think back to being 13…hm seems like just a blur even though it was only 9 years ago. You’d think I’d remember more. Seems like my life was filled with school and after school activities=life. I guess if I had to live over those years what I would do is maybe think of others more and don’t think about what others think of you, only do that which God wants/likes. Sounds like your on the right track for that. Also I probably wouldn’t complain as much. It doesn’t help anything or change anything and it wears on others who have to listen to it. Enjoy all changes that come along with getting older because no matter whether you like it or not it’s going to happen. And one last thing, rejoice in the Lord always…even in the bad times.
    Amber how’d you make that “moving” picture of the musical chairs?

  26. Elizabethmarie_1

    Kate, Happy Birthday!!! Tyler just turned 13 last month. You guys are getting big! It’s exciting, but a little sad for us moms who remember you being born not so long ago! ;)
    You are such a beautiful young lady, and so sweet. =) 
    Being a mom, I know how much your mom loves you. You are blessed with wonderful, wonderful parents, not everyone has that you know! Thank God everyday for what you have been blessed with!  Always be respectful to them, always know they have your best interest in mind.  Your family, especially your mom will be your best friend when you grow up! (besides your husband of course, if you marry!)  Enjoy this time you have at home with your sisters and your brother. There is nothing like it! It’s a very special time in life and it goes by very quickly!  Being a bigger sister, right now you are probably Emma’s hero ;), pray to be a Godly example to her.   I always tell Tyler, God made him the first born for a reason, as God did you Kate!  Pray for the strength and wisdom to carry out God’s will for you! 
    One more thing….you made a great hippie! =) 

    Amber, you’re such a great mom! This was a fun post!  

  27. DanishDoll

    Sweet Kate! Happy birthday! I guess the biggest and bestest advice I have for you is to train yourself to listen to the Holy Spirit. He will never steer you wrong. You can ask Him anything, from “Should I wear this? to “Why does being around this person make me feel uncomfortable in my heart?” The Holy Spirit is there to guide you, comfort you, teach you, convict you, fill you with joy, and teach you truth. When you know how to listen to Him, you can avoid a lot of heartache. You may doubt yourself, but never doubt that He knows what is best. Blessings!

  28. myall4christ81

    Happy Birthday, Kate! I remember my 13th birthday like it was yesterday. Such special memories. Congats on becoming a teen. I guess my piece of advice would be: Don’t let other’s define who you will be as a teenager. I had so many people tell me to look out, because once I turned 13 I was going to become a rebel. It was as if once I turned 13 a switch flips and I would become a “bad kid”. But I made a decision in my heart to prove them wrong and I did so by honoring my parents, talking freely to them and taking their advice to heart. You are a beautiful young lady and I look forward to many more years of watching you grow (through your mom’s blog) into a beautiful woman who loves the Lord and desires to please Him in all your ways. Determine to live your life to bring honor to Him and in that you will find a life lived to it’s fullest.

  29. ABAHM

    Dear Kate, Happy happy 13th birthday. What a special girl you are and wonderful family you have. Keep growing in God and seeking Him. Enjoy these days in the shelter of your family, and ask God to help you to keep walking with Him. I looked up this blessing for you and pray that the Lord continues to guide your life. With love, Jenny

    A blessing: In the name of Jesus Christ I bless your going out and your coming in today and every day. May you ponder the way of your feet and not turn to the right or to the left from the path that God has planned for you. May you have clear direction of the road you are to walk today. When you allow the Lord to direct your steps,He takes delight in each move you make. May you understand the lessons He is trying to teach you from what he permits to happen in your life. If you stay on God’s pathway, your life will be filled with joy and gladness.
    Psalm 32:8
    Psalm 37:23
    Psalm 121:6
    Psalm 143:8 & 10
    Proverbs 4:20-23
    Proverbs 4:26
    Proverbs 8:20

  30. flame_of_fire

    Wow! Advice, huh? Well first off, I was SO blessed to read about the relationship you ALREADY have with God, Kate! I am ALWAYS so blessed to hear when people are close to God at a young age. I made the decision to become a Christian at age 12, myself. [laughs] And reading about the GREAT, godly characteristics you already have… I’m at a loss at what I could really share. But, there is ONE thing that keeps coming to mind – GUYS! From experience, let me just say it is SO NOT worth it to let a guy disrupt your close relationship with God. =( Keeping yourself surrounded with the family and friends who love and care about you will help protect you from any guys who would mean bad news… I also really struggled with believing the world’s philosophy that my worth was determined by how many guys showed an interest in me. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen “Little Women,” but I LOVE Kirsten Dunst’s line, “You don’t need scores of suitors. Just ONE, if he’s the right one.” [smile] If I’m not mistaken, your dad was your mom’s first boyfriend, right? I went to a purity conference with our church’s Youth Group girls back in the summer and there were a couple speakers and a worship leader who all shared that they married the first person they dated. I thought back to my experience and realized that if I hadn’t fallen for the lies and had been patient on God’s timing, I too would have married my first boyfriend. I don’t think a story like that is a fairytale. Believe that God can do the impossible. Continuing living your youth for Him! God’s blessings on you and your family. Reading about your family is such an inspiration and encouragement!

  31. flame_of_fire

    @myall4christ81 – 

    LOVE this advice! One of my biggest pet peeves is adults’ stereo types of teenagers! My first child is only 13 months old, but I’m convinced she doesn’t have to become a rebel when she’s a teen too. I’m SO glad you shared this!

  32. twofus_1

    Dear Kate, learning to know you through your mom’s blog has had a way of making me love you. You are a dear girl and reading the description of you above made me really, really wish I’d know you in real life. In fact, I was thinking, wow, I hope my sons will find girls like her when it’s time for them to get married. ;) Here’s my advice–find your approval from Jesus. When we look to our friends or other people to tell us if what we’re doing is right or cool we can start wanting to please them and sometimes it makes us do crazy things and make decisions we’ll regret later. When we find our approval from God–doing what He wants, loving the things He loves, becoming more like Him….it makes us beautiful and free.

    By the way, I love your name. If we would have had a girl when we had our first son, her middle name would have been Kate. I love it because it is strong and girl-y all in one. Love, Christy

  33. grams53

    Happy Birthday, Sweet Kate!  Just a few things I would encourage you to as well.  First, be yourself!  You are perfect just the way God made  you and gifted you.  I love how considerate  you are of others. That is so good! Then, always walk in a friend relationship with Jesus – He is your very best friend! And finally, always practice being grateful.  It will be so helpful when days are hard, years have passed and discouragement wants to set in.  A grateful attitude shows on one’s face and draws rather then repels others to you, and to the one you represent – the Lord Jesus Himself!  Blessings, dear one!

  34. JsSteph7

    Aw! Happy Birthday to Kate! Wow. 13 is such a big age and the teen years can be hard but a lot of fun too. I think you have the upper hand with a great relationship with your mom and the Lord. It seems like everyone was kinda saying it, but it’s so true to keep your focus on Christ because some things just get blurry when you’re a teenager. I would also say enjoy being young. Don’t try to grow up too fast, because it’s gonna happen anyways. :) It was so nice to read all of the wonderful things your mom was saying about you. It made me think of the verse in Proverbs 31 “Many daughter have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” Keep up the good work!

  35. myall4christ81

    @flame_of_fire – Yes, it’s always been a pet peeve for me too. My brother and I used to get asked all the time why we didn’t go down the wrong road. My answer was always “It’s a decision I made in my heart.” Of course all glory goes to the Lord, but each teenager, each adult for that matter at some point makes a conscious decision in their heart what path they will choose. My oldest and only child is 11 months old and every night before I put her to bed I pray with her and ask the Lord that she will get saved at an early age and give her life to Christ. I think that is every Christian mom’s greatest desire for their children. Your baby girl is so cute, btw.

  36. A_Full_Half_Dozen

    Hi Kate!  Happy Birthday! I’ve enjoyed reading about you on your mom’s blog for some time, and it’s obvious that you are such a blessing to her and your family.

    Psalm 119:105 has been one of my favorite verses for a long time.  “Your Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.”  I’ve repeated that to myself often.  I’ve often wanted to know what God has in store for me.  What my future is.  Sometimes I want a SPOTLIGHT that shows everything.   But that’s not how God works.  He’s a LIGHT unto my PATH.  He shows me just enough to get through each day…each week…each month…each year…etc.  It’s made me lean on Him more and more each day.  God is in control and is the Author of my life.  Without Him, I am nothing.  I constantly have to yield my life to Him.  I have to “give the pen back” to the Author quite often.  But when my life is yielded to Him and when I stop trying to be in control, He is able to use me in ways that weren’t possible when *I* wanted to be in control.  It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.  Kate, God is the Author of your life too!  He is in control.  Walk in His ways, lean on Him, and let Him lead you.  Let Him be your Author.  It is so worth it!!

    You are so blessed to have godly parents who love the Lord.  Listen to them, talk (openly) with them, take their advice, and enjoy the time you have with them and your siblings.  Your teen years will flybyohsofast!!  Trust me! 

    Do you write in a journal?  That’s something I’ve done since I could read/write.  I just recently went back to one of my journals from several years ago, and it was reading through it!  It brought back SO many good memories.  I just wrote about everyday stuff, holidays, gatherings, special times, etc.  If you don’t have a journal, I would encourage you to start one.  I still write in mine.    It’s something I’ll have for years and years.

    From the pictures, it looks like you had an amazing birthday.  What a great start to your teen years!!    May God bless you and may you continue to grow closer to Him. 

    ~Lauren Wescott

  37. MollyDraga

    My words to sweet Katie… be who you are, who God made you to be. He wants to use the Katie that He made you to be. He doesn’t want you to be like the other girls. At 13, it’s so easy to want to be like everyone else, so they will like us, and make us feel valuable. But you ARE valuable, already, because God has made you so. Stand alone. Be glad to be who you are. Don’t pattern yourself after other girls, or as the teen years progress, don’t pattern yourself after what you think boys will like. Pattern yourself after Jesus. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and ALL THESE OTHER THINGS will be added unto you.”

    And you are one of my most favorite young ladies in the world. You are kind and generous and sensitive to others. Such is what Jesus wants to use. We need all the kind and sensitive folks in the Body that we can get :).

    Love you, Katie,
    Mrs. V

  38. thebaybunch

    I look at these pictures with such joy that you and Shayne are faithful to the commandments of God to raise up your children in His likeness.  You see the content joy in Kate’s face.  She is a blessed young woman. She is remarkably beautiful with the radiance of the Lord eminating from her heart.  I am so affected to tears when I see our kids serving joyfully and pressing in to the things of the Lord.   Thank you Kate for being an example to the young girls that will look up to you……and for being an example of purity, kindness and love to those around you.  I look forward to one day meeting you and the rest of your family.  I am Canadian you know and your mom has a soft spot in her heart for “anything Canadian”.    Many blessings to you Kate. 

  39. appalolly

    I know what you are saying about great kids making great parents instead of the other way around, but when I read about Kate and her heart for God, etc., I KNOW where she has learned much of that from.  Bless you as a Mother, Amber. I think you are doing a wonderful job!

    And to Kate — Happy 13th Birthday. How exciting!  I would say to you — “Keep things in perspective.”  I remember as a teen, everything seemed SO big and important and dramatic and like it would never end (or never begin, or whatever) and now that I am older, I realize that even though you need to work through your emotions that you are feeling, remember, it won’t always be this way and try to keep things in perspective. That’s my advice.

  40. cherylyn_p

    Happy Birthday Kate – a little late. (Hey! That rhymes!)

    Your grandpa told your mom,”Get experience as cheap as you can – from other people!” and that is so true. When I was 13, I thought I had so many things figured out (what was important, what I wanted to be) but, I was SO FAR from reality! It’s crazy to look back now, and think. But, think, I do, and I wish I had someone I trusted to make me stop and listen.

    Learning from those who are older is EXCELLENT advice and SO VALUABLE when you actually listen and *take* that advice. I look back, now, and think about how many older people told me things that I found to be true *AFTER* I made too many mistakes to mention here!

    All those thoughts of, “Oh, what do they know. They’re 50 years older than me. Times have changed. It’s not like it was when they were teenagers.”

    Things haven’t really changed. Not really. The players and the sets may change, but the script forever remains the same.

    Older people are more than history books – they are a wealth of experience! Most older people would love to save a younger person from making the same mistakes they made. Unfortunately, everyone will make their own mistakes.

    I wish I had known: “Things don’t really change,” and I wish I had listened more than I talked. (I still talk a lot . . . but I think you get the drift!!! ;) )

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Happy *Year*) sweetie! Be Blessed ~ cherylyn

  41. cherylyn_p

    Amber, Who is the girl in the red shirt with Kate (the pictures before the 3 legged race)???? She looks SO MUCH like my best friend in high school. If you tell me her last name is Pagola I might faint!

  42. mellibella

    Happy Birthday (late)  sweet Kate.  You are already blessed by having parents that Love the Lord, and by you knowing Him at such a young age.  I didn’t discover this wonderous Heavenly Father of ours until much later in life.  My advice for you….no matter what, always always always remember your mom loves you more than anyone else here on earth, and she is never ever ever going to give you bad advice.  She is your most important & best resource, of true honesty with “what-is-best-for Kate” advice.   Eventually, one day you will probably have friends that you may think are your “best friends” and that they LOVE you & understand you like no one ever has and that their opinion matters.  But I can promise you, and my 18 year old can testify I told her this, and she had to learn it the hard way for herself,  they will never have your best intrest at heart like your mom will.  Never.  Always ask for her help, opinion and guidance whenever you are in doubt about anything, no matter how old you are, I am about 200% sure your mom still does this with her mom….learn from others who have gone the other route and been burned, just always trust your moms judgement for your life, she will always steer you right.     Hope your day was beautiful!  It looks like it was and over the past couple of years watching you grow into the beautiful teen you are now, has been a privilage.  Your moms words about you made me tear up.  What a blessing you are to so many.  HUGS!!!  ( & sorry i was late…)  melissa


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