I wasn't prepared for days like this. My little girl is growing up, and with that comes a whole new set of spoken and unspoken social rules and responsibilities. I'd like to help her navigate this new territory. Heck, I'd like to just go ahead an just clear the way for her altogether! I can't. Her life is a trail she must blaze all her own. It's more than helpful to know that she is not alone. The same God who has seen me through so many of my challenges and meltdowns is for there her too. He's acutely aware of who she is, and stands ready to defend and protect her. In fact that is the very definition of her name. Samara means "protected by God." If you happen to be Polish, then it's also slang for potbelly, but that's another story. Point is her name is no accident. At the time I learned I was pregnant that was my deepest wish, that God Himself would come to her defense and protect her always. It still is. As she matures I watch the kind of woman she is becoming. I see her navigate circumstances thrown at her and come out a little stronger. I love the fact that she's strong enough to stand alone when she's right, but humble enough to apologize, and search out matters to find where she may have been wrong, or could have made a better decision. She's not a perfect child. If you stop by my house on any given day you'll hear me telling (at times scolding ) her of ways to improve this or that, but her character and integrity is something that I continue to be amazed by. I know that who she is has nothing to do with me. In fact I think the greater miracle is that she is an incredible person despite me. By the grace of God she is who she is, and I am pleased with that. My prayer is that God would continue to protect her mind, her heart, soul, and body and that she is someone who honors Him despite the junk life throws at her. It's been an absolute privilege to be mom to this child. I've learned so much from her already. Today was just further proof that she has a lot more to teach me, and I have a lot more to learn.