Almost six years ago we brought home a nine-year-old spitfire. A little fireball that changed my life. She sent me into one of the most challenging years I've lived through. And I sent her into one of the most challenging years she's lived through (and that's saying something!)
I watched her as she came into our room for morning scripture study today. Grace is a perfect name for her. She almost floats as she walks in, neck erect, regal smile on her face. Today is dress down day, so she doesn't have to wear her school uniform. She chooses to wear a beautiful orange flowered dress. She can pull it off. A couple of nights ago I took the four older kids to a youth meeting on a weeknight. (I won't even go into how proud I am of them for choosing to spend 90 minutes on a school night to listen to spritual messages from ecclesiastical leaders:). On the way home, Parker commented that he thought Graci was the most popular kid in school.
This summer Grace and Taylor participated in "Trek". Hundreds of youth and adults from our area gained a greater understanding of what some of the mormon pioneers experienced by pushing handcarts for 20 miles along a portion of the original mormon trail. Because of her medical condition, Grace couldn't do the walking and pushing, so during the day she traveled with the food crew, who drove on a road that paralleled the trail. During the evenings and morning she was with the rest of the kids. At a post-trek meeting, pictures of the journey were shown, and out of hundreds of images, Graci got perhaps the most cheers when her smiling face came up on the screen.
My little girl has come so far. As she sat next to me during scriptures this morning, I remembered back to those first difficult days. At that time I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge. Now I cannot imagine life without our Graci. God knows. He knows when our branches need to be pruned. He knows what is down the road next week and next decade. And when we trust Him, we end up with flowers in our life like Gracelin Kate. How grateful I am for this little angel in our home!