Watching her grow up breaks my heart a little each day.

When she was born and she was lifted out of me, they put her next to my face and I took in all her features. And watched as she took in all mine. I had just met her, and yet…she had always been there.

She had always been a part of me.

Everyone said she’d be a tomboy.

If being a tomboy means your favorite color is glitter, you change multiple times a day, and your favorite sport is “singing and twirling…” She is SO a tomboy.

This little light of mine…You are My sunshine…Dancing Queen…She.

Songs that sum up just a teeny bit of what it feels like to know her. To love her.

And it breaks my heart a little bit to see her grow up. To let her go each day.

When she was six months she got sick the first time. Really sick. And we spent the next month getting tests and she was diagnosed.

And of course it was her kidneys. Because her sister had kidney issues. She died in my womb of kidney issues.

But Grace was very much alive. But also very sick. She had medicine and a specialist. She had a pediatrician who loved her.

And she had a Mom who was terrified to lose another daughter.

A daughter who I saw in every pink tulip. In every little wispy haired girl.

A girl who would be three, four, and now 10.

No one said it, but a lot thought Grace would replace Mary.

But you can’t replace one child with another. You can’t fill a crevice of grief or a place that is meant just for that child.

Each of my children hold a different part of me. I have five children.

So I sat and stared and worried. They told me she’d outgrow it hopefully and I prayed and prayed she would.

She wasn’t growing. My tiny dancer. She had so many kidney infections.

But then when she turned five, she started to grow a little. We did a trial and took her off her medicine and she didn’t have any outbreak Kidney infections. She has not had one for 16 months!!!!

God is good.

But still I worry. And the focus has changed from her health to her heart…her spirit.

Because Grace knows what it’s like to be sick, really sick, she is full of life. She fills up the room with a joy so big and her perspective is beautiful.


Everything about her is big. Her personality. Her voice. Her tantrums. Her stubbornness. Her amazing way of knowing how exactly to get to her brothers at the exact moment. But the big way she always knows how to melt them. Her imagination is big. Everything about Grace is big.

Except that she is still very tiny. So big and still so small.

Her heart is the biggest part.

She shares her joy freely and openly. She invites you in and wants you to see the amazing in everything.

Her heart is big and beautiful.

And someone will break it someday.

Tell her she needs to change.

Tell her that she is not enough.

Because the years pass quicker than we think.

Yesterday it seemed Jonah was 6…now he is a teenager.

I lost her sister yesterday it seems…and yet she’d be 10.

I’m afraid of what they will say to steal the sparkle from her eyes.

Because words are so powerful. They can build and break in seconds…

One word.










Words that steal sparkle. Words that steal life. Words that I have heard. Names I’ve been called.

Words banned from my house.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. And I pray every day that God protects her and that all the fighting she did keeps her head up and her heart intact…or that her brothers are near by.

Bullies. All they need is one word.

But so do her Dad and her brothers who said these words to describe her…along with me.


















My Grace is absolute sunshine. And is the strongest person I’ve ever met.

I used to worry how she would do not having her sister…but I know Mary is with her every single day. Because Grace talks about her like she’s right there- and she probably is, whispering all the things I say to her when she sleeps…”you are precious, you are beloved, you are amazing. You are so loved.”

Dyp used to say he thought Grace would unzip and climb back in me if she could…because next to me is where she is most at home.

And she probably still would.

But just like her sister, and her brothers, she came into the world a part of me. So familiar because she’d always been there.

It breaks my heart…because there she is.

My Grace. My heart.

Growing, changing. This little light of mine.

A part of me. I’ve gotta let her shine.


Please God let her shine, let her shine, let her shine.

(Ps when we put her to bed she was in PJ’s, when I woke her up…she was in a cat costume. Pretty Standard)