This is Ashley...
She's my middle daughter. She's the nicest one out of all of us.
Need help? Ask Ashley.
Want to play? Ask Ashley.
Need something made out of yarn? Ask Ashley.
It's just her personality. She's a thoughtful and considerate person. I absolutely adore her.
But like the rest of us, she's not perfect. She's closer to it than I am, but she makes mistakes. She made a pretty good-sized one this week and as soon as she found herself caught up in the middle of it, you could see repentance written all over her face.
It was a good reminder to me. It reminded me that she's fifteen, and sometimes fifteen year olds make bad choices. It reminded me that she still needs my help, because she's come along way, but still has a ways to go. It reminded me that when we fall we don't need someone to kick us while we're down, we need someone to lend us a helping hand.
It's been a long time since Ashley took a fall. She's as steady as a rock, unwavering in her convictions. I admire her for that. But she's not perfect.
Perfection is not what I'm working toward. Growth is where it's at around here. And Ashley is off the chart when it comes to growth.
This beautiful girl who would give you her coat in the rain or the last piece of cake, has come a long way. When she came, lying was so ingrained in her I thought we'd never hear an honest word. Whether it was mean words, aggressive actions or stealing, hurting others was her daily goal.
Yes, Ashley. I can hardly remember it. Because that's not the Ashley we live with today.
She's fifteen. She'll continue to grow into the young lady God has designed her to be. I will watch in awe as she seeks to find even more ways to give. She'll do it too. That's just who she is.
Why the post about Ashley? Because if I would have passed up the mean, lying, stealing ten-year-old Ashley, I would have missed out on the kind, compassionate, giving fifteen-year-old Ashley.
Ashley is a blessing. She didn't look like it five years ago, but she was.
I love that she's come so far. I love that I got to watch it. I love her.
Don't judge the new one based on what you want them to look like. Let them grow into the person God designed them to be. It won't be easy. It most likely won't be fun. But it will be worth it. Times a million.