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  • Writer's pictureDeena

Is that your final answer?

My oldest girl who makes me smile with her homeless hair, cheesy grin and hand full of made-up words has one foot out of the nest folks.

This week she officially signs-up for college and spends a week in the dorms.

If she's smart she'll be asking ALL the questions and finding out where to hide things from room captains.

And she is just lovely.

She leaves mismatched socks EV-AH-REE-WHERE, dirty, mind you, always dirty, and cannot eat anything without crumbs sticking to her face while she attempts to tell me what she has just learned in Economics.

Her favorite subject.

We are not exactly cut from the same cloth.

She cannot even pretend to punch to save her life, and nibbles at food.

She loves all of the colors I was forced to wear in the early 90's and actually looks good in them.

She can smell coffee a mile away, eat chili corn chips for breakfast, reads deep biographies always before bed and is the squeeziest, dearest thing to me.

I just made that word up in her honor.

You're welcome Abby.

Oh I'm sorry, her new name is "Abi." She decided as a new manager now, to just shorten her whole name and flex her 18 year old self will a bit.

She's been doing that all her life.

Her brother hadn't even learned to run before she made her appearance.

I remember accidentally finding out that she was a "She" at an ultrasound appointment while her Dad was at the Bill Rice Ranch.

I welcomed his bus with a load of teens home with a little pink frilly dress.

I couldn't wait to have a girl.

Her brother was cute so she had a good chance, I thought, of being cute too.

Welcome to the 20 something new parent mind.

She was cute and rosy with a long head and not a stitch of hair.

We laugh recalling how she always had a runny nose.

Long big head + perpetual runny nose + no hair = "I love you because you are mine."

(Oh how I am laughing!)

When her hair did finally decide to grow in, her stubbornness decided to grow right along with it.

Her brother had been fun and loud and even a bit crazy. Here was this little egg head who was quiet and strong.willed.

I attribute this to my Husband's side, obviously.

It was hard to dismiss this little thing with adorable blonde curls.

And these curls had a mind of their own just like Abi and so you could say she has been looking homeless for a wee bit.

We wouldn't be somewhere ten minutes before the ladies would dote on Abs. She.was.a.doll.

She was a bad doll.

Like the kind that look cute and then rob a store.

Or plum refuse to do what you have asked them to do.

I always pursed my lips when out and someone told her just how adorable she was when I knew she was rotten inside.

So the Lord prompted me to lean over and whisper in her little ear, "Are you pretty in your heart?"

This toddler knew I had called her bluff.

She would immediately cross her arms, pout and in a deep voice respond with, "Don't ask me that!"

Oh how we laugh at this now that she is a Senior.

It's my job to keep her humble and I want to make sure I am employee of the month.

Yes, I still ask her and she still answers as she did then, but now we laugh with and use it as a good reminder.

Today I had to ask myself if I was pretty in my heart.

If you want to know if you indeed are displaying the fruits of the spirit travel from Ohio to Wisconsin with some hoodlums.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25

How easy it is to give a good "show."

To look the part, act the part, and have a huge part missing.

I cannot imagine a life without the Holy Spirit.

That one who has the ability to whisper in our ear when someone tells us how pretty we are.

"Are you pretty where it matters?"

Beauty is only "Spirit deep."

How often I have been out and about and forgot that I hadn't crucified my flesh like I thought I had....

It feels kindov like when you have a heap of groceries in your cart, already rung-up and realize that your son took your card for gas a day ago and didn't give it back.

It's embarrassing and gives you a yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach.

And costs you more gas to head all the way home only to come back and see that your yogurt is now wonderfully warm.

Yep. That's persactly what it's like.

(another made up word in honor of Abs)

It's my job to check for my wallet and it's MY job to check my spirit for growing fruit, or a heart full of fleshly lusts.

Aren't you glad that things can change?

Maybe not on a dime, and it may take a little more gas to get there, but we CAN change.

Today we are on the road and this girl insisted on bringing a whole keyboard (like full size) with us so she could practice for an upcoming concert.

I now know this is why headphones were invented.

I'm thankful she has no use for lipliner, or even knows that there is such a thing.

I love that she is now stubborn for the right.

I love that she has a water bottle that says, "Keep your squats low and your standards high."

I pray that she remembers our old checks and never forgets to leave home without one.

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