celebrating miss courtney...

Last year for Courtney's birthday I wrote the post pasted below. Little did I know what would be coming in the next twelve months. This year our girl has faced some pretty difficult challenges. She has stepped off the edge of the cliff only to be saved by God's army of angels. She has faced very steep odds and each time triumphed with grace and incredible determination. 

SO...this year it's your turn. On Saturday, August 18, our beautiful girl with be 20 years old. I know. Time flies when your having fun!! 

You get to leave Miss Courtney whatever birthday wish you desire. We will be making our birthday pilgrimage to the National Shrine in DC tomorrow to pray at the beautiful chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes as we have done for the last several years. It is where I find such peace and comfort. This time Daddy will be with us. I can't wait. 

So comment away...go ahead and fill this space with love. I will read ALL of them to her in the next few days I promise. 

Thanks for all the love you show our girl.

A deep thinker at 19...

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

I have written about my Courtney many times in this space. I have written in the low moments and in the grace outpouring moments. Last year, my eyes leaked as I wrote her birthday letter. In 2009 we made her a very cool video.  On her Sweet Sixteen she received her confirmation. I have written love letters to before, but each year things feel more urgent time feels more precious. Tomorrow my girl turns 19 so I sit here trying to put into words what this precious young lady means to me.

My Sweet Beautiful Girl,
Hope does not disappoint, ever my girl. You have taught me that. You have survived another year. I don't mean to be dramatic but there are days when survival is such a victory. When you body is wracked with one seizure after another. When your sleepy because your meds have changed or you allow one more tube feeding so we can get some precious weight on your frame, these things are victories in this game if survival, this thing called life. 

I have learned so much this past year. I have learned to lean into it as they taught us at work camp years ago. If I don't think I can get through the next moment or procedure, God gently prods me to "lean into it" thereby leaning on Him for His strength, courage and wisdom for I don't have any of my own. God is stretching me each and every day. He desires my whole attention and He uses you to make sure He's got it. 

This past year had been different for Daddy and me. It's been more unsettling than usual because we recognize that we never expected to be here. You weren't supposed to be here my girl. All the doctors said so, and even though we didn't want to believe them when you hear it enough you begin to believe it. We should have known better. You are a Green after all. You have the stubborn streak of your father and the patience of your mother. A unique combination if I do say so. You follow the beat of your own drummer. You listen to a celestial tune that neither Daddy or I are holy enough to hear. You will go when Gd says so and not some doctor. So we find ourselves letting go these days. Letting go of expectations and the future. We are learning to live each day fully and not worry abut the next. This is hard sometimes with planners like us, but God is patient and gentle with us. His grace abounds and we are so grateful for it.

It's a battle between my head and my heart sometimes. I don't want you to suffer anymore Enough is enough. But God is asking me to trust Him in the timing. To trust Him with the compass constantly righting my path to Him, my true north. As you sit here beside me while I write these words I wonder what your thinking about. I wonder who your praying for, especially when your face breaks wide open in a smile that could light up a small town. 

I pray you'll forgive me for all the times I don't do things right. The times I fail as a mother and caretaker. I thank you for the hugs and the hand holding. I thank you for the sweet humming while I sing loudly and off key. I thank you for being the daughter I needed you to be so that I would see, truly see the Greatness of the One who made you in all your perfection. He does not make mistakes my sweet one. You teach me patience, perseverance and fortitude every single day. You have taught me that answers to prayers come in many different languages. I would not be who I am without you my girl, as flawed and imperfect as that is. 

You have taught me what love looks like. It has blonde curly hair, long legs and beautiful blue eyes that look like a storm brewing within them. You are everything my mother's heart needs...you are my daughter and I will always love you.

Happy Birthday Courtney Elizabeth. May it be the best one yet!
ALL my love, 

Celebrating Courtney Elizabeth... from Mary Lenaburg on Vimeo.