The teenage years, in many ways, remind me of the toddler years.
Everything seems in a great flux again.
The challenges sometimes seem daunting.
I never know what to expect from day to day.
But while we struggle with ridiculous things like going to bed at a reasonable hour
so we (she) can wake up, you know, before noon.
I get affirmation that things aren't as bad as our late bedtime makes me feel.
I knew that Abby's iPod only played sound through one earbud.
I asked her last year if she wanted a new iPod and
she declined stating it was too much trouble to re-do all her playlists.
I asked her again this year.
"Would you like a new iPod?"
She replied, "No."
Me- "Why not??!!"
Abby said, "Mom, it's a luxury. It still works. It's only for my personal enjoyment.
I'm fine with only having one earbud that works."
At times like that, she puts me to shame.
She approached me a few months before her birthday and did ask for something.
She said, "Mom, I know it may be expensive. But, the only thing I want for my birthday this year is a purity ring. But here's the thing. I don't want some cheap $10 ring that says, "PURITY" across the front of it. I want a real ring, with real, you know, diamonds or something. A ring that truly represents that I value my relationship with Jesus and that I want to stay pure until I am married. I want to pick out a ring that I love and is beautiful."
And by our gracious Lord's provision, this winter Nana worked as temporary help at the Zales outlet store.
She found her ring.
So tonight, at Olive Garden, we played paper telephone and laughed loud enough to disturb tables around us.
And after desserts were brought out, my sweet husband got up from his chair...
and kneeled down in front of his baby daughter...
and said these words,
I kneel before you now as your earthly father and
representative of your Heavenly Father
to present you with this ring.
This ring represents a covenant that you
have made between Your Holy Bridegroom, Jesus, and you, His Holy Bride.
This represents a covenant of purity, of sanctification, of longsuffering,
to keep God's Holy Temple which He has created in you, pure and undefiled.
God has already chosen an earthly husband that He has created just for you.
This man will be your earthly covering, provider, best friend,
and he will cherish you with all his heart.
This ring represents a place holder until the day
your husband replaces it with your wedding ring.
You will know when God brings you this individual because you
will have peace that surpasses all understanding.
And God will easily communicate this to you if you stay in communion with God.
Enjoy the purity this rings represents.
We (gesturing to all of us) are your family and witnesses in this covenant.