Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Girl...

Let me introduce you to our daughter, Jessica. She is 17 years old and this year she is graduating from high school. I'm sure that I will posting a lot about Jessica in the days and months to come because of the many exciting things that are going on in her life right now. God is working in a huge way in the heart of this amazing young woman.

This is such an exciting time for Jessica and for us as her parents. When your children are young, you see personality traits, as well as gifts and talents that God has given them from the very beginning. Over the years, you see those traits begin to really grow, change and develop. That's where we are with Jessica right now. When Jessica was little, she had the typical strong-willed child personality. She was independent, tested her boundaries, and wanted to do things on her own and her way. To be honest, she wore us out. We were always trying to be one step ahead of her. We read every book we could on child-rearing and discipline. We prayed and prayed and prayed. I'm so thankful and I truly praise God that over the years, He has shown Steve and me how to parent her. The Lord gave us wisdom, patience, and encouragement. We never wanted to break her of who she was. We totally believed that God would use the things about her for His glory.

Jessica is determined, reliable, confident, dedicated, honest (too honest sometimes!) and fair. Loyalty and trust are very important to her. If you need someone in your corner, Jessica is your girl. Her compassinate and caring heart is what guided her to be a student aide for mentally and physically handicapped children the last two years at school. She loved these kids. Everyday she would come home with a story about one of "her" kids, whether it was teaching them how to use a soda machine or teaching them how to make a phone call. I am also very proud to say that Jessica is a leader. Her leadership qualities are being used in school, work, and in the youth group. Again, I know that God has a wonderful plan for her.

One of the qualities that I love the most about her though is that she is your classic example of a true extrovert. I think I admire this so much in her because I am the exact opposite. I really just love to watch her. The love she has for people and to be around people totally and completely thrills her. Relationships are really what make Jessica tick. She is a great listener, encourager, very discerning, and really just wants to be your friend. I know that God is going to use this greatly because of her answering His call to serve full-time in missions. When asked the question on a personality test... "How would you describe hosting the perfect dinner party?" Her answer was, " I would have a huge BBQ and I would want whoever wanted to come to be there." That's Jessica. There is a side of her that can be very serious, but one thing about Jessica is that she wants to have fun, and lots of it. Jessica is funny, very funny really and she can completely catch you off guard with her sense of humor.

Jessica also loves her family, and she loves us well. It's not always easiest being the oldest, and the only girl. Her brothers look up to her very much. She gives them advice, sets a good example, encourages them to love Jesus and live their lives for Him, and accepts them for who they are. There is nothing she wouldn't do for her brothers.

I have learned many thing about myself because of having Jessica as a daughter. We are a lot alike, she probably wouldn't want to admit that, but at the same time, the things that make us alike, are displayed so differently in each of us. This has stretched me and grown me. I've allowed her to be the little girl, and now the young woman that God wants her to be, not what I expect her to be. She is bold, strong, and courageous, and not afraid to try new things. I admire this in her. Over the last several of years I have seen her relationship with the Lord grow and become her own. She is passionately serving Him and trusting Him with the things He has in store for her.

We love you Jessa Bessa. Thank you for the blessing you are. Thank you for your smile, and that thing about you that makes people around you believe in themselves and in a loving God. You challenge us, motivate us, and inspire us. We are SO proud of the young woman you are. You are my wild woman for Jesus! You are our girl. We love you!


  1. Your words are so true about our sweet Jessa! If you can get Uncle Mike to laugh, you know you're funny--Jessica cracks him up! xoxo

  2. WOW...what an amazing an amazing daugther!

    Your family is TRULY blessed to have Jessica in your lives.

    What an amazing testimony of God's goodness to you.

    Jessica, God has amazing...I mean AMAZING..plans for your life. Live HARD for him. Continue to follow after him, regardless of the cost...for when you lose yourself, it's then that you find HIM and his perfect will for your life.

    Stay strong, and planted/rooted DEEPLY in him. Never allow those around you to dictate the call of God on your life.

    You are BLESSED to have a family that is willing to let you be "you", God's daughter.

    You sound SO much like my Ash!!! God is truly raising up an army in your be his mouth piece to change our world.

    You are and will continue to be in my prayers as follow your Father's heart!

  3. Beautiful--the girl and the words you've written about her! She looks so much like her mother and aunt. :)

  4. Loved reading this. Jess is a gorgeous girl...inside and out.

    I could so relate to the prayed and prayed and prayed part. Our girl...oy. Spent quadruple the amount of time in prayer for that girl over the two boys. Combined! And every second of it (and every knee, elbow, face blister) was worth it.

    Exciting times...senior year.

  5. I'm so encouraged by this post as I am struggling with my own strong-willed child right now. We've got a long rode ahead of us, but I love that you clearly point your readers to Jesus.
    Amen, Sister. And, your daughter is beautiful, Christy!

  6. Such beautiful words about your daughter. She sounds like an amazing almost-adult. I read this and thought a lot about my two-year-old, and I can't wait to see how God brings her gifts and talents to life...even though, like you, we feel pretty worn out by her sometimes! (Hearing that made me feel better, actually!). Have a great day!

  7. "wild woman for Jesus" that :) beautiful post to your daughter and encouragement for those of us who have one who is just as strong willed :)

  8. Very sweet tribute to your daughter! Children are a true blessing. cherry

  9. Your daughter is gorgeous and, after reading what you wrote about her, I believe she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

    ~ Sarah

  10. I just hopped over to your blog from Cherries Jubilee, and wanted to leave a comment to tell you how beautiful your tribute is to your daughter.
    God Bless your family,
    Darlene, PA

  11. I just found your blog and had to comment on this post about your daughter. First of all, she is beautiful---looks just like her mother and aunt! I enjoyed so much reading about her and how she is truly living her life for God. I think that is a tribute to you as a parent who has prayed and shown her the way in which she is to go. You are blessed.

  12. What a beautiful girl (inside and out)! The black and white photo is especially gorgeous!

    Jessica, one meaning of your name is "God sees." I know that He sees your heart for Him and beholds you as His treasured child!

    Blessings for a wonderful year. :-)

  13. Hi,

    I just came over here from Kim's blog @ Seasons of My Heart. I just have to say this is such a great post in honor of your daughter. Doesn't it do your heart good, especially in the days we live in, that she has a heart for God.

    She will do great things.

    Thanks for sharing!


  14. What a sweet tribute to your daughter - she's just beautiful! :)

  15. What a beautiful daughter you have, both inside and out!

  16. A lovely young lady. Our youngest is 17 and a senior this year too. Boy am I going to hate seeing her go off to college. I lived through it with her two older sisters, I guess I'll make it, but I'm not looking forward to it. God bless - have a great year.


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