I used to call her “mini me” because we look alike.
Now I only call her by her nicknames because 
she is her own person, not an extension of me. 
Every night before her bedtime 
between 30 minutes to 50 minutes
we take turns reading to each other
 from age appropriate books. 
This is one of my favorite parts of the day. 
Not because I’m biased and want her to love reading
because I’m an author… I want her to love reading because 
EVERYONE should love reading. 
Okay… yes I’m biased. 
I’ve read to my daughter since the day I knew she existed. 
Prayed for her conception
 and cried tears of joy God trusted me to 
love and parent another child seventeen years after
giving my son up for adoption. 
Cried tears of sadness because my Dad was sick and
somehow I knew as I rubbed my belly she’d never
know the adoration, protection, and love of her grandfather. 
None of my hopes for the future were 
framed with pictures of me as a single parent. 
None of my dreams included being betrayed
or forgotten after my marriage failed by
those I held nearest and dearest to my heart. 
God offered me some great opportunities
to relearn about forgiveness. 
Lessons I’d known and new ones I couldn’t imagine. 
 Knowing the pain of abandonment, 
Walking away from people I love is hard for me,
even after betrayal my capacity for forgiveness 
is pretty high, ridiculously high to some people. 
Silly me I took 1st Corinthians 13 literally
still do, to be honest. 
Listening to my baby girl read and
smiling while bringing the characters to life
I recognized we’re beyond blessed. 
We are more than okay in the life I never imagined. 
The struggles have strengthened me. 
The setbacks have matured me. 
The provisions have humbled me. 
My expectations and perspective on life
have changed A LOT.
 I’ve embraced my 
flaws, weaknesses and full person.
I have a lot more energy now because
I stopped trying to be perfect. 
I’m not perfect
I KNOW I need 
Jesus Christ 
and the Holy Spirit. 
Inspiration finds me some days.
Other days I discover it in the small moments
like listening to my daughter read. 
Watching her eyes light up when she sees me
in the carpool lane at the end of her school day. 
Loving God has given me the ability to give her 
what I never had consistently before 
moving in with my foster family…
A safe place. 
(Rest in peace, Daddy.)
With no personal picture of how to be a mom before the age
of 14 when I moved in with my foster family
Growing Pains, Family Ties, and yes 
the Cosby Show were it for me…
television moms were my only example.
Our  family now isn’t “normal” and definitely not traditional.
Without a church home or extended family to help me
caring for my daughter is my sole responsibility 95% of the time.
A privilege and responsibility I cherish. 
My faith outweighs my fears
somewhere between laughing at Netflix comedy videos,  
my biological brother’s support,
an interceding best friend
and prayers and
too many books to count
on healing after divorce,
intimacy with God outside of religion
and committing to reading my bible and
praying for God to continue to make me whole
He answered prayers for me
I didn’t know how to pray. 
Learning to live in the moment
while pushing forward toward my dreams
I’ve found bold inspiration to appreciate every moment. 
Evaluate and become okay with failing and do overs.
Hope to keep going even when I WANT to quit 
Boldness to embrace and enjoy my life as it is right now. 

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