Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sydney Raina becomes a Teenager

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my request."  1 Samuel 1:27  These words were spoken by Hannah as she petitioned the Lord for a child.  Many of us find ourselves in her shoes.   This prayer started for me as a young child.  I knew I wanted children.  I prayed the Lord would allow me to be a mama.  After losing my mom, I wanted to be a mama even more.  Somehow,  I wanted to pick up where she left off, and continue a journey til it's very end.  I have prayed that the Lord would allow me to be a mother to my children, and my children's children.  Thirteen years ago, the Lord blessed my life like never before with a sweet little bundle whom we call Sydney Raina. 

Her name is close to my mom's, but it is her own.  After I named her, my Mamaw said, "Oh!  I named your mother after an actress because I loved her name."  You'll never believe what the actress's name was!  Sylvia Sydney!  Everytime I think of that, I smile!  When I was pregnant with Syd, I prayed my heart's desire.  I would have loved her just as much if she had been a boy, but I did ask for a girl.  I never knew how much I needed this girl!  My Jesus did.  I know now that I was praying God's desire for my life.  Sometimes we need to do that.  Pray in faith for something that we want with all of our hearts.  It just might be Him nudging us to pray His will.

From the start this girl has been amazing!  She has always loved books.  She talked like an adult very early.  I found myself having grown up conversations with my 2 year old.  She has a gift for translating baby talk.  She did it with Gracen.  For the life of me, I would not know what Gracen wanted, but Sydney would tell me what she was saying, and Gracen would nod her head.  I was reminded of this when Aaron was talking to me, and I kept asking him to repeat it.  Sydney walked through and told me what he was saying.  I just looked at her like, how do you do that?!  When she was very little, she got one of those toy piano/xylophone toys.  Apparently, one of the pieces was off key.  (I never would have known this.)  Randy took it to his work bench and hammered it until it played the correct note.  I laughed so hard at this, but honestly, I'm so thankful her daddy has the gifts that he does, and that he uses them.  My sweet girl plays the piano and sings.  She can read music, but she plays mostly by ear.  I discovered this when she was in fourth grade.  I was fixing dinner and I heard her playing Beethoven.  It was good, but I didn't think she had music to play it.  I walked downstairs and asked her how she was playing that.  She said that she had heard it at school today.  Amazing!

She loves to dance, and I love watching.  She has always looked deep into my soul with her big ole eyeballs.;)  She wants to figure out everything.  Her heart is tender, but she is emotionally strong.  She doesn't let herself get beat down with the everyday life of a junior high girl.  She has let me in when the world has been too much, and for that I am so thankful.  She sees my needs, and bless her heart, she tries her best to meet them - at times to the point of a little mama guilt that my girl can read me so well! 

I have wanted this birthday to be so special for her.  It seemed that so many things were working against that this week, and especially this weekend.  Asa has a tournament in Montgomery, which would cause the family to not be together.  I had two very sweet friends pray with me, and help me see that it's okay.  When you have four children, and 3 are involved in their own activities, even to have one parent attend their events is a blessing.  Sydney and Gracen will be performing in their first clogging competition today!  We are so excited, and this is a perfect day for Syd - church, then dancing.  Just a little while ago, we got a text that Asa's tournament was cancelled.  Guess who gets to come see her today?!  Her WHOLE family!  All grandparents, parents, and siblings together!!!!  Woo hoo!!!!!  This will make her day!  Thank you Jesus, you knew this all along! 

I am so thankful for my girl who loves her Savior, her parents, her siblings, friends, and family.  I am thankful for the gifts the Lord has put inside of her and that she is learning  to use them to give back to Him.  I am not finished praying for this child, and I will continue to seek Him for her sake, and I will continue to ask Him to grant my requests on her behalf.  I can't imagine all the plans He has for her, but I am so ready to watch them unfold.  Thank you Jesus, for our beautiful teenager!

Expectant for all He has for my sweet girl,

Ashley :)


  1. Love me some Sydney Raina!!! She is so beautiful inside and out and she shines with the Love of Jesus! She just makes me smile! I am so thankful we got to spend a little bit of her 13th birthday with her! You are a proud mama and you should be! You are doing a great job setting an example of a Godly mother for your children, and it shows in the way they act and carry themselves.

  2. Sweet Shalita, how I cherish the relationship Sydney has with you! I couldn't ask for a better role model, and I don't know if there is anyone she looks up to more than she does to you. Thank you for the example you are for her, and the love you shine for Jesus! We all love our Shalita! (Roll Tide...from Aaron:)