Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Legacy of "Love"ly

This weekend was wonderful. (a lot of time in the car, but none the less). Friday was a whirlwind of getting packed and the house cleaned, followed by hitting the road and getting to Ft. Worth pretty late. Ava was not thrilled with being in the car for so long and then going to "sleep" in a new place. She was clingy and ended up sleeping in the full size bed with Nick and I for a few hours. ugh. Not comfortable. She ended up doing ok the rest of the night in the pack and play. Saturday was nice as we hung out at Nick's cousin's house and let Ava "get used" to it a little bit since her and I will be spending a lot of time there before Noah is born. We were treated to a yummy meal by Nick's cousin's son who has been in culinary school recently. It was wonderful and we packed up and headed to Belton for Tracie's wedding. We rushed to the hotel, got ready, rushed to the church and finally were able to sit down and soak in the "wedding". I sat in the church and took in all the beauty, the candles, the ambiance present (Holy Spirit for sure), listened to the beautiful music and awaited the entrance of the family and our sweet cousin. As soon as I took a glimpse of my precious and beautiful Aunt Linda, I had tears. You see, Linda has recently survived a bout with breast cancer and has conquered, beautifully I might add, all the surgery, chemo and radiation that comes along with it. Her faith, her strength, her and Robert's marriage, her children's love for her, all of it just radiated and glowed about her as she soaked up the special time in their life, as she and Robert came down to "give" Tracie to Andrew. I just shed tears as I realized the caliber of women I get to call family. She is the most graceful fighter, patient warrior and lovely survivor. I am blessed to call her MY Aunt Linda. I then thought back to my wedding and all she helped with, the fact that Robbie and Tracie and Staci were all my bridesmaids and how my Mom looked a lot like Linda did, when I got married. Happy, relieved it was almost over with (haha), blessed, full of love and pride, and yet just a little bit emotional (each in her own way) over the fact that their daughter was getting married. So, then Robbie comes down the aisle as the matron (yes, robbie, you're married it's matron) haha, of honor. She has been married a little over a year now and you can tell she has come into her role as wife, in the most fun and lovely way in her own Robbie style. She walked down the aisle in confidence, humble pride (make sense?) and gentle emotion. She caught a glimpse of her own hubby and he saw her, they shared their own moment, which was sweet. :) She then went to her spot and waited as the doors shut and we all anticipated the best moment of the wedding, just about....Tracie's entrance. The doors open and I catch her face, glowing with purity and beauty, Robbie's face with pride, emotion and joyful tears, and Andrew's face anticipating getting to touch his bride and begin life's journey. Robert was proud and sturdy ( as my own daddy was with me) and He "gave" her away with confidence because he and Linda have raised Tracie in the Word and it has shown in her whole life, especially in whom the Lord has chosen for her. I just sat there soaking in all the "loveliness" and basking in how AMAZING our Lord is and how is has BLESSED our family beyond words. I can try my best, in this manner, to explain to you how proud I am, blessed I am and privileged I am to be a part of  it. Each woman in my Byrd family has their own unique way of being a blessing in my life. Gran (Carolyn) is our prayer warrior, constantly in prayer for us all, calling to check in and being generally concerned at all times for our well beings. :) Linda has her way of "worrying" and yet living in faith and with poise. She has raised 3 amazing people and has cultivated a home of warmth and love. My Mom, well, she is my mom. So, first of all, she is wonderful, but she adds to our family, a level of faith, a means to just be us, and a creativity that is personal to each of us. Whether it is handmade jammies for Christmas, letting Tracie "uncrunch" her hair, or sewing 230 yards of lace together for decorations, she gives us each her undivided attention when we need it. She is committed to love us in our own ways. Robbie is my goofy, silly, laughy, fun loving, easy going gal and she keeps me smiling, always. Yet, she has a maturity to her, her faith, her marriage (even being a young marriage), her career, her submissive spirit as a wife, her love for her family, her loyalty and care for others, etc. She inspires me to continue to love all and worship one. Robbie has begun to cultivate a home of laughter, joy, service, love and fun. I love it! I cannot WAIT to see how God blesses her and Coach John, with children. They will all light up our life I'm sure of it.  Staci, my sissy, is the risk taker, adventurer and loves to know more, be better and go further. She doesn't want to settle. Ever. She reminds me to take risks and jump off the cliff more often. She allows me to be me, to love me anyway and gives me the space to deepen my faith through my humanity, not despite it. She has been a rock for me and as she waits upon the Lord and trusts him as she strives to not settle in any part of her life. I often think of who God has in store for her, because he is going to be someone special, for sure. For many reasons, I mean, come on, someone has to put up with all the random outbursts of song, silly noises she makes while we all play a game, the "staci-isms" she continually creates and to further nurture her love for people. It will be another beautiful day to share, someday. I don't doubt it one bit. :) Lastly, but not least, Tracie Layne. My blond haired blue eyed baby doll (until I birthed my own) haha. She has always been prissy, lovely, sweet, full of feminine appeal from the smallest age. She dabbled in play makeup, gran's flowy dress up clothes, longed to wear makeup and ate salads instead of happy meals from as far back as I can remember. I have loved watching Tracie grow into her femininity and womanhood as she went through surgery for her scoliosis, became a cheerleader (and maintained her modesty and beautiful personality), did theatre, choir etc. and as God has given her a heart for the adoption field of social work, etc. She has always had a DEEP care for people, for others, for her family, her siblings, her friends. She has shown the side of lovely that many girls choose to stifle and some not even develop all together. She has lived in grace and poised, a lot like her mom and as she steps into wife-hood, I know she will cultivate a home of deep love, nurturing and laughter. Her children will rise and called her blessed. Just as she does her own mom.
Our family has been blessed by loveliness.  I truly love the Byrd women. There are more than my immediate Byrd women who show God's loveliness, love for family, their husbands, home, children, service and ministry. But, for now, these close women, who support me, who have and continue to pray for me, who are standing by me as we face one of the hardest battles in my life, yet. Their strength and faith, keep me going, remind me to not give up and inspire me to be the best woman, wife, mother, sister and friend I can be.
So, thank you Gran, Linda, Mother, Robbie, Staci, and Tracie. I love you each, dearly. I long for the evenings we can sit around Linda's table and laugh our heads off. I cherish all the memories we've made in each season of life. I can't wait to read through our box of letters to Gran and Daddy Bob next time we're in the mountains. I love that we are all so close and can go months without much conversation and yet feel like we  never skipped a beat. I love each of you and I am thankful that I have y'all in my life.
be blessed Byrd women.

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