My Sweet Girl is off to touch the world!
Our daughter, who recently turned 19, chose to change all of her life plans after a prompting came to her to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In October, an announcement was made that has since changed the lives of many young people...all young women, age 19 and all young men, age 18 are now eligible to serve full-time missions.
I must say at this point, that I KNEW this would be the decision our daughter would make...
I was in attendance at a Psychology Conference for the Saturday portion of General Conference, much to my dismay, I LOVE General Conference and hated missing it that day...
To make it even worse,
it was on this morning that President Thomas S. Monson made the announcement.
All Young Women,
now eligible to serve full-time missions....
My husband immediately shot me a text message to let me know of the NEWS and I had to excuse myself from the class I was in.
My tears wouldn't stop...
my heart was racing...
I just had to call our daughter, who was also unable to be watching that particular morning. She answered the phone and I said, "I have something I really need to tell you, I'll be super quick..."
There was a scream of excitement on the other end of the line...
It was mutual...
We both knew
what was about to happen in this little girls life...
Had we been standing together, I just know we'd have been jumping up and down and spinning in happy circles and hugging each other while screams of joy came barreling out of us...instead,
we both cried over the phone together, secretly wishing we were hand in hand.
There were finally answers for her heart as to why NOTHING she was trying to make happen worked out...
The most beautiful part of it was that just a couple of weeks prior to this announcement she was visiting with her best friend, Justin, and told him how lucky she felt he was.
She voiced how she wished she could just be heading out for a mission like him.
I'm guessing someone heard that wish and granted it.
HE's just like that...
answering prayers for us when we need them most!
In no time at all, we were on our way to making her dream become a reality...
this did not come without it's share of difficulties and trials,
BUT those things that are right and are worth it, do come to be.
Here is our sweet girl with her official white envelope standing beside all the many, many guesses of where she would be serving....
Sister Danielle Brieanna Lytle,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Maryland Baltimore Mission...Reporting on July 3rd!!!
Now we'll move back to today, well the past week or so...
So many things to share, so many beautiful photos,
I think this may have to be more than one post.
So more to come ~ we'll just cover what comes to my heart and my mind right now. :)
Just before Danielle left, we had an evening of family photos...
this was quite an interesting night since it was dumping buckets of rain on us...
GREAT memories and most of the photos have turned out beautifully!
Here's my hubby and I with our sweet girl ~
And before you ask...yes, they are all mine and I could not be happier!!!
Aren't they just beautiful children???
I am one lucky Momma!!!
We threw a party for Danielle before she left...she LOVES the 4th of July and wouldn't be with us to celebrate it this year, sooooo, we just moved it to the 29th of June...worked out perfectly! We made sure to have all the things she has always loved to do ~ a PINATA, a JUMP HOUSE, WATER BALLOONS, lots of YUMMY FOOD, so many family and friends and to end the night, FIREWORKS!
Danielle started her good-byes, these were so hard to watch. I knew I would have the most time with her as I was to be driving her to Salt Lake City the day before she reported. The first REALLY hard good-bye was to her brother, Myles...broke my heart and warmed it all at the same time. Another bittersweet moment! Then came good-byes to her older sister and her kiddos...so touching, they have become so close over the past couple of years. On Tuesday morning, it was time to say goodbye to Daddy and the four youngest kiddos.
It is safe to say that investing in Kleenex would have been a very good move on my part...
Daddy, as Danielle still calls him, (Sooooo sweet!), thought he was pretty sneaky as he wore his sunglasses for the majority of the morning, inside and outside. Danielle told me to let him know that he didn't fool her for a minute ~ not tricky enough, Mr. Lytle!
Danielle and I headed to Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 2nd for a day together before she was to report the following afternoon to the MTC in Provo. MTC for those who haven't the foggiest idea what I am talking about, stands for Missionary Training Center.
We had a nice drive down, we didn't drown in our tears, I was a bit fearful of this happening.
In my next post about all of this, I'll be sure to let you see all her adorable baggage for the next 18 months.
The girl is Ready!!!
Had to laugh...
it was "suggested"
that she take two good pairs of shoes along...
any guesses on how many she decided to take since it was only suggested.
She felt that number was a little too conservative when it came to shoes, so she ended up taking
not even 3,
we'll breeze on past 4 and 5,
yep, more than that...
nope, 6 was not enough...
the girl ended up taking 7 pairs of shoes!!!
SHOES are important in her world...
well, I guess they're important in mine, too. But not like this crazy girl! It was quite the ordeal to leave all her heels here...but she'll have something fun to look forward to wearing when she returns. :)
I'm thinking 4 inch heels, bike riding and hours of walking may not be the best combination, luckily she felt the same way...and they stayed behind.
back to the bittersweet moments of motherhood...
leaving that sweet girl, knowing that it would be 18 months before I would wrap my arms around her or see her bright smiling face was a killer! I think I just may have cried more buckets of tears than the buckets of rain we experienced during our photo shoot!
On the other hand,
I was also soooooooo happy for her.
I know this is what she wants.
I know she will touch so many hearts and so many lives.
I know she will have a fantastic experience.
I know she will be watched over and protected.
I know she is doing the work she feels called to do.
I know that I can do anything...
I can smile
even on the days I might feel more like crying as I miss her sweet smiling face.
I can encourage her
on the days she feels overwhelmed, homesick, even lonely.
I can write to her as often as I wish
and be thrilled to pieces that she loves her Savior, Jesus Christ,
enough to sacrifice a portion of her life to share her love and testimony with others.
Yes, this sweet girl will make a difference in the world,
she will bring a knowledge of Jesus to so many who may feel lost and alone in this world,
she will reach out in love to those who need it most.
I am so happy
and so sad...
not so sad anymore,
but I do miss seeing her face,
and listening to her play the piano.
I miss her funny laugh
and her quirky crazy little comments...
but I am happy to share her...
But also the only thing I would wish for her at this time in her life.
I love you to the moon and back...