When my sister and I were younger, during the days when kid shows only came on right after school and on Saturday mornings, we would sit and watch grown up shows with Mom at night. And so every Tuesday night, we’d tune in to Who’s The Boss, Growing Pains, and Moonlighting. I know. It was awesome. But the best part was each week, we would claim one of the actresses to be during the shows.  I can still hear her call out I’m Allysa, I’m Carol, I’m Maddie! She always remembered to call it first, and then I was stuck with being Mona or Miss DiPesto.

When I first met Edie a few years ago, I liked her with every single fiber of my being. She’s one of those women who you don’t just want to be your friend, you kind of want to actually be, just like Allysa Milano when I was a kid. When she painted her kitchen cabinets blue last year, I just knew she was my kind of girl. She is beauty, grace, style, and fun. And she is an artist in every sense of the word that I can think of.

Edie with her daughter, Caiti – a photo I have shamelessly swiped from her.

But it was this post Edie wrote when her daughter turned 18 that I’ve gone back to read a few more times than normal. Because for all the ways I admire her beauty, her spunk, her sense of style, I think it is her deep, beautiful, thoughtful writing that speaks to me the most. She writes of mothering in a way that breaks me apart. I’ll let her show you:

“They tell a story all their own. How we labor so diligently for days and weeks and years, and wonder if it matters at all? Will it ever be more than a heap of yarn?  Will food and laundry nourish a life?  Can bread be His body broken?

And finally, mercy gives way. Heartache becomes forgiveness. Stubborn melts to grace. Tangles of yarn slowly take form of a sweater. Years of meals nourish a body like years of love nourish a heart. Redemption rushes in and finishes the work.

And it did matter. Every little stitch. All the countless hours. . . Hoping, begging, praying that she knows just how very much she matters. And that she will feel in the blue—the warmth of  a mother who loves from the broken place and the peace of a  Father who forgives.”

Edie, Life in Grace

Thank you Edie, for piling words on top of feeling, for putting paragraphs around the flailing and grasping that sometimes is motherhood, and for doing it with such lovely abandon. You are an inspiration to me, the kind of mama I hope to be when my girls turn 18. I wish you a most sincere Happy Birthday.

And so, I know there are many of you reading who also read Edie. I want to encourage you to write a post about how she has been an encouragement to you and link up over at her blog today! If you read her but don’t have a blog, there are instructions posted at her place today on how you can send a letter instead. She could use a little encouragement, as well as some sweet reminders of the ways she has brought grace and beauty into our lives. So go be a part of her online birthday card!

Oh, and Nester? I’m Edie.