We’re beginning to fall into a (loose) schedule with Juliette and are putting her to bed earlier these days, starting the go-to-sleep song and dance around 7:00.  This gives Shane and I more time to ourselves in the evening, which is great, but by the time we turn in around 10:30, I actually kind of start to miss that girl – I’m often tempted to lift her out of her crib for one last snuggle to top off my love bank.  I don’t, for fear of waking the sweetly snoozing beast, but I do creep into the nursery to gently stroke her hair and whisper good night.  This is also my time to pray for her, to lay my hand on her and lift up my hopes and dreams for our baby.  Some prayers are for the immediate future, for a good night’s sleep and a tomorrow full of smiles, and some prayers are for the longer-term, for Jules the little girl and Jules the teenager and grown-up woman.

Dear Juliette, this is some of what mama so desperately hopes for you…

I pray that home will always be a place of safety and comfort and joy for you.  That you’ll rest in the absolute assurance that your dad and I love you unconditionally, that we’ll hold you when you need to cry and take you out for pizza when you want to celebrate.  Sometimes we’ll mess up and lose our patience or raise our voices or get too busy to give you the attention you need, but in the midst of our shortcomings, I hope you know that you are safe and wanted here.

I pray that God will keep his hand of protection over you.  Gosh, this world feels scary sometimes, especially for a woman. But I don’t want you to live in fear; I just want you to be aware and be wise and let your dad and I interview any boy that wants to take you out on a date. (kidding.) (ok, not really kidding.)

I pray that you will find fulfillment in expressing your creativity, whatever form it takes.  Whether it’s music, or art, or, if your dad has his way, iPhone app development, I hope you’re able to experience the joy of making and sharing something beautiful or innovative.

I pray that you’ll love yourself, that you’ll look in the mirror and feel confident and beautiful.  I hope you won’t buy into the media-driven myth that beauty is about being thin and wearing designer clothes and having airbrushed skin.  Nobody looks like those girls in the magazines.  Even those girls in the magazines don’t really look like those girls in the magazines.  Decide for yourself wherein beauty lies; don’t let Victoria’s Secret ads do it for you.

I pray that kindness and compassion will be your guide, rather than popularity or ease.  Few things would make me prouder than to see you invite the lonely new kid to come sit with you and your friends at lunch.  I pray that you’ll care about justice and and mercy, that you’ll be bold in speaking out for those who have a hard time making their voices heard.

I look at you, so quietly sleeping in your crib, and this list hardly begins to capture the way my heart bursts with all that I want for you.  I ache with the hope that you’ll live a life brimming with joy and love and adventure.  I’ll help you along, cheer you on, smother you with kisses, but I must remember that ultimately, you’re in God’s hands.

So please, please, please Lord – take care of my baby.

20131206 sleeping jules sm


  1. Pat says:

    How could you not want to pick that adorable little girl up.
    She is such a lucky girl.
    May all of our prayers be answered.

  2. Amanda says:

    So beautiful, Kel. Couldn’t have said it all better myself. Love you all!