S: Living Life Side By Side
BC: And It's Only the Beginning
FC: Maya and Danielle October 2009 - July 2011 | Living Life Side By Side
1: God presents to us simple pleasures each day. It's our choice whether or not to make them wonderful memories.
2: Relationship #1 - Babysitter Maya, I remember the first time I babysat you, Molly, Drew, and those Armstrong boys! I had such a fun time running around, having Matthew and Tyler jump on and kill my back, and just acting like a kid with all of you! You struck me as very mature for your age, and from that day on I knew I'd grow to really like you. You've been growing older since that first night and have gotten to the age where you don't need a babysitter anymore. This makes me sad in some part because I only got to be your "babysitter" a few times, but getting to know you then gave me the desire to continue to broaden our relationship. | As you are already learning, babysitting is the best job there is. Every time you walk into a house and a child just runs into your arms, giving you the biggest hug imaginable, your heart just grows a little bigger and a little softer. Heading into a world of intergalactic battles or princesses teaches you to never give up that piece of little kid that should always be alive in you.
4: A summer day at Taylorsville Lake with the Merante family and Maya was a complete blast! It turned out to be the beginning of our journey as friends. :) | Relationship #2 - Friend
5: Your Biggest [unrelated] Fan | Sporting Events
6: Graciously your mom trusted me enough to lead you. Since then we've studied Hannah, Lies Young Women Believe, AND memorized the entire first chapter of James! I was SO proud of you :) ! Throughout our meeting times we have answered questions, shared secrets and struggles, and have spoken about awkward topics. I love it! | Relationship #3 - Mentor | I remember at Bible and Beach my junior year the speaker told us we needed to have someone younger than us to share our biblical knowledge and experiences with. On my way home, I nervously called your mom asking her if I could be your mentor. I had never done anything like that before.
7: Maya, as you go throughout your life, keep the people who encourage you in your faith, tell you the truth even if you don't want to hear it, and those who you can do the same for right by your side. God places certain people in our lives at certain times, and although sometimes they don't always stay, they're there to teach you, learn from you, and glorify God alongside you.
8: I have loved celebrating our birthdays with each other.! Flowers, balloons, and candy were always included. My favorite celebration was after your 12th birthday when you fulfilled your birthday coupon with me. We went to the movies to see "Soul Surfer". I didn't know when the shark bite was about to come, so when it happened I shrieked and my candy flew everywhere :). Chomp. | birthdays
9: Maya, You're growing older WAY too fast, but I guess that's just part of life. Each and every time I see you, you seem to look a little older and more mature. You truly are becoming a wonderful young lady who desires to follow the way of the Lord in each aspect of life. Even though you've had a little trouble finding strong, Christian friends at Crosby, you're determined to keep trying :). As the years go on, there will be trials. Life isn't always easy, and the worst parts won't always be homework or swim practice. I myself haven't gone through any tragic times yet. Hard, but not tragic. But among the broken hearts and tears, the Lord will bring unending joy to you through him, your family, and those best friends you'll find. Just trust Him; go to Him before anyone. AND expect Him to answer. It may take a little while, but His timing is perfect, and God desires what is best for you. So, grow older; grow wiser. I can't wait to watch His handiwork unfold. But please don't grow up too fast.
10: Easter Pageant 2011 | Tabitha, Angela, and I completely LOVED being your aunts/sisters/moms for week 1 of the final Southeast Easter Pageant run!
11: Derby 2011 Sleepover | After your Derby party we made the spontaneous decision to have a sleepover in the bouncy house! | We jumped, took pictures, and laughed like crazy people for an hour before falling asleep under the stars (or trees). | Then, at 1:30 AM, it began to rain through the skyhole in the bouncy house. We were getting very wet, so we dragged [some] of our stuff inside and crashed in your bed for the rest of the night!
12: Homecoming 2011
13: Prom 2011 After the night's festivities, Steven and I stopped by the Block-in to see some friends. You and your mom, on your way home from your King's Island trip, stopped by for a dress viewing and photos!
15: We walked alongside each other on the journey, and we were both there to celebrate at the destination. That's family.
16: "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." | SUMMER
17: 2 0 1 1
18: Ladder Ball champions! | Just chillin' on the van | You let me try my first hair wrap on you. Success!! | Celebrating your first night of FAITH babysitter's club! My little prodigy! :) | Being daredevils at the volunteer picnic! | A S U M M E R S P E N T
19: T O G E T H E R | The summer before I left for Tennessee was full of fun for me and you! We spent almost every other day together swimming, studying Lies Young Women Believe, wrapping hair, eating ham sandwiches, watching fireworks, laughing, and avoiding talking about August 19th. Leaving you will be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but the memories from this summer cannot be forgotten
20: "Let me say before we part, so much of me is made from what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend." - Wicked the Musical
21: Words of Advice Maya, o don't follow your heart, for your heart can be deceived. o strive for blamelessness before God and man. Don't even give people the opportunity to pour their judgment on you. o even if you don't think people are watching, live like Jesus. Someone is always watching. o Molly and Drew should one day be your best friends. Let it be sooner rather than later! o every time you date or fall for a boy, you give him a piece of your heart that you can rarely ever get back. Be picky, and let God choose who holds your heart along with Him. o have someone older pouring into you, friends who encourage you in your faith, and pour your experiences and faith into someone younger. It's biblical. And incredible. :) o even if you don't feel like it, keep going to church, spending daily time in the Word (His love letter to you), and asking God to challenge your faith. It'll teach you spiritual discipline, leaving less room for Satan to conquer. o God doesn't waste pain., so give Him the opportunity to stretch you when you go through hard times. o when (in the very distant future) you're in a relationship, the boy leads... especially spiritually. Make sure he loves Jesus as much as you do, and that he loves Jesus more than he loves you. o there is a huge difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a decision; joy is a constant, beautiful gift from the Lord to show others you hold Something different.