That's my girl...

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. I Timothy 4:12
Emily with U.S. Congressman Rooney, Hendry County Commissioner Karsen Turner and Hendry County Supt. of Schools Rick Murphy 
Emily with U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (Fl-District 16), Hendry County Commissioner Karson Turner and Hendry County Supt. of Schools Rick Murphy

Congressman Rooney's Local Swearing-In Ceremony, Punta Gorda, Florida, February 18, 2009 (more photos here)

My Emily is a beautiful example of I Timothy 4:12 if there ever was one.

Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida February 18, 2009

She is the daughter I don't deserve. Seriously. If Emily had been my best friend when I was her age, what pain, misery and sin I would have avoided had I chosen to emulate her godly example and to pay attention to her wise-beyond-years advice - how much more mature I'd probably even be today.

My beach tote was stocked with writing paper, pens and camera supplies - Emily's was her Bible and Francis Chan's Crazy Love. See what I mean?

Emily's not perfect. We have our moments (algebra anyone?), but I'll no more list her imperfections any more than I'd expect her to write about mine. She could, though. She's constantly humbling me with her maturity and my lack thereof, and I've come to appreciate the times she calls me down (politely) - when I've been whiny or gossipy or thoughtless.

Twenty-five years ago my mother gave me a small frame with the words "Always my Daughter - now, too, my Friend" cross-stitched around a tiny red flower. You can be certain that when the time comes for Emily to leave Pollywog Creek to pursue the dreams God has planted in her heart for the future, I'll be tucking that framed verse in with the things she takes with her.


More photos from Sanibel Island here