It has been such a privilege to be your aunt. I vividly remember the evening your parents first shared they were expecting a baby (that turned out to be you). We were vacationing together in Flagstaff and we'd gone out to eat. Over dinner your dad nonchalantly smiled, then gushed that they were going to be parents. We laughed and screamed and dreamed together that night. (Of course I also remember when your dad called to tell me he was stealing the name Madison for their new baby girl. But that's basically a non-story given the outcome. )
Over the years I've watched as you've grown and it has been a joy. From tea parties with grandma and Barbies and Polly Pockets to piano lessons and acting and cheerleading. Through it all you've been my daughter's closest confidante and encourager and you've become a young woman seeking after God. (Not to mention that you're stunningly gorgeous and taller than me. )
And last night you graduated from 8th grade.
Speaking of which...It has come to my attention that at that ceremony you were presented the Martha Award. Congratulations!
However, this is puzzling to me. Not because you don't deserve an award, but because I don't understand why they'd give you (or any other woman they cared about) this one. I understand that the intent is to recognize one eighth grade girl for her devotion to service; for her ability and willingness to accomplish tasks behind the scenes where it often goes unnoticed. What I find more difficult to grasp is why they call that the "Martha Award."
In case you've not studied the story of Martha, let me summarize. While Martha is known for her tireless devotion to acts of service, she is primarily remembered for missing the point. Called out. Publicly. By Jesus. Ouch! And this occurs in the context of her service. (To be fair, I don't believe Jesus was chastising her for serving, but for believing that she was holier than her sister because she was busier.)
It seems a bit like presenting an eighth grade boy with the Thomas Award. Yes, he was a disciple and he ultimately died for the sake of the gospel, but he's primarily known for doubting. (There isn't a Thomas Award, is there?)
So here's my proposal...
I think there should be a Hannah Kredit Award. From 2014 on, one young woman should be chosen who represents the amazing qualities I see in you. Here are the highlights:
1. A gifted performer who comes alive on stage and then effortlessly moves to serve behind the scenes.
2. An encourager who finds deep joy in highlighting the beauty of others.
3. A hard worker who embraces the joy of the journey instead of succumbing to the relentless pursuit of perfection
4. Tall. I just think she should be tall.
5. An intelligent young woman who works hard but doesn't need to prove anything because her identity is in Christ
6. A creative dreamer who is fully content to live in the moment.
I'm aware that this blog post may go down as another one of Aunt Kelli's little rants. I hope so. Because I'll rant all day to ensure that you know how special you are! (Wait until next year when I write this post for Madison!) The last thing I want to do is diminish in any way the accomplishments of your elementary school years. You rock!
So take all of this with a grain of salt. Hold what seems good and right and discard what doesn't fit. You're smart. You'll figure it out!
Kelli is a writer, speaker and consultant equipping leaders for a deepening intimacy with Christ, greater impact in ministry and more effective intentionality in all of life.
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