In my life I am inspired by many things, God has really blessed me with eyes to find His beauty and love in all sorts of places. My favourite place to view His greatness is in people and I’m going to tell you about a really wonderful young lady that inspires me every single time she crosses my mind.

Heaven and her cousin Amanda

Heaven was, at least in my mind, an unlikely child. Even with a family history of birth issues, she was born – she took her own sweet time to get here too, but she was born. Healthy, perfectly created, beautiful black hair, curious eyes and a family that instantly fell in absolute love with her.

When I finally got to meet her face to face, she was so quiet you had to really listen to hear her voice, truly she was simply gentle in every possible way. She would look at you with these big beautiful eyes, with a head full of the most amazing curls – and when she smiled; it felt like the sky opened up and smiled with her.

Two years later, when Heaven was 4, I spent some real time with her and I was blown away! Let us start with the fact that she already was so sure of herself and of God that I was just in awe 90% of the time I was around her. She let me know that “we are ladies in this family” in the most precocious voice. She was well mannered, disciplined, soooo smart, honest, tidy, sweet, caring, loving – the list goes on!

While I was visiting, Heaven’s Dad was mowing the lawn and something flew in his eye, and without thinking, he swatted himself in the eye while wearing HARD contact lenses. Yes, there was a yell of ow and Heaven in all of her knowledge of the world and humanity, knew that God heals. She laid her hand on her Dad’s eye and asked God to heal him and take away his pain. My heart and soul was moved by the absolution of her faith. There was no doubt in her mind of how to handle pain, there was no question as to whether or not God would fix it, there was just one road from hurt to healed in her book and that road only ran through Jesus.

Each time I visited or got to see Heaven, I was inspired by her. She loves completely. She cares for others constantly. She is talented and gifted. She is passionate. She is simply inspiring.

After being an only child for almost 10 years, Heaven was finally getting the sibling she had asked God for. Seeing her waiting to become a big sister was another moment of revelation. I visited Texas for the first time explicitly to visit Heaven. No one else was on my list. My sole purpose was to see this really great kid. We did so much, I watched her play football; tried playing with her and found out I really needed to get fit just to keep up; went ice skating; cheered her on at more football; watched movies with her; went to gymnastics with her; played and laughed. It was just fun being able to spend time with her.

Then I found out that this fabulous young lady was the one who designed her baby brothers nursery. She chose everything on the gift list for his baby shower, picked out the decor on his walls, and even chose his furniture. All I could think was, she is going to be an even better big sister to her brother than her Mom was to me.

Last year, on my visit, I found out she really is. She is still the most active and awesome girl I know, but through her love towards her baby brother you see how truly amazing Heaven is. She plays with him, feeds him, talks to him, even lets him beat her up :) but most of all, she protects him and is tender with him. When you catch her looking at him out of the corner of your eye, you can see just how happy she is to be his sister and how much she loves him.

Today, Heaven is a 13 year-old on a mission. She has traded football for singing, is still an awesome sister and is the founder of Clothes.Ed. Her heart is still as open as ever and she loves God and it shows. She is one of the few teenagers that I have looked up to almost all of her life. Heaven inspires.

Heaven inspires me:
To love others completely
To be me, no matter what
To love God more
To laugh with abandon
To pursue my passions
To stand up for others
To lead always
To inspire goodness in others

Heaven the Protector
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