Karyn and I joke that I am her first born child. She says she still has a hard time believing that mom and dad didn’t bring me home just for her. Karyn was four when I was born and pretty much, has loved me passionately from that time forward. I am grateful to be so loved!
Even more than being the recipient of strong maternal love from Karyn, I am grateful for the example she is to me as a mother. It is hard to narrow down what I appreciate most about my sister as a mom, but probably the three biggest things Karyn excels in are how she enjoys her children, her laser sharp perception into their hearts, and her humble refusal to take any credit for her kids being so good.
Karyn and Dan say that Sierra, 13, and Daniel, 10, are the other couple they do things with. Truly they would rather be with their kids than anyone else. From family game night to spontaneous trips to Ritas, Karyn and Dan are all about spending quality time with their children. This is not some compulsive duty that they read about in a parenting book. It is truly the result of not just loving her children, but really liking them. No one makes her laugh harder than her kids. The result is a family with extremely close family ties. Karyn, as the mother, has been the primary facilitator of the relationships this family enjoys.
No one has taught me more about getting to the heart of a matter than my sister (who learned from my mother). Karyn is an astute observer of individuals. She never takes behavior at face value. From the beginning of mothering, Karyn has been diligent to discern the heart behind the issue. It is one thing to read about “shepherding a child’s heart” in a book, it is another to watch it in action. I am grateful for Karyn’s discernment, and counsel for my own heart as well as my children’s.
Probably the most important thing about Karyn as a mother is that even though she has really good kids (and believe me, they are amazing!), she always gives God glory for it, and sincerely believes it is only because He has been merciful in spite of her weakness. Now, I have just cited two strengths in Karyn’s mothering, which I know are evidences of grace, but still – she appropriates this grace. She will be extremely uncomfortable being commended, because she is truly humble and counts it all grace. I want to be like her in this above all things. I want to humbly acknowledge that any success in parenting is the mercy and grace of God, not my ability to apply a few principles here and there.
Thanks Karyn. I love you and am glad Mom and Dad brought me home for you!