Claire at Christmas. She likes chocolate. Go figure.
I said goodbye to Claire today. She heads back to Oregon for another five months to finish out her year at Cornerstone School of Ministry at Calvary Chapel Corvallis. I'm not a big fan of goodbyes, especially today's. Claire is a remarkable young woman. Everything is better here when Claire is home.
She's my first and thereby oldest daughter and I remember clearly the day she arrived, a little bundle of sweetness on a spring day in Prineville, Ore. After three boys there was a certain mystery to this little girl. She was soft and gentle and such a little girlie. I loved it.
She has blossomed into a beautiful, gifted young woman and when she's home and picks up her guitar and sings praise songs it's like the world stops for me and it instantly becomes a peaceful, beautiful place. She's led worship in our church, Calvary Chapel Gloucester, for the three or four Sundays she's been home and what a blessing. I could listen to her all day long. I really could. She and Madeline play and sing praise songs together and their harmonies are wonderful.
One of my favorite things about Claire being home is seeing how much Ezra loves having her around. Ezra is 8 and pretty reserved but with Claire he'll snuggle with her. There's a special bond there and it makes me smile to watch them together.
One thing I noticed when Claire was home for Christmas after being away for four months was how much she has matured in her faith. Not only has her singing and worship become richer and more beautiful, but I can her how close she is to the Lord in her songs, her prayers and really all of her life. As hard as these five months are going to be, I can't wait to see how much more beautiful she will become as she spends the time deepening her walk with Jesus. I love you Claire.
Here's her and Madeline singing: Amazing Grace