“Sweet 16 today…
She’s lookin like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl
to perfume and makeup from ribbons and curls.
Trying her wings out in a great big world…”
If you’ve never heard the song “Butterfly Kisses” take a moment and listen to it.
But make sure to grab some tissues first.
It always seems to get me!
Words can not truly describe the pleasure we had as we watched this beautiful Quinceanera be celebrated.
I know… you’re thinking “Quinceanera? you said Sweet 16? wait a minute…”
I know… Talk to covid… not me 🙂
While for some it may be just another birthday, for others it truly is like watching a butterfly spread her wings or a rose bud burst forth into full bloom. It truly is a sweet time in a girls life and definitely worth celebrating.
Many teens in the United States tend to look forward to 16 for their drivers license but the Quinceanera celebration (and celebrations of its like in other cultures) has always been such a beautiful celebration to me. Many cultures celebrate this time as a celebration of transition from childhood to an age of maturity.
As Astrid was led to the beautiful throne of a chair placed in the witness of everyone in the room, a hush carried over. There was a sacred tension of emotion in the air that could be felt and seen on many faces. An anticipation. A hushed controversy pulling between mourning and celebrating. On one hand the sweet and touching ceremony of her father taking off her “childhood” shoes and replacing them with those of a woman is exciting! It shows she has grown, that she is becoming a woman, a beautiful woman ready to take on the world! At the same time, it is a bittersweet goodbye to the sweet memories of childhood. If I had to guess, I would say there won’t be many more times of this young woman curling up on her Daddy’s lap for a story or running to her mothers arms when she falls and scrapes her knee.
I couldn’t help but feel my mind wander to my own daughter and how I would feel if it was my own husband replacing the shoes on my daughters feet. There were tears in my eyes as well as many through the room.
There was anticipation of the beautiful things this wonderful young lady is about to accomplish with all her might, there was also urgency to hold on to and cherish every moment left in her that still shows traces of that little girl.
Time truly slips by so fast, sometimes we cant believe where it has gone. We blink and a year has gone by, we go to sleep, wake up and a decade has passed.
I challenge each and every person reading this and setting eyes on these photos to take a moment and find some area of life that you can cherish today. A person you can reach out and remind how much you love them. A favorite past time that has been tucked away as life has gotten “too busy”
Stop. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the right NOW. Enjoy your children, your grandchildren, your friends, your LIFE, your parents, your siblings. Just STOP and take a moment to really truly look around you today at the beautiful blessings God has placed in your life. If we are not careful they will slip away before our eyes without us even realizing it. Take time, take heart, thank GOD for what we have.
Even if life isn’t perfect, even if life is actually quite tough right now, even if it feels like nothing is going for you, take heart. Look around you and be thankful that every day will not be like this. “It came to pass” it didn’t come to stay.
Take 5 minutes today and appreciate the tough times, without them, the good times wouldn’t and won’t be quite as sweet as they should be.
Antonio & Linda: Thank you SO much for allowing us to be a part of such a wonderful celebration and evening. It was truly a joy to see your beautiful daughter becoming a young woman. Cherish this time, hold her close, love her deeply, and enjoy as you step back and watch her blossom and transform into a beautiful butterfly before your eyes ready to take flight! I pray that as you do, God would have his hand on each of you and that your family would truly be blessed and become all that God has for you.
Astrid: CONTRATS!! I am so happy for you. Life may not have always been easy. It never is. But those times that we find the toughest, God uses to make us stronger. Never forget the love that surrounds you, the friends beside you and the family behind you, but more importantly than even the people, never forget that there is a God who created you to be the beautiful girl that you are and has such special and wonderful plans to continue to make you into the beautiful woman you are becoming. Always remember, He made you and He loves you, His love can not be earned, it just IS. You are wonderful and beautiful. Keep becoming who you were meant to be. A little brighter, a little stronger, a little wiser, and a little more beautiful of a person every day. But don’t keep it to yourself! Share your love and kindness and beauty with everyone around you, because true beauty comes from the heart and a truly beautiful heart splashes all over everyone. They can’t help it! So go on girlfriend! Splash all over everyone! You were meant to SHINE!! You are beautiful! I pray you never NEVER forget that or let anyone tell you any differently. Shine!!