Today is my sister, Katie's birthday. She would be 41. Isn't she beautiful? As I've posted before, I never knew her in this life. She died when she was two. Her impact was huge though. It will always be felt as long as there is Cantrell blood on this earth. Her birthday has once again turned my thoughts to life, what we do while we are here and the impact that will have on us in the eternities. Katie came here perfect and, we believe, for a certain purpose. She didn't need all the testing and proving that so many of the rest of us need. She came, touched lives, changed hearts, and left. I look at my own life. What have I done? What will my actions mean? How have I impacted those around me? This weekend has been a difficult one for me. Michael has been working. I have been single parenting. Normally that would be fine. However, I have one child that is a test for me. A test that I feel I fail miserably over and over again. I have been emotionally, physically, mentally drained for three days now. I was hoping for a rebound this morning but it hasn't happened yet. I struggle, with this child and with myself. Why do I let it get to me? Why do I act the way I do when I am pushed by this child? Usually it happens in the not-so-quiet of our home. This weekend though it carried to church and to my parents house. I was glad in a way because they were then able to see what I was talking about when I would describe the situation to them. They gave me encouragement and advice. But then I went back home and had to face it again. My thoughts came back to Katie. What do I need to do so that when I leave this earth, I can have the same positive impact? How can I help this one child and this one heart the way she helped so many lives and so many hearts? I know it is a different set of circumstances, a different kind of change. As a mother though, I feel such a need to help but I feel so helpless in trying to do it. Katie's birthday always brings about contemplation and desire for betterment. This year it has done the same. I know that there are things I need to do. Things I need to change in myself. I can't force this child to change. That's not my right or privilege, but I can change myself. Hopefully as I change myself and my heart, the same will begin to happen in this child's heart. As my heart softens hopefully it will be more open to the spirit and guidance from my Heavenly Father so that I can know what I need to do in these situations and things won't end up in such a frustrating, depressing disaster. So as I celebrate Katie's birthday in my heart today I also make promises to try to do better so that when I leave this earth I will have impacted this child the way that Katie has impacted those she touched. Happy Birthday Big Sister and thank you for your short, sweet life here on this earth!