Listen with ears of tolerance.
See through eyes of compassion.
Speak with the language of love.
I can remember the first time Dad and I listened to your heart beat while you were growing inside my belly. It was quick and strong, yet it made the rest of the world around us slow down. Whether it's your heart, your voice, or your eyes talking to me, I will always listen. Sometimes it takes a few "mom-mom-mom"s and a tug at my pants while I'm doing dishes in the kitchen, but I want you to know I feel so blessed to be able to look at your sweet face and really listening to what you're wanting to tell me.
As you grow you'll have opportunities to listen, learn from, and help those around you. I hope you take time to really be there when your siblings or friends need someone to talk to. Sometimes they'll just want a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on...and that's when you have the chance to hear more than just the words they are saying. Being a good listener is such a gift.
Another gift is your intuition--the feelings in your heart and the promptings you get from your Heavenly Father--always listen to that. "The value of persistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him." I love that! Whether you pray throughout the day, or pray once a month, your Father in Heaven is always listening and aware of your desires, whether you express them vocally or not. Ava, the beauty of that "persistent prayer" is you have that open line of communication, and if you take time to be still and listen, you'll feel what He's trying to tell you.
Looking through these old photos of Dad and me wearing you in the sling, I smile thinking of the times you fell asleep and I could hear you breathing, in and out. Or when we were exploring somewhere new, and you'd either snuggle in close to Dad's chest, or you'd point excitedly and babble about something that made you happy. :) I've been grateful to be able to wear you close, listen to you, and feel your heart beat next to mine. I'll always listen for what's in your heart Ava. I love you to the moon!
PS - The photo below of you wearing and kissing your baby doll will forever be one of my favorites!
*** In all of these flashback-photos we're wearing Ava in our Pure Linen Sakura Bloom sling, in maple.