Not only did we celebrate Easter this past week, we celebrated my baby’s twenty-first birthday. Honestly, I can’t figure out how that happened! I remember April of 2001 like it was yesterday, but in the blink of an eye, it’s been twenty-one years. I think Morgan’s looks have changed over the past 21 years, but her personality has not.
Morgan is my girl who is never afraid to try anything. From horseback riding to parasailing to caring for her grandfather, Morgan always has a can-do attitude. Although I’m the one who is supposed to be teaching my children about life, I’ve learned so much from Morgan. I think she’d be surprised to know…
Morgan taught me not to fear. Morgan has always been fearless. As her mother, that hasn’t always been easy to witness. Morgan is willing to try anything and smart enough to know what not to try. She looks at everything logically, calculates the risks, and plunges ahead. More importantly, she’s never afraid to speak her mind. That’s something huge she taught me. Never be afraid to stick up for the little person, to go against the crowd, to stand up to the bully, or to talk about God. It’s because of her courage that I’ve leaned to be more outspoken, especially in matters of friendship and faith. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Morgan taught me to care for those in need. Morgan wanted to be a doctor from the time she was about two-years-old. She started out wanting to be a dentist, then an oral surgeon, then a general surgeon, then a pediatrician. She may have changed her mind several times as far as her specialty, but she always knew she was going to be a doctor. Until she didn’t. Caring for my father-in-law gave her a whole new perspective on medical careers and convinced her that she was born to be a nurse. Three years into her studies, she has gained even more confidence in her calling and in herself. She understands that what really counts is giving people the time and attention they need. Morgan will make a wonderful nurse, and the profession will be lucky to have her. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Morgan taught me to trust my gut. Whenever one of her sisters had a new boy in her life, she knew there was a problem if he didn’t pass The Morgan Test. We used to think that Morgan was a tad bit too judgmental, but we learned that she’s just really good at listening to her intuition. She knows how to read people and how to know when and whom to trust. Most of all, she trusts herself, and she’s not afraid to let you know what she thinks and why. Whether her gut warns her about a friend, a boyfriend, or a circumstance, she knows when it’s time to give in or give up. Sure, she’s made some mistakes here and there, but her track record is better than most, and she has taught all of us that when that little voice tells you something is wrong, it’s time to listen. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Morgan taught me a lot about mental health. Passionate about mental health and those who struggle with mental health issues, Morgan has taught me to be more patient and understanding when it comes to talking to and about people who are struggling with emotional issues. She’s taught me that not everything is solved easily and that sometimes we all need help. She’s taught me to stop and think before I make judgments or assumptions and to be more open minded and more supportive. She’s taught me that we all have demons we are facing, and it’s okay to admit it. Whether or not she goes into mental health after graduation remains to be seen, but her keen awareness of the subject will serve her well in nursing and all other areas of her life. “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast” (Jeremiah 30:117).
Morgan taught me to always be careful of what you say and do. Sometimes I think this is a common trait among those who are the youngest child in the family. Morgan always had (and still has) a great knack for seeming to be oblivious when she is greatly astute. Many times we thought she was entertaining herself in her room, paying no attention to what was going on or being said in the house; or we believed she was asleep, not hearing anything that was said or done. Of course, that was rarely the case. We’ve all learned to never assume Morgan is in the dark about anything because in reality, she hears all and knows all, and everyone would do well to remember that. “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Acts 20:28).
Morgan taught me how to be a loyal friend. There is nobody else I know who is more true and loyal to her friends than Morgan. Once a friend, always a friend. If a friend hurts her, she doesn’t hold onto the pain, stewing and grieving. She goes to the person and tells them she is hurt and why. She seeks a way to find forgiveness and to mend the friendship. If the person hurts her again, she knows when to say, enough is enough. In addition, Morgan recognizes when she is the one who has hurt or wronged someone or when she is too quick to judge or dismiss, and she’s not above admitting it and making amends. High school is a tough time for friendships, especially for girls, and Morgan learned to navigate the ever-changing world of teenage friendship with love and grace no matter who was right or wrong, good or bad, mean or charitable. It’s a quality I have always admired. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
Morgan taught me to tell it like it is and to admit wrongdoing. This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn from my own child, but I often need to hear what she has to say. Morgan never shies away from telling someone what’s what. She dispenses with metaphors and beating around the bush and comes right out and says what needs to be said. It’s not always comforting, and it’s not always pretty. Sometimes, it can be harsh. Sometimes, I wish she’d let it go or not point out my faults. But it’s often when I’m most upset at her revelations that I know I am in the wrong. If I’m on the hurting end of something Morgan says, it’s usually because she’s telling me something I didn’t want to hear or admit. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when Morgan lashes out and says things she shouldn’t or hurts me with her admonitions, but there is never a time when that happens that she doesn’t come to me with an apology. She is strong in her convictions, strong in her assertions, and strong in her forgiveness and penitence. “Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
I have learned many lessons from all my girls, and I know they will continue to teach me things for as long as I am on this earth. As the youngest, Morgan doesn’t always get the credit she deserves for all that she has taught everyone in our family. I can’t wait to see what I can learn from her in the years to come.
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16).
Come see Amy on one of these dates:
April 23, 2022 – A Day of Wine and Roses Book Festival, Brook Hollow Winery, Columbia, NJ
June 4, 2022 – Christ Church 350th Anniversary Fair, Broomes Island, MD
June 15, 2022 – Catch Amy on Delmarva Life on channel 16, Salisbury, MD at 5pm.
June 18, 2022 – SunDial Books, Chincoteague, VA – The Launch of My New Chincoteague Trilogy!
August 13, 2022 – Makers Market, St. Michaels Inn, St. Michaels, MD 9am-3pm
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, will be released June 15, 2022. Pre-order your copy now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021).