The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

Two Already!?


Today is darling Ariana’s second birthday.  Of all the birthdays we’ve celebrated with our children thus far, this one has been the most difficult to believe.  I remember Ariana’s dramatic whirlwind birth, the announcement she was a girl, and the doctor’s working hard to try to get her to start breathing like it was just a few weeks ago.  I remember getting so excited and joyfilled every time she woke me up in the middle of the night because that meant I got to nurse her and be close to her (not kidding).  I remember her first big smiles, when she first sat, her sweet crawl, the way she grinned from ear to ear every time Liam was in the room.  I remember trying to get her to use sign language for “more” when she was 7 months old and her saying the word “more” instead.  I remember her first steps during our community group time.  I remember working on catechisms with Liam and asking, “Who made you?” only to have Ariana surprisingly answer “God!”

Ariana’s birthday is such a surprise because of sin issues I struggled with when Liam was a baby.  I was so focused on worry (will he ever sit, crawl, walk, talk?) instead of trusting God that I rarely treasured the little blessing God had given me.  By God’s grace, I became aware of that sinfulness by the time Ariana was born and was able to enjoy her (and Liam) without most of the fear I experienced before.  I think somewhere deep down I thought that if I soaked up every moment she would stay a baby forever.  Today I realize she’s not a baby anymore but a wonderful, beautiful, happy, submissive toddler–the next phase to treasure.

As is tradition, I ask each of you to write Ariana a note wishing her a happy birthday, sharing memories, blessing her, and/or praying for her.  We keep all these comments written for our children to be read to them in future years.  Thank you, sweet friends and family!

Merciful God, I will never understand the grace you have shown to us.  Was it not amazing enough to snatch us from the death we deserve through your perfect Son’s substitution?  But you just keep going, giving blessing after blessing we don’t deserve.  Some of the greatest blessings you have given me are in my children, and today I praise you especially for our second, little Ariana.  Thank you so much for using her to make us more like You, showing us through her example how to trust and be filled with joy even in difficult situations and how to show complete compassion.  I pray that you continue using Bill and me to show her the gospel in everything we do, that she will one day be redeemed from the bonds she is in and will live a life with the cross at the center of her very being.  Help her learn to be a godly little lady who by Your grace may become a godly woman, loving others more than herself.  My biggest prayer is that Your glory is expressed more magnificently through this child’s life as I have already experienced in so many ways.  You are good, and I praise you wishing I could do it better.  Amen.

ariana-with-stickers1Ariana and one of her favorite activities–putting stickers all over herself

10 thoughts on “Two Already!?

  1. Happy Birthday, Ariana, you cute and lovable bundle of joy!

  2. Happy Birthday Ariana! You are so sweet and your happy smile just lights up the world around you. You have brought us many smiles and giggles in your two years- like when you “went missing” at our house and we found you upstairs playing in the potty! That was only one of many times when you quietly wandered off and we found you happy as a clam thoroughly enjoying life. We love you! Keep on smiling and we pray that you will embrace the joy of Jesus Christ.

  3. Happy Birthday Girlfriend!!! You are such an incredible blessing and I always look forward to seeing you every Tuesday along with all the other cute and awesome kiddos. You put a smile on my face every time. Have a great day sweetness!! Enjoy just being 2 : )

  4. Ariana,
    You are the most precious oldest granddaughter we have. I love how contented and happy you are with life; whatever happens is OK with you. You seem to smile ear-to-ear all the time, and I absolutely love that smile. I pray that you will continue to be joyful, and that when the time is right, you will feel God’s call on your life. Have a wonderful birthday, and remember, Nana and Peepaw love you so much!!!!

  5. Ariana, I can’t believe you are two! You are such a treasure to be around. I hope to never forget the warm smiles you gave me the first time we met, and every time there-after. I have loved watching you become more and more of a girl, preferring babies and kitchen toys over everything else. You are always a joy and such a great reminder of what contentment looks like. I pray that you find an even greater contentment in Jesus Christ and the tasks he has for you to do. I pray that you will know him early and love him deeply. I pray that you will lead your sister (and sisters and brothers to come) in loving the Lord and following in all his ways. I hope we are given the privilege of watching you celebrate many more birthdays! Happy Birthday!
    Lindsey (and Drew)

  6. Oh my goodness you guys! That video was amazing!!! Thank you for doing that. It means so much to us, and what a great way for her to put names with faces. She actually got her gift today, and she and Liam have been fighting over, er, sharing it nicely tonight. 🙂 I hope she becomes a little artist someday. We love you all!

  7. Hannah’s “I’m the cutest!” at the end is classic. 😀

  8. Happy 2nd Birthday Ariana! You look so cute in this picture with all of your stickers on! 🙂 We hope you have a great birthday!

  9. Sorry, I know this is soooo late, but I still wanted to add something.

    The biggest memory I have of you is your smile. I love coming into your room and picking you up after your nap. You always have the biggest smile on your face and look so excited to see me.

    Another memory I have is from when I first started volunteering in the nursery at Sojourn. You came in one morning and were crying. You looked across the room and immediately stopped crying when you saw me, I didn’t even say anything. My heart melted…

    I love you and can’t wait to see you grow into a lovely woman, although if you stayed as you are right now I wouldn’t mind!

    –Aunt Rachel

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