(We’re obviously a little late getting this up since her birthday was last month!)
You beautiful, beautiful girl. How happy I am to celebrate you today! I feel like I’ve watched you grow more in the past year than any other of your years, and not just in height. Though Holy Guacamole, you’ve certainly grown a ton in that area, too. I think you’re only two inches shorter than me now, and wearing the same size shoe. Sigh.
I’ve see three big changes in you since this time last year. First, your faith has grown by leaps and bounds. You’re developing more of an awareness of your own sin and are more willing to confess it, sometimes on your own without being prompted. You love to help others understand Jesus, and the times your eyes fill with tears and your voice catches because you’re in awe of Him or you’re moved by others’ love for him or you hurt for those who are weak are the times you’re the most gorgeous. True beauty, not the artificial kind we work so hard for on the outside.
You’ve grown in maturity. You could almost run my house at this point. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, and just a general understanding of how the house works day to day. You know how to care for others well and have gotten to practice with some babysitting jobs, and you do it with skill. You care for others in your friendships, too, more often than not putting yourself last so others can have the best.
The third is how much you’ve become my friend. I’ve always loved any time I get with you, but as you’re growing, so are your conversations and the depth of your heart, and I find myself simply enjoying our talks and thinking of you at times more as a sister than a daughter. There are still a few years left before that transition is complete, but the glimpses of our relationship when you are a grown woman fill my heart with gladness.
One of the most encouraging things for me as a mother is watching how much you strive to be like me. I love you for it. But don’t cheapen your goals. God has gifted me with much grace, but it’s so so pitiful in comparison to him. Look to him more than you look to me as your example. You’ll see some of him in me, but you’ll also see plenty that should be in me. Focus your eyes on eternity, remembering always who you are, and laugh with joy. I’ll be standing beside you cheering you on every step of the way.
If this is what I’ve seen in the past year, I can only look with excitement to what’s coming in the next year. Rejoice in the Lord my sweet girl who’s quickly, so quickly, becoming a woman. Keep chasing after Jesus. He’s ready to welcome you at the finish line.
With deep love,
Mom and Dad