She is a blessing beyond what we could have imagined.

A daily reminder of God’s grace.

Of His handiwork.

Of His blessing.

Of His strength.

Of His overwhelming power.

Of the power of prayer.

Of the power of community.

14 years ago at this moment we had arrived at the hospital, were awaiting the doctor’s arrival and had yet to have the epidural for the birth of our first born baby.

This child who was born on her due date; who’s first word was Da and called every animal she saw a cat; who once ran a tiny grocery cart into an elderly ladies legs in the grocery store all while keeping eye contact with her; who had no problem calling a kid in her school simply to tell her she was hurting people’s feelings; who gets up early and stays up late to begin and finish her schoolwork; who arrives at church on Sunday mornings before her mother is even out of bed is turning 14 at 4:40 a.m tomorrow morning on December 23rd.

The joy and pain of raising a child both breaks me and heals me. The hope for the future and the reminders of the past are both very real in the present. The glimpses of mature growth mix with the sightings of abandoned child like joy in one beautiful package called childhood.

The difficult moments give way to ease and the easy moments give way to difficulties. Both part of the yet undiscovered plan as we grow together. She into adulthood and independence and I on the continued journey toward Christlikeness. Toward middle age. Toward grey hair and a deeper sense of who I am. Toward confidence that only years and experience can teach.

This child who in just a few hours will “officially” be 14 is right now watching a marathon of Little House on the Prairie with all intentions of sleeping in on her first full day of Christmas vacation and her birthday.

It is an honor to be Anna’s mom, an honor I relish and thank God for every single morning and every single evening.

Happy Birthday to the one who first called me Mommy.


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