Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Happy Birthday, Eliana!

Soooo would it be absolutely shocking if we actually got your birthday post posted on your birthday?? Let's see if we can make that happen...

Fifteen years since that day you were born. Fifteen years. Just about here, all the phrases that all parents have said about the quick passage of time rush through my head. But I'm pretty sure I've said them all before, in previous years.

Sweet, beautiful girl... you have grown up so much this last year. I know you were writing a lot before this year, but at some point, you may look back at this past year and see that this has been a big transitional year for you. In a lot of ways you really blossomed from having writing as a hobby to being a writer. (And not necessarily just because you were published three times over this summer)! (Pssst...if you haven't checked it out yet, you can find Eliana's blog at

You are quite possibly the most self-driven, self-disciplined, goal-oriented person I've ever met. There are many things that you accomplish that make me sit back in awe. There are times that I worry about you burning out, with all that you push yourself to do.

But I love that you purpose to embrace God's new mercies for you, each and every morning. Even as you have developed thinking far beyond your years, your spiritual growth has been even more evident. Your love for the Lord, and your love for others, your patience, kindness, and goodness... those traits shine through not only in your writing, but in your day-to-day actions and reactions.

We praise God for His kindness to you and through you.

We pray this next year blesses you, encourages you, brings you peace and joy that will last your lifetime and more.

We love you, Baby Girl. Happy, happy birthday.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Very Merry UnBirthday to you, Elijah!!

Hey Elijah-

At this point, I'm so late writing your "happy birthday" post that it's far too late to virtually wish you a happy birthday!

Sorry, kid... I'd write a list of excuses for my tardiness, but the idea of making excuses in your unbirthday post is amusing, to put it mildly. Because at 8-to-9 years old, your and my biggest battle right now is over your inherited uncanny ability to make excuses for any and all behaviors. I hope one day (many years from now, as I picture most of my kids finally digging though their birthday posts of years past) that you read these words and laugh and say, "Haha! That's so true! I used to make excuses ALL the time...I'm so glad I've conquered that tendency!" And I hope that I'm right there, identifying with you in the conquering, too.

'Lijah, 'lijah, 'lijah...we love you so much. You are a delight. You have so many words. And so much heart. And so much wisdom and steadfastness.

A few years ago, you were really troubled over not having picked a future wife. You talked about it, prayed about it, and sought counsel from your Sunday School teachers for months, before a beautiful, kind, smart, amazing young lady caught your attention and devotion. I remember you telling me about her, and her devotion to another young man... When I worried about your unrequited love, you encouraged me and said, "That's okay, Mom. I just plan on being a really good friend to her and if it doesn't work out for her to marry [that other sweet, wonderful young man] maybe she'll decide to marry me instead."

(You still do that -- I heard you yesterday, working hard to see the good in a hard situation. You were battling for the right attitude, and I love and respect that about you. So much.)

Back to your devotion. It didn't take long -- though it did take a few months, which felt like a really long time back then, I know -- for you to win the attention of your intended. Thus blossomed a precious, precious season of notes and declarations of love and affection, and even some photographic evidence of hand-holding between you and your love.

As your mama, and considering the mama of your intended is a good friend to me, I both absolutely loved seeing this side of you and feared the potential heartbreak should this relationship falter, for either or both of you, simultaneously.

The surprising reality is that years later, I still feel the same way. Because even though your relationship has weathered times of more or less communication, times of more eyelash fluttering from across the room and times of seeming disconnect and unawareness, your expressed heart and intentions remain the same. In fact, this year I heard rumor that you intend to begin saving for a ring!! ::swoon::

You amaze me, Elijah. And I don't know the future for you. I can't promise you that things will work out exactly how you hope. But I do know the One who made you to be the incredible, steadfast, deep young man you are.  Keep grabbing on to Jesus, our precious son. God loves you, and He alone can carry you through in a way that effectually matters for all eternity.

A very merry unbirthday to you, Elijah. We hope that this year is the best one yet, for you!