Happy Birthday, Baby

AJ, sweet little girl, this post is for you.
Five years ago today, my life was indelibly changed.  I like to tell people that I was in labor on the longest day of the year…it makes me feel like a real toughie, even though labor was only 9 hours.  But long is relative when it comes to laboring.
These are the things that I love about you:
1) You’re smart as a whip.
2) You talk like a 16-year-old, and like to use the word “awesome” a lot.  Awesome.
3) You are kind and compassionate, you never met a kid you didn’t like–dogs are another story…
4) You are my inspiration: to keep going, to get out of bed, to watch my words and to hold my tongue.
5) You love to have the Bible read to you.
6) I love it when you sing “How Great is Our God” at the top of your tiny voice.
7) You giggle when you’re tired—just like I did when I was a kid, (and after a long time, my dad, your Big Pops after the 1000th giggle would get on me about settling down).
8) You’re super-creative, the other day you designed and cut out a castle, colored it and pasted it to another to another piece of paper and then drew on that—pretty great for a 5-year-old
9) You have the most kissable cheeks—ever.
10) You make me proud just to be your mom.

Happy Birthday.

Our Heavenly Father

In church this morning, we watched on screen as one of our pastors, waist deep in a baptismal pool, shared that a few weeks ago he had led his son to a relationship with Christ.  He was explaining this on remote camera downstairs in the building, getting ready to dunk his sweet son, who looked to be about 6 or 7, in believer’s baptism.  I usually get a little emotional whenever I witness a baptism, but this Sunday it hit me like never before.  It’s typical for the pastor to ask if someone had accepted Christ before immersion, but when he was questioning his son, his voice caught, you could tell he was fighting back some tears.  It wasn’t until this young father placed his arm around his son’s shoulders, covered his mouth and nose with a handkerchief and guided his small body backwards into the water for about a second and then forwards, saying the words, “Buried with Christ, raised to walk in newness of life.” that the Father/Son connection really hit me.  It was only because Christ DID die and was buried, His very Father allowing/leading Him to this death could we even participate in the regeneration.

Father’s Day can dredge up some very heavy emotions.  As a single mom, it dredges up lots, and speaking last night with a good friend on the role of fathers and how that influences, in every way, a child’s character, all kinds of  feelings welled up for me.  As a single mom, your child’s situation may be as varied from that of a father who shares joint custody, pays child support, desires to be involved in their life to  complete absence due to death or abandonment.  God’s heart aches for you and at the same time has something to offer you.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in Isaiah over the last few days and am overwhelmed with God’s love for us, over and over again, he puts these tangible pictures of his presence with us, but the one that has spoken the most to me is this: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you Do not fear, I will help you.”  This is true for our children as much as it is for us.  God, this mighty magnificent Father has everything we can possibly need.  Moms, no matter what, HE is our children’s Heavenly Father.  
As I spoke to my own father this afternoon, we were wrapping up the conversation, trying to get all the meaningful thoughts and words out before we hung up, my dad said, after I thanked him for who his was, “Aw, you guys made it easy.”  I laughed, particularly as I recalled each of our (3) teenage years and said, “Yeah, right.” Then he said, “Well, God made it possible.” 
God did make it possible.