Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter!
Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget [other] people… Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your [Lord].
~~Psalm 45:10–11 (NIV)~~
Happy birthday, dearest Daughter!
(Not sure how that happened. Guess I forgot and blinked!)
Even if I’d somehow forgotten, which I wouldn’t, of course, you were there to remind me. Right after midnight, when we all should have been in bed, you stood on the dining table and began to sing at the top of your lungs–
I’m two sevens–yeah, yeah, yeah!
I’m two sevens–yeah, yeah, yeah!
And today, I’m still singing and to the tune of Elton John’s I’m Still Standin’. Laughing too, as this is just like you–to do something quite wild and random and… wonderful!
You’ve always been a funny child, with your wit as a toddler–those humorous “Allie-isms” and “Allie-gories,” as I called them.
Tales about Pepper, your imaginary horse. Cute dress-up parties, your pups the subjects of your imagination–Prancer turned Snow White and sometimes Rocky (if he cooperated), her Prince Charming.
Oh, and the tea parties–with all the flair and frill. Hats and gloves, purses and pretty dresses. Tea and tea cakes and tiny tea sandwiches.
What fun we had, sometimes with friends or visiting family or (much to their thrill) our pups!
Over time, much fell by the wayside–your interests having changed, matured. And that’s normal. Indeed, it’s just fine.
Still, I sometimes miss those days–regret the times I said, “Not now, I’m too busy,” or “Maybe later, dear. Tomorrow perhaps.”
Right now, I’m racking my brain, trying to recall the last time you asked for a tea party. Did we do it? Did I drop everything and boil water, spread cream cheese on crustless white bread, then slice cucumbers just so?
I honestly, don’t remember, and I’m sorry if we didn’t. So little work for so much joy!
Now you’re more interested in trying mascara, chatting with friends, and playing cyber games with pals, some I don’t even know. And there’s nothing wrong with that, don’t get me wrong–though I’m sure you often feel smothered by us, your dad and me. With all our rules and regulations. (I admit, we’re pretty strict.)
I don’t tell many of your tales anymore, per your request. “Don’t write about that,” you say, and I promise I won’t, knowing it’s a word I’ll honor. Because it might embarrass you, and we know how mean others can be sometimes, bullying for things their parents post, for example–make fun of how you looked in that picture or what you said or something just as innocent-turned-insolent.
Makes me sad. But I’m so proud of the strong person you are–your sense of self-worth and how you can go out with simply a messy bun and sweats, feel beautiful because…
You are beautiful!
That’s not to say others’ words or actions haven’t hurt, because we both know they have. But you recover quickly most of the time, even turn the other cheek, and that makes me and your dad exceedingly happy.
And although you have a quiet resolve concerning your faith, loving Jesus and honoring His ways according to His Word, we know it’s important to you–believing this relationship, though personal, to be very real.
We see it in how you treat others. How you view the world. How you allow it to guide your choices most of the time and how you see injustice.
We don’t pray this won’t change. On the contrary, we pray it will–growing dearer, more precious, to you day by day, sweet Daughter. That the love of Jesus will dwell in you richly, more deeply, as the days and months and years go by. Yes, indeed!
After all, there’s nothing more important than a personal relationship with your Savior. His Spirit will guide you, the fruit of His presence maturing that you’ll be used for all good works in Him, abundant in love, joy… peace and patience, not to mention kindness and gentleness and so on.
Then you’ll be effective for God’s kingdom, prepared for an eternity with Him–yes!–but also well-equipped for all He has for you here, on earth as it is–as it will one day be–in Heaven!
We pray the coming year is filled to overflowing with all good things, dear Daughter.
And while the days may no longer be filled with tea parties and doggie dress-up, we know those things you love–like basketball and make-up, pups and horses and, of course, human friends–bring much joy.
And therefore, they bring us, your parents, much joy too.
After all, whether you always believe it or not, your heart is our heart–even when we’re mad at one another or you’re frustrated with us for something that seems so unfair–please remember:
We only and always want what’s best for you!
And while we do make mistakes sometimes, hold you too tightly or misunderstand your motive and, therefore, close our ears to something you have to say, we just love you so much.
And we know, this world’s a scary, unkind place–something we so often just want to protect you from, and so we do fail now and then.
We’re so proud of you, dearest Daughter–of the young woman you’re becoming, for your heart toward others.
Yes, your heart for Him.
Listen to your perfect Parent–yes, your heavenly Father!–for He…
- Will never fail you,
- Will always love you,
- Will eternally hold you in the palm of His hand.
He calls you beautiful.
And you are.
We love you so.
Thank you for the gift of our daughter, dear Allie. Help us as her parents, because we know we’re far from perfect. Sometimes we hold too tightly. Sometimes not tight enough. But we trust You, and You’re our Daddy too. Guide us in the coming days, and be honored by our family, for Your glory and the good of others.