Today is the day that the third daughter entered our world. Her pregnancy was challenging. It could have been the other two littles, Thing 1 just turning three and Thing 2 not yet a two year old. That is a possibility. I ballooned with her, swollen everywhere and enduring the AZ summer heat. She was cozy inside and prolonged her birth an entire week. I walked the labor and delivery floor pleading with her, begging her to ready herself. For the love. We were so very ready for this third girlie we had been waiting for, the one we called Gilly-Bean from the beginning. And then she arrived and our world has never been the same. Maybe it's her dimpled smile, her strawberry blonde hair and those deep brown eyes, maybe her fair skinned limbs. All I know is it was love at first sight.
Thing 3 this past year has been full of new. High school. A decision to spend your summer serving in a foreign country. That choice by far has been the bravest I have seen you step into, next to following Jesus. You answered a calling. Chose obedience. Even when you didn't know another soul that would be adventuring with you. Sometimes that is exactly what following Jesus looks like. Crazy. Unknown. Full of promise. I am so proud of you. Proud of the woman you are becoming. The calling you are stepping into. Your zeal for all things food related. An exactness that is unmatched. A commitment to your studies and yet a whimsy that I hope never fades. Ever. At a moment's notice you have the ability to make me laugh. Whether dancing, acting or performing some monologue. Say to commercials. My current favorite. You have a generous spirit that is unbridled. Sometimes I don't even know how to respond to it. I'm not sure empathy is the right word but the concept of giving it all away is surely not lost on you. Yes and yes. Keep it up. And still you get lost in a book. Spending hours escaping into other's words. Every now and then when you turn your head a certain way or engage your Dad in a serious conversation I catch a glimpse of the future you. Still my daughter yet grown up. Adult-like. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make my heart skip a beat. I am so very honored to have been chosen to walk with you into woman hood. I thank God I am your Mama and I pray this fifteenth year is better than the last and more than you could hope for. I pray that everyday you are able to see God's hand in the big and small. He is everywhere. Before. Behind. In the midst of. Keeping you hemmed in and always present. Listen. Love. Never stop chasing after what makes your heart jump and dream big. I love you Thing 3.
Happy, happy birthday!