On Her 17th Birthday

Happy golden birthday Thing 2!  Girl, there has not been a dull moment since the moment you were born and  I have been in awe of you since then.  You see life through the lens of an optimist, always finding the best in the world, always remembering that we are here in God's created space with God created people.

Whew!  When I reflect on your last year I feel compelled to exhale.  An opportunity to travel to Bali was presented to you and your Dad and I instantly knew it was a God kiss.  I can not even tell you what my Mama's heart felt as I watched you walk away, a tad nervy and uncertain about what forty plus hours of travel would be like.  It was as though my heart leaped out of my chest and decided to hop on a plane.  Yet you handled yourself with all the confidence you could muster and that flexible, free spirit guided you.  Some might say you possess a gypsy spirit and to that I say well done.  Your Mama has that in her too and it suits us.  So not only did you travel across the International date line, the Durbin family invited you to Cali to celebrate Madison's 16th birthday.  We had a trip to TN and most recently a move to TN and in between there have been countless MN adventures with family and friends for you.  The part of you that seeks justice was inspired to lead a fundraiser within the senior high youth group.  You partnered with IJM and shared the "loose change to loosen chains" cause, collecting coins to spread the word around the epidemic of human trafficking.  There were documentary movie nights and corporate church gatherings.  Not to mention a mentoring relationship with one of your junior high girls that was spurred on because of your mentor.  You were a D-group leader and the joy I saw in you when you were serving those girls was abundantly clear.  All that between college classes and a job at Francesca's Boutique.  No wonder I feel the need to catch my breath when I write this.

Dear daughter, as we enter this senior year of high school and your 17th year, I know we are on the cusp of multitudes of change.  I pray you enter into that and embrace it all with a full and open heart to the work that the Lord continues to do.  Just like when you look through the camera lens and capture just the right lighting and then the shutter clicks and the moment is caught, I feel that same way when I see you.  Those times when you are in your element, leaning into the gifting the Holy Spirit has given you.  Walking the narrow path.  Studying His words.  Learning something new about the faithful ones that came before us.  Discovering your place within the body of the church and speaking out for those that don't have the freedom.  Use your voice, sometimes whisper and always love.  Keep loving big, the only way you know how and please don't ever stop.  Despite what the world might say.  You have the ability to diffuse anger, make someone smile and bring people together.  Keep being you.  I shake my head in disbelief sometimes; This ginormous opportunity I've had to be your Mama.  And my prayer is always above all else that you love Jesus.  I mean that, chase after Jesus with everything because He is everything.

I love you sweet one,  my Laney-Lu.

1 Response to "On Her 17th Birthday"

  1. cheryl lee Says:

    What a true assessment of your second born, she is truly a reflection of her momma and daddy and the King who created her! Where she goes, I go in spirit, all the while praying and enjoying the joy she reflects! Love you little gypsy traveler LuLu, keep you eyes and heart open for the glory of God!

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