Friday, August 24, 2012

happy birthday my little, my love

my little, my love.  in just hours you will be three.  how is this so?  just a breath ago you were so tiny in my arms.  i get goosebumps now. tear filled eyes remembering those moments after your birth. beautifully perfect.  perfectly beautiful. i could've stared at that dark head of hair of yours and that sweet little face for hours.  in fact, i did.  how i wanted you so.  you were birthed in my heart long before you were birthed from my womb.  when you've lost much, it means you've loved much.  but even God can birth life out of loss.  remember that, daughter of mine, in your years to come.  it happened with you.  you were no surprise, but a heart's desire. a longing.  so with the afternoon sunlight that shone through my window on that day you were born, my heart was shining too.  i knew that what i was holding in my arms was a gift.  and i've felt nothing but thankfulness for you from that moment on.  you remind me daily to choose joy.  did you know it is a choice? sometimes a hard lesson to learn. for it's in our poverty and brokenness, in our leanness and lacking, that we must be deliberate in this choice.  sometimes you have to fight for it, and swallow the choice down hard and fast without water, before the sly one tries to come and steal. will you do me a favor? choose this.  choose joy, even when it's hard, and life laughs at you, and you just plain don't wanna. 
choose it berlyn.

my little, my love.  how is it that the gap in your front teeth can fill my heart with a wild smile?  the world is wide and your eyes for it wider.  you lead like your brother and your daddy and season our world in delicious.  you stand on the stool this afternoon, arms spread wide. binky still in mouth, you declare, "mama. i'm big. i'm not little!"   and then louder yet you turn to your brother, "see brayden? i'm big!" silly. serious and smart.  you don't miss a beat.  you struggle to keep up in all things. for now you are a mommy's girl. i take you in completely. not the pink and purple princess girl i imagined you to be. no, you're blues and greens and Mickey Mouse.  
i love that about you.

my little, my love.  how is it that we knew to choose 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 as your life verse when you were born? "Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  did you know that "Be joyful always" is a verse in itself?  as is "Pray continually."  caboosed by "Give thanks in all circumstances."  pay attention to details little one. God hides treasures in them.  unsearchable ones.  little did we know that after your birth we would have to live these verses out the hard way.  that  James way.  where in the choosing, in the weathering of storm, we walk by faith and not by sight.  moving ourselves to believe that one day, yes one day, we would count it all as joy.  how could we expect you to, if we couldn't do it ourselves?  probably the three hardest, longest years of our lives together.  a season filled with desert wandering.  can i tell you a little secret though? looking back on it all now, i really do count it all as joy.  it's not a wish and a yearning anymore.  it's as real as the moon.  how marvelous to count it all as joy. your life has been a constant reminder for me to keep my perspective and to remember my purpose in the midst of it all.  serving and giving my family, and my God, my best.  
your life, your smile, a tangible joy i could hold onto.  
a gift of gratitude despite our circumstance.

my little, my love.  there's so much i want to tell you.  so much truth and word i want soaked and engraved into your tender heart. to know Him and to be known.  to find that deserts and valleys are to be esteemed.   it's only in their scorched and lowly state that you may take on a posture, a vision, an opportunity of looking up. Looking Godward. Heavenward. and beholding that He is and will be your more than enough.  when the valley passes and the mountaintop approaches, stay in this position.  lift your eyes up yummy. your help comes from the Lord.  embrace the kingdom victories. 
they'll make you wise and rich in spirit.

my little, my love.  i may only be able to hold you for a few more years.  but in my heart i'll be holding you forever.  and when i can no longer cradle you in my arms, let me cradle you in my heart and be your Truth whisperer.  know that there is Someone much bigger holding you. don't let Him be a stranger.  i give you permission to run into the safety of His arms. 
did you know those arms of grace are everlasting?

and my little, my love.  if you ever find yourself running from me, or from life, may it be because you are running straight to Him.  and if that's the case, run with all your might.  when the waves come crashing in all around you, run.  it's there you'll find your joy.  a joy and a grace that surprises and quiets and thrills and sustains.  you mustn't look far.  
He says you'll find Him when you seek with your all.  
don't hold back, but discover.

my little, my love.  in those moments you can't bring yourself to run. and the world is too heavy to even just let you "be."  remember His footsteps carry you.  He's chasing you with goodness and mercy.  just turn around. be ready for the dance. and when you're hungry, may you know that the bread of Jesus is the only thing that will truly satisfy and fill.  oh how He loves you.  His thoughts outnumber the grains of sand. do you see how many grains there are? 
as is His love for you.

my little, my love.  you won't ever go through this life alone.  your'e sandwiched in love amazing.  never will you be left or forsaken.  if you ever lose your way or find yourself buried, don't hide.  know He is with you.  He is for you.  let Him be your guide.  
the Lord is your life!

my little, my love.  your mark on this world begins with His mark on you.  you've been cleansed with Love and clothed in righteousness.  equipped with all you need for life and godliness.  there is no lacking in Christ.  so gather and receive.  gather His graces daily.  be grateful. 
and be a glory giver.

my little, my love.  while i whisper these truths to you, will you play with my hair a little longer?  squeeze my neck a little tighter?  be my shadow for another day?  grab onto my leg and don't let go.  help me make lunch. and dinner.  and dance for me.  tell me another sweet story.  climb up into my lap and let me smell your sweaty tangled hair.  let me hear your make-believe.  hold my hand a little longer as you double step down each stair.  put your flip-flops on backwards one more time.  tell me again to sing Jesus Loves Me before you go to bed at night.  ask me to read you another book.  i will.  say "seriously" one more time today. no 100 more times today please.  prance around the house in nothing but your shirt and panties.  ask me for "nice warm milk" in your sippy and tell me you are so tired you need your binky.  take your kitty's tail between your little fingers and rub your skin against his yarn till you are hard in slumber.  tell me "i do it myself!' one more time.  close your eyes tight and cover your ears once again when I get to the "scary"cave part as we read "We're Going on a Bear Hunt." walk barefoot outside. let me clean your feet one more time before bed and tell you again that this is what Jesus did for His disciples. to love and serve and to walk humbly. you wait for me to tell you this story.  to ask you the question. so you can tell me the answer.  
routine. seeds. roots. 
these are the moments that make you mine and make you little.  
may i never forget them.

there's so much you know in your own little world, and so much you don't in the world around you.  i pray you know Him first and best above all things.  climb onto another chair and leave a trail of mess for me to find.  i'm watching you.  let me hear your pitter-patter on the hardwood floors.  i always know when it's you.  i recognize the sound of your step. there's Someone else who knows all about you.  Who recognizes your step, your voice, your breath, your heart.  did you know He even knows how many hairs are on your tangled head?  tell me again that you love me "too much."  i'll tell you there's Someone who loves you more than that.  and while you're in my care, may i love you well and show you but a tiny glimpse of the heart your Maker has toward you.  fearfully and wonderfully made. with gap and overbite and all.  today and always, the King is enthralled by your beauty.  
may your heart grow to shine in radiance for Him.

my little, my love. 
my littlest love. 
happy 3rd birthday.  
always and forever, be my little slice of yummy.
i count you as joy.  
 and i love every moment of being your mama.  


  1. I have a feeling your little Yummy will find joy and already has the foundation in her heart for all that you desire for her. Now excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Happy Birthday to your little girl with the huge, contagious smile!

  2. Happy Birthday Sweet Yummy Jo!!! Oh how loved you are!

  3. lovely in every way. this mama's birthday wish and the darling its written for.