Here’s a birthday letter to you, daughter. While I am cooking here, attempting gluten-free French toast, and frying sausage links — which is a special treat — I am pondering as you are sleeping in your summer morning, the wonder of God. We are to know the breadth and the depths of His love. Daily, I stumble on the way, fumbling this load I bear, and if I just remember — His love holds it all. Looking over the baby pictures of you, I am reminded.

Yours was a life I almost did not know. If God did not meet Grandma in the place that she was in, 6 months before you were conceived… well, that’s a story that never was written and never will be. I never have to know what might have happened if God did not save us.

Just one week old on the day I was born anew.

Everyday, I do get to see reflected in the breathtaking beauty that emanates from within you, shining bright in your stunning eyes, and sun-bright smile — His Redeeming Love. I can look on the past and know with certainty, it is preaching the Gospel of Grace. It shouts loud, Jesus SAVES and Jesus REDEEMS. My story — is your story — is God’s story, as He is the Author of our lives.

Less than a year old…

Holding Baby Lela at 5 years old…

Yesterday was a bit of mayhem, swirled with chaos and a touch of crazy. But what I am thinking of today, and it fills my soul, is how you took baby Ava and painted her toes a colorful rainbow. I am amazed at how you volunteered to bathe Grandma’s puppy, and how you began folding clothes even though we let you off chores for your birthday week. Thank you.

I ponder deeper still, these 18 years of your beautiful life, how deep your love runs for your God. How you stay true to your core convictions in the face of adversity. How you befriend the friendless, and concern yourself with including those who feel excluded. I am inspired by your quiet, humble confidence and that you do not know how truly beautiful you are — even though countless others never cease to tell you.

Your vow to purity…

I look at you and I see your future so bright and colorful — you are God’s masterpiece and the landscape of your life He is painting is filled with grace and beauty and the wonder of God. His gifts He gave you are for His purpose, and I know that you will never cease to use them for His glory, by His grace. Shine bright His Light.

You are a pure beauty…

I think about your answer, after I asked you what your thoughts were after I shared with the ladies at the tea — the truth about our identity being established in Christ finished work of the cross, and His wondrous grace. You replied, “I feel like I won’t ever have to know what it’s like to NOT know who I am in Christ. This is what you teach us. It’s what I know.”  Only God. Only God could take the chains the enemy had meant hold me captive, and use them to establish the truth that keeps you free.

And more of His redeeming love, as He gifted us with the treasure that is your dad — the only earthly father you’ve ever known. Daddy has been your daddy since the moment he saw you. God did not waste anytime at all, as you’ve been his since you were less than a year old — and there was and is NEVER any question about whose daughter you are.

Our wedding day… God made our family.

You and Daddy…

Fast forward through the awkward years, although, to me it seems you navigated them gracefully. I have to interject just one photo of such a bright time in your life.


But now look at you. This incredible young woman, whose heart is so rich with faith and devotion to the Lover and Guardian of our souls.

You are pure Joy…

And through your own words reveal a God-loving soul —

I am a born again believer who dreams of falling deeper in love with her God. My faith is the pure essence of who I am. It defines my character. It shapes my heart. It sets my morals. It is what draws me deeper and closer to my King. My faith is the base of my relationship with my Father. It is what opens me up to learn to be an honorable woman of God. It is the very path that ends with my destiny, my purpose, and starts up again with the reward of enteral life with the Holy One. He is the living breath of life within me.

What I feel compelled to tell you, as you enter this new season called “young adulthood” is, the dreams you have in heart — they may not happen as swiftly as you would like, or quite the way your imagined, but God’s ways are higher than ours. His plans are perfect and they are good. Do not ever give-up, because God will never give up on you. It may feel, at times, your whole world is falling apart, but always remember the One who holds all your days. God is all the while, working deeply in you, to conform you to His image. We do not get to choose what He uses to refine us, but know, through it all, He is the Potter with gentle, masterful hands, shaping you into a vessel of honor fit for His use.

Remember, the devil is after the seed God has put in you — your purpose. He will do whatever he can to try and keep you from fulfilling your call in God — to keep you from your God given destiny. He cannot ever separate you from the love of God. Although, the devil will try and convince you otherwise, he cannot ever take away your inheritance as a daughter of the King. Satan will endeavor to steal your joy, destroy your dreams, and kill your passion — he cannot and do not hand them over.

Hold tightly to the truths that you have been taught, the ones that anchor your soul, light your path, and protect your heart from temptation. Hold loosely to every earthly possession, and as you possess nothing for the sake of knowing Christ, you will possess everything, as you embrace the One who is your Portion.

And always remember —

“Don’t ever let others define your worth!”

Jesus proved your value

when He showed you,

you were worth dying for,

when He used a cross to express to you,