Happy Birthday, Elinor!

My sweet baby... er... toddler girl,

Happy birthday, sweetie! I cannot believe this day is here already... what a year it has been! As I've looked back over pictures and posts from this year, I am amazed at how much you've changed. When I first held you in my arms, you were so fragile, so quiet. You had such skinny little arms and legs, and perfectly tiny fingers and toes. You were dependent on your Daddy and I for everything. Now you are walking and climbing all over the place! You can feed yourself, read books to your self, and you're even trying to wash and dress yourself!

But Elinor, even more amazing to me, is how much you have not changed:
  • Your name fits you well, my little light. Since the moment you were born, you've brought joy and peace. I thought it was remarkable how much you smiled, even as a newborn. You smiled when your Daddy played guitar for you. You smiled as I held you in your arms. You even smiled in your sleep! But now I'm not surprised at all. God placed a special light in your smile, and not a day goes by when you don't share it with someone. What a gift! I pray that you will always spread the light of Christ through your smile.
  • I have also seen strength and resilience in you. In your first five minutes of life outside the womb, you were put through an ordeal, as the nurse pumped your stomach of more blood and fluid than she had ever seen come out of a newborn. You put up with an IV, oxygen mask, bili lights, and all other kinds of wires, moniters and poking fingers. Now, you may not have had much of a choice, but you never complained. You are still very much that way... even in the midst of tremendous changes in your surroundings and comfort, you've always been restful and quiet. Instead of the challenges I had expected, you have made this year easier. You are a blessing to us!
  • Finally... perhaps my favorite quality of yours, as well as the hardest to define... is your ability to know and love people. I don't know, maybe it's not really possible, but sometimes I think you can sense what people are feeling and needing. When you meet another's eyes, you hold their gaze and study them. More than a few times, I have seen you show compassion and give encouragement when it was needed. With the sick, you are gentle. With the sad, you are tender. With the tired, you are peaceful. My daughter, nourish and develop that gift! When the Lord leads you to share his love with someone who is hurting, follow him! I pray that the Lord will continue to use you for his glory in this way.
  • And lest you should become vain... I also know your flaws. Although I am choosing not to share them with everyone here on this blog, you are very much a human baby girl and very much my daughter. I pray that the Lord will cleanse you from the same sins I myself fight against; that you will look for your hope, identity, and purpose in the only sure place, with your Father in heaven. He is your light, darling! Look to him!
Sweetheart, I love you more than I could ever tell you! I love knowing you and can't wait to spend the next year with you!

Happy Birthday, my little one-year-old!


Michaela said...

oh meg that was really sweet. I want to fall in love like that. You are such a great mom!

Anonymous said...

Precious. Happy Birthday Elli! We love you and you do light up our lives!

Aunt Tine