A Tribute to My Eldest Daughter on Her 17th Birthday

DSC_0108I was scrolling through the 18,000 pictures in my iPhoto app last night watching you grow up right before my eyes. So many memories. So many smiles. I love your smile!

You know that they say that time flies. They are right. It is hard to believe that today is your 17th birthday. Seventeenth! How is that possible? Time flies. We’ll celebrate today, watch some bowl games, get back into school, watch you be Ariel in the Little Mermaid, go to Disney with Nini and Papa, do more school, visit colleges, run cross country, complete finals, head to Monteagle, begin your senior year, savor the fall in Dahlonega, stumble into Christmas and then you’ll be 18. Eighteen! Time flies.

Well, before any more time sprouts wings, there are a few things I want you to know.

1. You are loved. Period. But being loved is a worn word. How about you are treasured and prized. Yeah, that gets closer to the vibe I want you to feel. Be convinced of that. There is nothing you can to to change the fact that you are an object of your Daddy’s affection. You are my precious little girl and always will be.

2. You are gifted. God has given you wisdom, discernment, intelligence, wit, maturity, beauty (inside and out) and so many skills, such as writing, painting, playing music, singing, acting, etc. You are such a good thinker. It blows my mind how your mind works, and at such a young age. Yep, 17 is still super-young. Hey, 44 feels young to me now! 🙂 But do remember that all gifts are just that—gifts. Unearned and undeserved. They are given. They are manifestations of grace. So, use your gifts to bless others and to glorify God. Most of the time gifted folks use their gifts to glorify themselves, forgetting that gifts are gifts.

3. You are his. As you know, God has bought you with a price—the blood of his own Son, Jesus, the Good Shepherd who laid his life down for you. Now, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! By grace through faith, you are one of his beloved sheep. You belong to him, and there is nothing you can do about that either. Go back to point #1 and apply that here, too. God the Father treasures you. Prizes you. Delights to call you his daughter. He is so very fond of you. You are an object of his affection! You remember our talk about the rotten avacado that has the solid core? Remember that whatever is smushed about your “sinful flesh” does not negate the true, new you—the new creation who is perfectly righteous in the Father’s eyes, clothed in the very righteousness of Jesus! As we love to say, the Father sees the angel in the marble.

Never forget that. You are loved. You are gifted. And best of all, you are his.

I love you to MACS0647-JD and back!

Daddy