Today was my daughter's birthday. She's turning four. Since she's the baby of the family and the only girl, she gets a little special attention. Today it was a tea party birthday with a couple dozen friends, relatives and others munching on tea sandwiches, birthday cake and pink punch. Oddly enough, as I type this I realize that nobody had any tea. Go figure. But we had our share of little ones running wild. I see ponies and coloring books and doll furniture piled into heaps. There's still wrapping paper and assorted torn boxes and warranty cards strewn across the living room floor. I'll get to the cleaning part soon enough.
The picture above is my daughter's birthday cake. My wife made it herself. Truly amazing. I think she even surprised herself with how well it came out. It's tough for her to surprise me anymore, as she is always accomplishing things out of the ordinary, but this cake was really something. In the same way, I watched my wife sit at this computer for around eight hours one day last month. She was figuring out how to get rid of a virus we had picked up somewhere, and no one was going to tell her she couldn't do it. Eventually she got it figured out through ingenuity and tenacity. Or maybe it was just stubbornness. Either way, she was a marvel to watch. When she sets her mind to something, it's rare that she can't succeed. She is truly a gifted person who is a gift from God.
My oldest boy played guitar at church this morning. He led the congregation in singing the old Andre Crouch song, Soon and Very Soon. He's really a great kid -- almost 14 years old now. His one drawback is that he looks and acts too much like his old man did at that age. Hopefully he'll work out of that. Next weekend I will have the incredible blessing of baptizing him. Words cannot express what that will be like.
The middle child missed the birthday party today because his football team had a playoff game. He plays fullback and inside linebacker and has had a great season. The team lost today in the semi-finals in overtime 13-12. Next year he'll be playing Junior High football. It seems like only yesterday that he was our 3 year old imp with a smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye. The boy is growing up. He's a people person. I've known that since kindergarten. I dropped him off outside his classroom and watched him turn the corner and enter the room. Then I heard a dozen or so classmates shout his name in unison -- sort of like when Norm would enter Cheers on television. He's still that way. A very caring and special person. I can't wait to see what God uses him to do. The possibilities are endless.
It looks like my daughter may have finally run out of steam this evening. She's had a huge day. She was surrounded by older girls at the party. She's always hung out with older kids. It's probably mostly because we are always around kids my boys' age, but she gets along fine. She was telling me earlier this week about what she'll do when she becomes a boy like her big brothers! It looks like she still has a bit to learn, eh? But around here, she's still the princess. Or the queen, depending upon the day.
I write all of this, not to brag, but to recount some of the things God has given me far beyond what I deserve. It's almost like it's my birthday every day. I could sit and concentrate on the lousy stuff in my life. The money situation isn't great. I need to get a part time job. Church attendance has been disappointing. I'm getting older and need glasses to read. But that stuff is all nothing compared to the incredible gifts I have been given by my Lord and Savior.
Happy birthday, dear daughter. And thank you, dear God.