A Letter to My Daughter on Her 4th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Sara Chantelle!

Today you are four.

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How perfectly that number suits you. You are fun, full of life, bursting with ideas, bubbling with love. You are my precious first-born daughter and no one could ever take your place. 

Oh how I love you!

It’s early in the morning, and in the quiet of the day, I’ve been thinking about your life–from the beginning until now. 

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Photo credit: Cheryl and Sarah Hansen

When you were in my womb I was pretty sure you were a girl, and I wanted a girl first! You were sensitive and tender toward the things of the Spirit even then. When the worshippers in our church danced, you danced inside me. I knew from then on you would be a dancing worshipper. Heidi Baker prayed over me and put her hand on my belly, and you leapt and shivered. You must have been able to feel the glory too.

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And then you were born. Sleeping. Everything about you perfect and wonderful.

Together we learned to nurse. It was good and sometimes hard. Sometimes we cried together.

You are my first-born.

With you I learned what it is to carry life inside of me, secret and hidden, yet fully alive.

With you I learned how wonderful birth is and how incredibly God fashioned my body to harbor and carry you while you grew and have you be born at the perfect time. 

With you I learned to bond with a tiny person who was yet to give her first smile.

With you I learned that sleep–uninterrupted sleep, at least–is overrated.

With you I learned more about God’s incredible, unfathomable love in sending Jesus, because there is no one, NO ONE I would EVER give you up for. Not even myself.

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With you I learned how to really be a mother. To let the “experts” pontificate what they would and still make my own choices that resonated in me.

I learned to hear your heart through your cries and give you what you need. I learned to trust the process.

With you I learned again the wonder of a child. The perfection of first steps, first smile, first words. The fun of birthdays and how much I love to bless you.

I learned how to fashion a routine, and how to be even more spontaneous than I already am.

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I learned that truly the greatest gift you can give a child is a sibling.

With you I learned how to nurse a child through sickness, and how to keep you healthy.

I learned how smart you are and how quick I have to be to stay ahead of you.

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I learned that rocks and sticks are treasures, and that dandelions look beautiful in crystal vases.

I learned how much I know about the world.

I learned how much I DON’T know about the world.

I have learned how very similar we are in many ways, and how much I want to protect and nurture your heart.

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I love you. I treasure you. I adore you. 

You are my favorite.

With all my heart, my love, and a big squeeze,

Mommy 

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