Yesterday you turned nine. Aunt Amy pointed out you are now half way to college. Gulp. Less than seven years ago I pointed out that you were halfway to kindergarten when you saw children clustering into school. I'm grateful halfway to college is a lot longer than halfway to kindergarten because I have a lot of learning to do.
As our first born, you have taught me much about what it means to put others' needs first, to practice patience, to slow down when I want to speed up. I think that's God's wisdom in placing us in families as infants. As you grow, we grow. But, oh, how far I have to go.
And I need that daily reminder that as we chart your growth on the door frame and marvel over inches gained, it is the growth on the inside that really counts. When we choose to love in moments where we do not like. When we choose gentle patience over heated words of anger. When we do for others when we'd much rather do for ourselves.
So my prayer for these next nine years and beyond is that we pay attention to the quiet inside growth flourishing in you. And learn the lessons God gives us with grace and praise. And appreciate the now that is so fleeting. And treasure the gift of you.
Perhaps this is why we are encouraged to rejoice in the Lord always. Always. Because when we praise the Lord our moments are never wasted, never torn, never regretted.