My dear oldest child,
Today is your birthday – a milestone birthday. It truly seems like just yesterday when the delivery nurse placed you in my arms and you and I saw eye to eye for the first time, just 45 minutes before Mother’s Day arrived.
You were a tiny bundle but oh, so perfect! Born while your daddy was stationed in a far-off land on the other side of the world serving our country, it really felt like it was just you and me against the world until he returned to join us.
As I lay in the recovery room later on your birth day, my mind still reeling from the miracle of your birth and my body still shaking and quivering from labor and delivery, a nurse brought you to me and said, “She won’t stop crying. I think she wants her mommy.”
And sure enough, as soon as she laid you in my shaky arms, you stopped wailing immediately. From that day on, you taught me one of the most precious lessons humans can learn – how fiercely a mother loves her child. You made me realize a mother lion lived inside of me.
I blinked and you were a tiny, adorable girl with blond curls dancing and singing “ut-town gurl” (Uptown Girl) in your sweet little voice along with Billy Joel on the stereo. (Yes, that’s why you still love his music.)
You never wanted to miss a thing, following me everywhere, asking questions. Always curious, always wanting to know, always inquisitive. When you thought of something you should try or do, you’d inquire of me, “Be that fun, Mommy?”
I blinked again and you trotted off to school, so eager to be a big girl, so ready to learn, to absorb, to experience. I believe your zeal to discover and understand coupled with your ability to acquire knowledge so easily molded you into the scientist that you are today.
I worried a bit as moves or other circumstances beyond our control caused a change in schools every couple of years for you, but those experiences seemed to give you confidence, a sense of adventure, and the ability to make new friends.
I blinked once more and Dad and I were unloading the car and moving you into your college dorm room, so proud of you and your accomplishments as well as your college choice and your molecular biology major. And then all too soon, you were out on your own with a freshly minted degree, a launched career in biomedical research, and an apartment to call home.
My darling daughter, you have amazed us. As you reach this milestone birthday – your 30th – you have accomplished so much. With travels to Paris and London, to Mozambique and South Africa, to Honduras, and the desire to see more of this world God created, you have proved how adventuresome you are.
You demonstrated your bravery and independence when you accepted a new position in a place far from home where you knew no one, had no roommate, and no real security blanket. You’ve taken changes and even set-backs in stride and your strong faith in God sustains you.
You are funny. You are loyal. You are intelligent. You are assertive. And you are so much more daring than your mother! Convincing your siblings to go sky-diving with you is just one example.
You are determined whether it is running half-marathons or accomplishing a task in the most accurate, precise way. You always strive for the best and even though you think you’ve not always succeeded, to us you always surpass! Your “bucket list” continues to grow even as you cross items from it.
How can I even begin to explain how much I admire these things about you? And now, in your 30th year, the Lord has given you a gift you’ve longed for, one for which you’ve waited and hoped for so long – a soul mate with whom to share your life, your adventures, and your love. What a beautiful bride you will be on your wedding day this fall!
Today in my book called Opportunity, I remember how much you have blessed the last 30 years of our lives and I give thanks for you and the joy it has been to be your mother.
This birthday might cause you a bit of trepidation, but do not fear. Turning thirty is just another milestone in the journey of life.
The years to come will be amazing; turning thirty is just the beginning. Our omnipotent God has awesome plans for you and your life.
Actually, as recorded in our guidebook for life, God’s Holy Word, some pretty important people accomplished some very important things once they turned thirty. The Lord had big plans for them and their purposes in life were just commencing:
- “Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.” ~ Genesis 41:46
- “David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.” ~ 2 Samuel 5:4
- “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.” ~ Luke 3:23
I know the Lord has big plans for you too. God loves you and He will bless you, guide you, and make a way for you when you continue to trust in Him. That you can count on. And you can always count on us to cheer you on!
Happy 30th Birthday, my beloved and beautiful daughter!
“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” ~ Ernest Meyers
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