Yesterday was my baby’s first birthday. I know it’s cliche to say this, but I can’t believe it. it’s so crazy to think that she was born just a year ago. And only a year ago.
I went into labor about 10:30 in the morning. I had been in labor for the whole night 9 days before, but it was a trick! After I labored that night and didn’t deliver Norah, I was very depressed. Needless to say, when I went into labor for reals, I was ecstatic. I was so happy that I plopped my big self into my big chair with a big stack if books and read them all to Micah before I called Davy to tell him I was in labor.
Norah was a sunny side up baby. That’s a sweet way of saying I had the most painful labor ever. We did natural childbirth, which meant Davy and my mom were almost as exhausted at the end of my contractions as I was. They were also almost as annoyed as I was at the lady who came to ask me survey questions during my contractions that were two and a half minutes long with only thirty seconds in between. She very properly said,” I’ll wait,” when she saw that I couldn’t answer right away. Thanks, lady. But after 10 hours, Norah was born. I’m pretty sure the first words out of my mouth were “Thank You Jesus!” One year later, those are still very frequent words out of my mouth when I think about my daughter.
Norah is hysterical. Silly and carefree, dramatic and tough. She loves pretty things and also driving trucks. She dances to every single noise, and her favorite is to wear her tutu while dancing to the Chuck the Dump Truck theme song. I want so much for her, and I want so much for her to always be her. So, I’m writing her a letter. Who knows if she’ll ever read it, but here goes:
Tiny Nay Nay,
I know that mothers writing letters to their daughters on a blog is common and borderline cliche, and at the risk of sounding cut and dry, I want to tell you a few things I hope you never forget.
I love you so unbearably much. It aches deep, somewhere under my ribs, when I look at you and know that I can love you and love you and love you from now until eternity ends, and still you will always have more to your beautiful personality for me to love. You are a complex masterpiece that Jesus has given me, and I feel as though He is unveiling just one color at a time – He continually adds another deeper, purer, and more striking. Sometimes I look at your eyes and can’t help but be struck with wonder, and I feel that same awe about the world that you constantly express. You are joy to me.
I think I understand a small part of what Jesus feels as He watches us grow – an overwhelming desire for the best for you. I see your beautiful spirit, your strengths and loves, your potential, and I want to take up arms and fight every battle for you. I want to fiercely defy every opposition, spiritual and natural, and pave your way to spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical wholeness and fulfillment. I would fight the bear, the lion, and the giant for you, and I wouldn’t ask anything in return but that you love Jesus wholly. I would lay my life down for you, my little lovely, to see you come into who Jesus has made you to be.
There’s only one problem. I can do everything to create the right environment for you to grow into that person, but I can’t make you do it. I can brush your teeth and feed you healthy food, I can teach you kindness and love and how to say no, I can show you what it looks like to love Jesus wholeheartedly, but in the end, you must decide to do those things for yourself.
My sweet Norah, choose life. Choose to take Jesus by the hand and determine your heart to never waver from Him. Choose to view everything through His lenses and focus that passion and intensity you have into loving Him madly. You do not have to please the people of this world. You do not have to be like them to be lovely or loved. You do not have to taste their fruit or experience their stains to be valuable. You only need to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Be a woman of action. If you see a need, fill it to the best of your ability. If you hurt, seek healing. If you anger, seek forgiveness. If you speak, do so in love. Whatever you do, do fully, as to Jesus. Invest yourself into people – real, deep, meaningful relationships. Don’t let your vivacity be stolen by inaction or multitasking. Love people, love Jesus, and do those things you were created to do and love.
Last of all, remember. Remember Jesus and what He has done for you. And remember how Daddy and I love you to the end of time and back.
My little Nori, you are so beautiful to us.