E is 20cm taller than a year ago, over twice as heavy. These days she rarely stays in one place when you hold her, and can usually be found squirming and sliding to the next interesting thing in the room.
Yet as I cradled our 1 year old daughter this morning after breakfast, she became unexpectedly still. She stared up, occasionally lifting her doll-like finger up to gently trace my lips, as God etched the moment into my memory.
It made me think back to the first time Cheryl and I saw her. That morning of hustle and intensity, of prayer and pressure, then hearing E’s almost other-worldly cry as she entered the world (2:08pm). After the checks, our midwife quickly placed Eden onto Cheryl for skin-to-skin contact.
Then, she became unexpectedly still, calm, occasionally shuffling towards the face of her mother. Soft footsteps in the corridor broke the silence once or twice, as God gently etched the moment into my memory.
We were reminded by a dear friend last night that a child’s birthday isn’t just a celebration for the child (what would she even remember now?), but also a time of rejoicing for the parents to reflect on the joys and the sorrows in the year gone by, and on God’s faithfulness and mercy towards them.
Happy birthday my dear. If blogs are still around when you’re old enough to read this, may this be a testimony to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, who has sustained and fathered you better than I ever could, every day of your life. Our prayer for you remains that you would be found clinging to Christ alone for everything on your last birthday.
You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise and lead your feet
On a journey of your own
May my mistakes to hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through
This is my prayer for you…
“A Mother’s Prayer” by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Fionan de Barra; © 2012 Gettymusic and Fionan de Barra
“My job is to bring light into darkness by raising my children in the Lord” – Jamie Peterson, homemaker, when asked about her job