Jubilee, you turned five this year. Your actual birthday was about two weeks ago, and we celebrated your birthday even longer ago than that. It’s not that I haven’t had a long enough time to think about this annual letter which I was going to write you — it’s that, I’m not sure what to say!
This year, you officially moved out of baby-hood. Or, maybe I just realized it, if it happened before. This year was the year I realized that I must stop talking about you when you were around as if you couldn’t hear and internalize what I was saying.
You were my fearless one. Never cried as a baby when I left for work or left you in the nursery. Would try anything. And, I found myself saying, about this time last year, “next year we’re going to send her off to school by herself. She’ll be out on her own!” within your earshot. Next thing I know, my fearless little one who couldn’t wait to start school by herself, was telling me she didn’t want to go to school. And, this type of recognition of the unknown has continued in your life. You were so keyed up at Christmas that you slept hours less than usual for at least a week before everything. You had a line in our children’s Christmas program, you had a little dance recital in dance class, presents under the tree, and you were going to go see your cousins. It was all too much. On Christmas Eve I found myself, with a tearful Jubilee in the car, driving around town trying to find organic ear-drops because you were convinced you had an ear infection. Poor baby! Nothing was wrong but a serious lack of sleep and heightened nerves.
Not that you’re not courageous. Many things scare you, but you do them, despite the feelings. That’s true courage. Understanding some of what might be at stake and saddling up anyway.
Earlier this year, Noah came down very ill. This on the heels of Grandpa Otto passing away. All of us wound up in the hospital’s Emergency Room with your brother, who had refused to walk all day long, had terrible blood-shot eyes and cracked, dry lips. It was late for you kids (and you had been excited again, by your Aunts and Uncle coming to town) and we waited and waited for several hours before it became apparent that Noah was going to have to stay in the hospital. Your love for your brother really showed that night and in the following day. You cried and cried as we prayed for Noah and entrusted his health to the Lord. You wanted to watch him at the hospital, too, to be there just in case. And the next day, when Noah was still there in the hospital? You were so sweet and well-behaved. You snuggled with him in his bed, allowed him to choose some of the television stations to watch and just understood that he was a sick little buddy who needed special attention and care. I was so proud of you and my heart was so grateful to the Lord for the love He has placed in your heart for your brother.
This year, your physical accomplishments continued as well. I’m not sure there will be much in the athletic arena that you won’t conquer if you put your mind to it! Your daddy spent one afternoon with you teaching you to ride your bike with no training wheels and you were off! We purchased a scooter for your birthday and it wasn’t but half an hour before you were riding it like a pro! So many fun childhood things await you, dear!
This year I’ve seen you LOVE going to church. This is such a blessing to me. And, I hear you speaking of Bible stories I’m pretty sure we haven’t read to you, learning some of the Lord’s truths. I am so grateful that church is such a wonderful, fun place for you to go.
You have so many blessings in your life. So many talents. You are smart, creative, beautiful, determined … All the makings of someone to whom, ‘the world is their oyster.’ And, this year, I began to understand the importance of trying to teach you not only what proper outward behaviour is, but the beauty of proper and right inward behaviour.
Sometimes, the ugly sin that lives inside us all becomes apparent in you. It scares me, that sin. It scares me because I know that I have struggled with the same ugly sin myself. It scares me because I don’t really know what’s going on inside of your heart. And it scares me because some of the sin I see rearing its ugly head is sin of deceit and sneakiness. Sometimes I’m pretty sure that all I’m getting is lip-service and outward obedience…And, it scares me to know that, ultimately, it is your decision what you will do with the sin that is bound up within your heart.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m being too hard on you … Sometimes I wonder if I’m letting you get away with too much. Mostly, I pray for the Lord’s grace to cover my parenting so that I will not cause stumbling blocks to be put in your path or allow stumbling blocks that I see there, remain. I know that my poor example has already caused problems for you, and I’m at a loss as to what to do, but pray.
And, I remind myself that God knows you. He sees your inner self and made you — not only physically, but your inner heart with its strengths and weaknesses. “O LORD, you have searched me, and you know me … You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me…Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your prescence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there …. If I say, surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139 (excerpts). “Sacrifice — but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.” Psalm 40:6. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7. “If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
All we need to do, my girl, is humble ourselves and confess ourselves to Him. He already knows it anyway, and He is ready and waiting to give you the grace of His forgiveness and invite you into full relationship with Himself.
I love you so much!!!!