Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday, Bethie!

The magnitude of the words I am about to type are overwhelming.

My youngest 10 years old today!  All of my babies are now in double digits.  I would wish it no other way than for them to grow and move through their life the way the Lord intended for them, and yet it stuns my mind that we have reached this point.  This one really snuck up on me.  But I guess in many regards that's as it should be with this one.

She was our "surprise" baby.  No accident, let me assure you.  But a surprise for sure.  It was the end of March 2000, and I was reading a book to Brenna before her nap.  "Put Me In the Zoo" was the book, ironically enough.  About half way through, I fell asleep.  Hard.  Brenna nudged me awake, and I was so shocked I had even fallen asleep.  "That's weird," I thought, "I haven't shut down that suddenly since...."  (Insert shocked gasp here as I realized it was during my last pregnancy that I felt like that.)  I quickly started calculating in my mind.  My thoughts ran into hyper-drive as I churned through the possibilities.  Maybe this intense PMS was not really that.  Was it possible?  Then, with a bigger gasp, my mind shot back to Valentine's Day....sorry, but yep, it was entirely possible.

It was a Friday, and after dinner we had planned to take the kids swimming.  The whole time in the pool, I kept asking Brad, "Do you think???"  Now, as a back-up, our first two babies were not so quick to show up.  Alex took almost 2 years, Brenna just over a year to get cooking.  So we didn't really think it was even possible for it to be that easy for us.

After swimming, we ran to the store.  Our purchase?  Ice cream and a pregnancy test.  More irony that was totally lost on me in the moment.

So after Alex and Brenna had some ice cream and were all snug in their beds, I took the test.  And three minutes later, I picked it up, started shaking and crying, overwhelmed with the joy of knowing that another life was underway, and that I had the privilege, again, of having a little life growing inside me.  Truly, such a privilege.

a few moments after we found out!

Fast forward to November 6, 2000, and I finally got to meet that little life.  Finally knew the name of my last born.  Finally saw the completion to our family.  All wrapped up in a perfect 7 pound 6.5 oz. package that was so eager to start her life she almost made her daddy (and everyone else) miss it.  Her entry was so in keeping with who she now is.

our first complete family picture!

one day old, peacefully resting up for all your adventure to come!

seven weeks old, look at the sparkle and joy in your eyes!

Ten years since that morning.  A decade.  So much life has been lived between then and now.  This child has caused me to hit the depth and height of emotions that I didn't even know existed.  She has found frustration buttons that I didn't even know I had.  She has forced me to grow in ways I didn't even know I needed to grow.  She truly has been an instrument in the hand of God to change and shape me in beautiful ways.

That first moment of discovering she was on the way, my heart soared.  Watching her enter this world and take her first breath, I grew a new heart.  Emotion like no other.  Watching her be so quick to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk....always eager to grow up and be bigger.  At 10 months old, watching her down a bottle with such urgency and gusto that she broke into a sweat, giving a satisfied sigh and smile when she was done...always in a hurry to get on to the next thing.  At one year, watching her heartbreak when we walked away from preschool, leaving her sister there...always wanting to be with her sister, her best friend even then.  At five years old, watching her lifeless on a pool deck as her daddy gave her CPR...a heartbreak I cannot even begin to find words for.  Then watching her on life support in ICU, being told that I could not even touch her, literally all I could do was pray...learning a level of surrender and trust that I do not know can be learned any other way.  Then, watching those eyes flutter open and tears form as she tried to reach for me...a moment of joy even deeper than the moment of birth.  A gift re-given to me...a level of humble thankfulness so deep it is inexpressible.

Now, at 10...

Beth, you continue to be a joyful light in our home and in my life.  I am so very thankful to have the honor of being your mommy.  You tell me all the time that if you could choose any mommy, you would choose me.  That is a compliment I'm not sure I'm worthy of, but am inspired by.  I would choose you over and over and over, Beth.  As you grow and change, I pray that you always keep the sparkle in your eye.  Keep your love of life bubbling strong.  Keep your sense of adventure.  Keep your curiosity and fascination for this big world.  I can only imagine the adventurous life you are going to live!  The world is wide open to you, Beth.  This year you are being challenged and learning how to work hard...lessons you will carry with you forever.  Combine that with your adventurous spirit...there are no limits for the great things you can do!  Keep your sensitive heart, stay close to Jesus, be a good friend, have compassion, know when to let Jesus "quiet you with His love", and know when to live loud.  You are a bundle of great things, Bethie, and I love you so very much.  I am so very, very thankful to be your mommy!!!


  1. The picture of her sparkly eyes when she was just baby baby? Place Beth down on a table now even and have her look up at the camera and she looks just the same. So FUNNY! She is a miracle, yes she is....Happy Birthday Miss Bethie!

  2. Yes, I'm with Marlece... Beth looks just the same now! Love the picture of all of you at the hospital and glimpses of the old plaid couch! Happy Birthday Beth, we are all so glad you showed up when you did. Your arrival was perfectly planned and we love you!

  3. Beth,
    You are like a little sister to me and I love you A TON! I am so thankful that you are in my life and hope you had a fantastic day!


  4. I remember the day so well! Special day!