I turned 46 last week.
In their birthday wish, someone jokingly asked if I had a funny story to share from the events of the day.
It’s usually not hard for me to come up with a tale of my own incompetence or seemingly planned misfortune.
Sure, I did fall backwards on my birthday while hand-trucking a refrigerator and it did sort of come down on top of me (but I’m so experienced and skilled at falling that I wasn’t hurt).
And I did spend two hours trying to remove the chipped and broken blades on my riding lawnmower. Cut my hand open while impatiently separating the 3-pack of new blades. And it only took me 20 minutes to attach the new blades the second time when I realized that I’d installed all three of them upside down the first time.
It’s almost as if I do stupid stuff for the purpose of telling good stories.
Laughing at myself comes naturally. Perhaps speaking in general terms of being richly blessed seems natural too. But puclicly counting blessings just seems awkward; more like bragging about our own good fortunes than about the goodness of God.
But…..today, I make an exception about “bragging”.
The biggest event of this week was not the birthday of a middle-aged man or his acts of goofiness.
A remarkable young lady graduated from high school this week. Nothing remarkable about that. Thousands of kids graduate every day at this time of year, and every parent thinks their kid is amazing.
But, Oh my gosh! When did my baby girl become this young lady?
And the mind of a parent spins and reflects.
The journey from birth to 18 years.
How did she become the person she is today?
I see obvious physical and personality resemblances to her mother and me that make me smile.
But I also see amazing character traits that go beyond the trial and error parenting journey that her mother and I have traveled for 18 years.
It is evident that God uses ordinary people to impact our kids’ lives in amazing ways as they are growing up.
Hindsight is a little clearer now of the awesome collective influence of these people……so I brag on them:
The Sunday school teacher who taught her about the love of Jesus.
The basketball coach who pushed her a little harder than she wanted to be pushed. Lessons is toughness and determination.
The childrens minister who inspired a love for reading the Bible.
Grandmothers who were available for anything and everything around the clock year-around.
A student minister who taught her what it meant to love Jesus and keep a pure heart.
A piano teacher that pushed her to practice until she got it right.
Soccer coaches that helped her find the confidence to believe she could do anything she set her mind to.
Teachers who always managed to make her feel special in a classroom crowded with so many other kids.
The church Christmas program coordinator who whispered her lines to her as she repeated them so quietly that no one could hear.
Cross-country and track coaches that turned her loose and encouraged her every practice, every race. Always believed in her.
Teachers who stirred her creativity and made sure she figured things out on her own.
Two younger brothers who were always secretly proud to say, “that’s my sister.”
Parents of friends who treated her like their own daughter.
A sister that shared with her every part of life. A true best friend.
The student minister who celebrated her graduation in our church service, and handed her a microphone to hear her boldly and confidently tell of her plans to attend a Christian university and serve God in the mission field.
A mother. A tireless worker. Selfless. Perfect model of a godly woman.
It takes a village to raise a child.
I’m thankful for the village that’s raising my children.
Pray for our children.
Pray…….and get movin. Every child is amazing. I bet God can find an amazing part for you to play in a child’s life today.
Thanks to all who have played a part in my daughter’s life (so far).