Today my precious Grace turns 12 years old! If you do not know her…. I wish you did. She is a follower of Jesus, she is beautiful inside and out, she loves big, laughs loudly, and she is the bravest 12-year-old girl…in the entire world. We celebrate her today, and we recognize today more than ever before what an amazing gift she is to us from Jesus. We love her, but He loves her MORE! We want whats best for her, but His plans are better! Can I tell you what a relief that is…? I mean, seriously..as a parent I fail big time over and over. Try as I may, I will never be enough for her…But praise Jesus, HE is. He is enough for her and will NEVER fail her. So I rest in that today. Thank you Jesus, that it isn’t up to me. She is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She belongs to you, Jesus.
We do birthdays big around here..Like decorating the kitchen with banners, balloons, bows and ribbon. We have a special plate that is used by the b.day person and we have the gifts on the kitchen table. I recently figured out that you can use marker to write on the mirror…So, now I even leave messages for the b.day person on the bathroom mirror! How fun is that? I can say with confidence that the b.day person always feels special on his/her special day!
However……when it comes to the gift I sweat over it for days before the big day. Obviously we want to give great gifts to our children. Usually, my kids begin telling me what they want early on…But I still worry they will be disappointed.
This morning was no different! Grace had asked for a couple of things, both of which took planning and one even had to be ordered. I am happy to say, I accomplished ordering ahead (which doesn’t always happen) and I think the gifts were a hit… She seemed thrilled and I was relieved! She was grateful and enjoyed being celebrated.
As wonderful as this morning was, we celebrated Grace’s first birthday without her brother. We had already talked about it earlier in the week, shed a few tears and even remembered what he had given her last year. Warren loved being celebrated…but honestly, he loved celebrating her too. He got just as excited to make plans for her bday as he did anticipating his own. In fact, last year I recruited his help to blow up balloons and help me hang them from the ceiling in the kitchen. He was happy to do it because he knew she would love it! His presence was certainly missed this morning. I think that any celebration at this point will be different for our family now that Warren is in heaven. The picture in my head still includes him…always will.
Before Grace left for school we read our morning devotional. Now, I’m not going to pretend we sit around the kitchen table every morning with time to spare and read from the Bible…we do read scripture and or a page from our devotional book , because it is important. Some days we find ourselves discussing our devotional at night..but either way, it has become something we want to do much more intentionally. Also, on that note…one thing I am learning more about is the daily, ongoing conversation I can have with Jesus. It doesn’t always have to be “formal” with bible, pen and journal..We talk to Jesus ALL the time, about EVERYTHING!!!
But here is what I wanted to share with you that seemed perfect for TODAY! (Remember, He promises to be enough for TODAY)
Our gift is Jesus. He is THE GIFT of all gifts! For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. We can receive God’s abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness which is through one man, Jesus Christ! The bible also says, God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son, he who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son, does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12) Jesus Christ is the only way! I choose Jesus…I will keep choosing Jesus. I will one day celebrate with Him in Heaven because through Him I have inherited an eternity of VICTORY!!!! And although that IS enough, Jesus is enough, God also promises that we will be reunited with the saints that have gone before us…My precious Warren Austin Barfield, he will be there. It will be a glorious reunion.
So, we wrapped up Grace’s birthday with dinner at Sweet Paris and then saw Bye Bye Birdie put on by Stratford Playhouse. The decorations, the cards, the messages via social media, and of course the gifts, made it another successful birthday for Grace Ann.
However, most importantly, I was reminded that Jesus is better! The gift of Jesus is THE GIFT that matters. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Thank you, for the gift of our salvation. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus as we walk this journey, as we ‘make it through’ all these firsts. He is near and we ARE being held by our Heavenly Father. Oh! Thank you Jesus!