To a New Baby Girl, Before You Face the Lies
Dear little peanut,
I pen these words on Monday, in celebration of your whole big first week of life. I’m practically ancient compared to you, with my wrinkly elbows and a tummy that made me a little depressed when I tried on skirts yesterday.
I need to tell you something, and maybe you’ll be quick to learn it and a whole lot happier most days than I am.
You are different from everyone else.
I was just at a family reunion of ours, and I think the family may be shocked to know how much of it I spent in misery, saying to myself, Why can’t you be normal like all the rest of them?
A wife and a husband went on a run together and then jumped in the lake for a swim. Why can’t you be more athletic like her?
A cousin-in-law played for hours with my nephews in the lake. Why can’t you be sweeter with little kids like she is?
An aunt in her 70s went zip-lining. Why can’t you be more adventurous like her?
A mother-in-law set up Minute-to-Win-It Games. (I shook hands with my son, in agreement that I would pay him $10 if he could deflect attention from me so I wouldn’t have to play. NOT JOKING. I owe him $10.) Why can’t you be more playful like them?
A brother-in-law whipped together breakfast. Why can’t you be better in the kitchen like him?
One night I burst into tears in bed next to that preacher man of mine. Why can’t I just be normal like everyone else? I cried. With his six years of training in psychology and 20 years of experience in professional counseling, he laughed. A guffaw really. (And can someone tell me why we spent 10 years paying off the debt for his master’s degree, if that’s all he learned to do in that school?)
Honey, tell me who is normal. Who is it that you think is normal here? he asked.
Here is the secret he told me. Let me whisper it in your ear, precious baby, while I inhale the scent of your Johnson and Johnson lotion:
No one is normal.
So you too, sweet little Madelyn Paige, are not like anyone else.
God is an artist, and a true artist creates something new every time. He does not have his people made in a factory line. Instead, he puts his finger to his lips and says Hmmmmm a lot while he is making a person -knit one, pearl two. Nine months of detail work.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)
There will be lies -that you have to be like somebody else in order to be valuable. But you are simply a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, and all we expect is for you to just wake up every morning and be yourself.
And little sister, you don’t have to be good at everything. My word, you do not have to shine at every single thing. You’ll shine in a few ways, and those will be the little glimpses of God’s handiwork we get to see every day. That’s enough for us. By the way, we already think you’re perfect.
I don’t want you to grow up too fast -let’s keep those dimpled handles for a long, long time -but I sure can’t wait to see who God has shaped you to be.
It’s gonna be good.
I’m clapping already.
Happy Every Day, my lovely girl.
What a great principle from God. His creation is unique and wonderful. Thank you for praying this blessing over Madelyn. May she learn it early. From Madelyn’s Grandma Koch
Such a beautiful grandbaby you have. My prayers for her won’t stop!
Beautifully stated! I enjoyed every line of it. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Congratulations to you and your family!
I should have said that this is the baby of our associate pastor and his wife -but they feel like family!
This is just precious! A wonderful reminder for us all to be the uniquely created person God hand-crafted us to be.
Oh, my dear, Christy!! I can so relate to you. 🙂 I would be the one paying my child to keep the attention off me so I wouldn’t have to play games (why have I never thought of this?), and I would be the one watching my 86 year old grandmother zip-lining. I would be the one NOT playing in the lake, and I would be the one listening to the laughter of the children from a far, far distance. Haha. I rarely even accept party invitations because I’m pretty sure there will be games and shenanigans and I don’t want to play, so I stay home. I do love to get together with people, so I grieve my un-normalness, but I can’t tell you how many times I have forsaken the fellowship so I don’t have to play crazy party games and be involved with other things that might make me look incompetent. Your preacher-man is right, though, even in his guffaws! No one is normal so I guess that makes us all normal, right?
Don’t you wish you just loved to play games?
“You don’t have to shine at every single thing”…Aahhh, the pressure falls away at that sweet reminder. Thank you, Christy!
You seem pretty shiny at lots of things, dear friend.
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