Alex_cropped Advent devotionals often have at least one entry comparing the experience of pregnancy with our anticipation of the Christmas birth.  The excitement, the longing, the seemingly endless waiting for that which we desire more than anything.  13 years ago, I experienced an Advent season that coincided with a real life pregnancy.  13 years ago today, I experienced the birth of my first born.

My beautiful Christmas baby has recently transformed before my eyes into a young woman.  It happened so fast!  The picture here shows her in a recent Nutcracker performance.   I remember her first Christmas Eve with us.  We took her to the candlelight service, one of her first outings at only 2 weeks old.  I remember thinking that the whole world looked different and I couldn’t believe everyone else didn’t notice this miracle that had happened.  Her birth had transformed me into a mother, Steve into a father…the couple that we were before had become a family.  On the night of the 25th that year, on Christmas night, it snowed a magical silent snow and I remember thinking that the world was completely perfect and pure and perhaps even holy.

Now she is a teenager.  Although our society often follows that announcement with a groan, I feel just the opposite.  I feel nothing but anticipation and joy at this next phase of our journey together.  I am in awe of the magnificient human being that she is and that she is becoming.  I admire her faith, her intelligence, her integrity, her gentleness and her courage.  Although I am quite certain that I am biased, I also think she is spectacularly beautiful.  While I know that we may face the normal drama of the teen years, I also know that we have a special connection that will enable us to get through the expected mother-daughter challenges.  In addition to being mother and daughter, we are sisters in Christ.  We are both in process, we are both becoming, we are both growing into the vision that God has for us.  I learn from her everyday, as I hope she learns from me.  She patiently taught me how to be a mom, when I was terrified that I would do it wrong.  God knew just the gentle spirit to send me for my first born and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of having her in my life.

Happy Birthday, baby.  I love you more than I can express in words.  It is amazing to think that God feels this way about all of us, only even bigger and stronger.