To My Sweet Eli, for His Birthday

Tomorrow you are one. We've had an entire year with you my little love and what a year it has been. At first I wanted to write about all of the changes, the downs and ups, ups, ups, that we've already had, but I've decided today is for looking forward. To the future. To tell you what I know about you and what it makes me wish for you. Because you have your entire life ahead of you and whether it's short or long or somewhere in between, I want it to be rich and full of exactly what it is - life.

Today, I want to take my dreams for you that live in the clouds and wring them out like the rain. You my sweet boy are truly, deeply one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I wrote you letters before you were born, to get to know you and give you a sneak peek at some of my dreams. But those were before I really knew you. Before I had seen your trademark blonde hair, your grandfather's blue eyes, or your strong chubby legs. It was before I had heard your babbling voice, smelled your sweet scent and felt your soft skin. Here my love, are my birthday wishes for you.

You Eli, more than anything I've noticed over this past year, are sensitive and caring - yes, you show me that even at just one year old. My prayer for you is to take your soft heart and carry it with you until the end. Someday, the damage of life will shoot holes right through it, but the wounds will heal - scabbing, eventually scarring, and the temptation will be to toughen it up. To make your heart so hard that life's arrows cannot hurt you. But I would say to you that a soft heart is much better than a hard one. Yes, a soft heart feels pain deeply, but it also feels joy, happiness and love deeply - which are the things that make life worth living, and pain only helps you to understand exactly why they are so good.

You, my little bear cub, are so very curious. I pray that you do not lose this as you grow older. Curiosity is a funny thing, it's adventure and knowledge and magic all intertwined and it's what pulls you to discover something, then immediately tells you to discover something more. My wish for you is that this trait serves you well in life, spurring you to ask questions even when you're not sure you want to know the answer, to explore the unknown even though you are quite comfortable with where you are at, and to always, always remember that the world is truly at your chubby little fingertips.
You are also known for taking your time. You don't conform to pressure, urges or baits, but instead wait until you are truly ready to take the next step. It is good to be thoughtful and patient and I know these traits will serve you well. But being patient can mask stubbornness, and my wish for you is that you will know the place for patience in life, understanding that is is right to be tempered and self-controlled, but there are also times when it's appropriate, even necessary, to be spontaneous and jump into life head first. My prayer is that you would learn discernment between the two and be judicious in where you apply them.

Of course, you take after your daddy in more ways than one. But the biggest thing I've noticed is how laid back and consistent you are. You easily go with the flow and are not shaken by changes in your day. My wish for you is that you take your steadfastness and share it with others, becoming known as a firm rock when all around the ground is moving and shifting. I pray the foundation to your roots run deep, and that your strength would calm others in times of trouble. That you would be an example of what it looks like to finish the race strong, not distracted by the pomp and circumstance of life, but instead keeping your eye on the true prize until the end of your days.

And finally, you are teachable. And this is the one that I think is the best one, the most exciting one. Because being teachable means that you can change. It means that you are not conformed to what the world tells you to be like, or even what I tell you to be like. To be teachable means that you gather all the information you have, spread it out, look at it, study it and make a good, thoughtful decision. You will learn more about this as you grow, but my wish for you is that your teachable heart knows that life is full of stretching and shrinking, molding and chiseling, that it is prudent to grow and reflect on the things that have passed and there is excitement and value in the change of things to come.

But my ultimate dream, the one that hangs on the highest cloud in the sky, is that you would know your Lord and Savior as I do. That he would be King in your life and that he would gather up all of these dreams of mine in his arms and replace them with his.

That, my love, is my true birthday wish for you.

Happy Birthday.


  1. So sweet, Laura! Happy Birthday to little Eli - hope the party is a success and your laughter outweighs the tears that will inevitably flow :)