Happy Birthday Dad

I showed up to preschool without my clothes on backwards. Yes, you read that right. Apparently it was backwards day and we forgot. My buttons lined the front while everyone else's lined their back. I’m not sure why I remember this, but I do.

I remember the sheer panic and embarrassment as all these tiny humans with big round eyes stared at me. I looked up at you, probably with tears to say, "What do we dooooo?? Dad, you have to fix this."

And so you got to it. You helped me swap my clothes so I’d fit in with my class. You kept me calm. You diffused a serious situation for my four year old self. Of all the memories I have with you, this was my first of being your daughter.

And I’m fairly certain I knew, in the way you responded, in how you were genuinely concerned (even though the matter was really quite small) that you were a person who’d be there. That you’d remain through all the seasons. That there would be nothing I could say or do that would push you away.

I was right.

And while I didn’t know it then, I'd keep looking up to you for help and support, for the big and little stuff and you’d treat it all the same. It was all significant. All of it mattered to you.

When thinking of how to celebrate you, besides a warm apple pie, I thought of the things you've taught me over the past 28 years. I’ve learned a lot from you but these come to mind first.

  • A hot toddy can cure most ailments. If you've never made one, go ahead and get started here.
  • End the day with a really good song, turned up loud, and a cup of tea. Maybe a few graham crackers. And all shall be well.
  • You must visit Ireland. Your heart will never be the same. And if you haven’t been, chances are my Dad would love to take you.
  • When planning a trip, invite family to come. When hosting a gathering, make room for one more.
  • Don’t wait for some perfect version of a man to fall in love with. It doesn't exist. Find the one who is willing to change and be better.
  • You're never too old to pick out the biggest Christmas tree at the lot. And once that tree dries out, invite family & friends over for a bonfire.
  • The key to making a perfect pancake every time -- the one that’s fluffy in the center and crunchy around the edges -- is butter. Always more butter.
  • You are never above any kind of work. If part of your job is to sweep the floors and scrub the toilet, you do it. You show up the next day and you do it again.
  • When your daughter straps a backpack to her back, almost as big as her body, and buys a one way ticket to Nicaragua, let her go. Let her discover that no amount of travel will ever cure the restlessness. She’ll have to figure this one out on her own.
  • When your daughter returns from that trip and has a minor meltdown about a friend inviting her to get a pedicure because it just seems so lavish & unnecessary, don’t tell her to calm down, just hug her. Don’t tell her she’s acting crazy, just give her a hug.
  • When you go out to eat, order a round of appetizers. Ask the server to kindly put in your dinner order once the apps are all done. Don’t rush a good thing like a meal around the table.

Here's to you Dad, I raise my glass. I'm so grateful for you & so proud of the man you're becoming. In the spirit of our favorite place on earth, I'll leave you with this:

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Love,

your daughter.

The birth of a Child

Hey there, Maeve here. I am overjoyed to kick of this Advent series with a few words from my sister - one of the most phenomenal women I know. She's wise, courageous and selfless. She's fierce, loving and infectiously joyful. I love this lady so much and thank God that He blessed me with her as a sister & friend. Her words are so raw and beautiful - I hope they touch your heart and encourage you as they did mine. 


 

jess's advent post

The birth of a child changes everything.

My son William, was born in March and I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down this year. My roles as wife, employee, woman, friend, sister, daughter all feel disorienting, confusing and frustrating at times.

I feel so limited and as if I'm falling short at all of these roles.

My new role as mother is filled with so much joy, but also worry and anxiety. I don’t feel like I am good enough at any of it. In the midst of this chaos, I have also experienced so much love for my son. I had no idea that you could love someone that you “just met” so much, so fast. I ache with compassion and am in awe and wonder at how he is growing and experiencing the world.

I feel so grateful to be his momma.

2000+ years ago the birth of a child changed everything.

Jesus came into the world fully God and fully human. It’s amazing to think that the God of the universe chose to come into this world as a newborn, to be fully dependent on His mother while being fully sovereign - all at the same time.

He nursed and burped and pooped. That’s just crazy to think about, right?

I imagine Mary cooed and smiled and laughed with Him. And I wonder if she held Him and knew that her son would have to give His life, that He would be the sacrifice for her and the whole world.

Following Jesus and walking by faith can be disorienting, confusing and frustrating. I struggle to know if I’m enough for God. If I am enough to be used by God.

If I am enough to be loved by God.

But God has made a way through his son Jesus, and through Him we have hope and peace, amidst the chaos and sorrow of this life. His grace is enough for the times daily that we fall short.

He loves us so much. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. As I hold my son, my heart overflows with love for him. That’s just a shadow of the immense love that God has for each of us, his sons and daughters.

May we embrace and depend on Him this season.


Maeve here again. I just love how Jess makes God so relatable through her new role as a mother. Have you ever felt that way - like you're juggling multiple roles all at the same time & not doing any of them well? Does choosing faith feel confusing, disorienting and frustrating? 

Leave my sweet sister some love in the comments below.