A Note to Jackson: Your 7th Birthday

Keep being who God created you to be; don’t shy away from the way He created you. This was my prayer on the eve of your birthday last year. In your year of being 6, I prayed you’d lean into this wild, caring soul you are.

You see, even at age 6 I’ve seen this world press on your heart to conform, but baby this world is not our home and being fully who you are in Christ means you’re going to stand out a little.

Even still, this year I saw you fight for comfort in your own skin. You set goals, developed skills, sought out new friends and claimed the freedom to be fully you. As your mama, it’s a hard yet rewarding season to see you step into.

I count myself blessed to see you in your quiet, still moments each night. For an on-the-move kiddo most people don’t get a glimpse of this side of you. But boy does your heart split wide open as we lay down each night to tuck you in.

Thanks for sharing the hard things with me. Thanks for challenging me with real questions that’ll shape who we both become. Thanks for reminding me to laugh when the burdens get heavy. Thanks for keeping me praying simple, Kingdom-minded prayers for family, friends and the nations. Thanks for trusting me with knowing who you are both in the wild light of day and the dim nightlight of evening.

Here’s what I know to be true: God’s plans for you are immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine. So, here’s my prayer for you this year: Be loud. Be bold. Be kind. Don’t let the world tell you you’re too much or not enough.

You love your birthday in a big way. In true Jackson fashion, your birthday weekend is cued up: Thursday night dinner at Lady’s, baseball game Friday with cupcakes to follow, karate and Kid’s Night Out Saturday, rounding it out with church and a birthday party with friends Sunday.

May your weekend of abundant celebration set the tone for a year of relentless joy ahead.