I feel incapable of creating a beautiful memoir for my daughter's first birthday. In some way I wish I could capture in words the way she makes me feel, and the depths of love I hold inside for her.
In other ways, I want to be like Mary just treasuring this first year of memories in my heart (Luke 2:19).
I sit here wondering if I took enough pictures of her first year. Did I tell her enough how much I love her? Did I rock and hold her enough? Does she feel safe, and protected? Did I read her enough books to stimulate her brain properly, did I give her sweets too early? Am I on the road to biblical discipline? Did I ever speak to her too harshly? Did I give her solids too early-- should I not let her have sugar? Does she have the right educational toys? Is she going to suffer for watching TV that one time?
Exactly a year ago, I struggled so hard to birth my sweet Bug, and there is a part of me that felt like I failed when I couldn't do it on my own (the looks I sometimes get about having a C-section probably don't help). Maybe that's the part of me that wonders if I've failed this year.
That's the worst part I guess. I know I can't do it all perfectly well. I could read a million parenting books and still miss the signs of teething vs. ear infection. I could plan and prepare for discipline and still lose my temper every once in a while. I'll probably mess up potty training, and not give her enough vegetables everyday. I know I'll accidentally hand out the wrong advice when she's asking me about boys. I definitely know I won't be who she comes to with fashion advice!
I'm trying to remind myself that failure is inevitable.
In every area of life.
I'm so thankful for grace. Long ago I realized that I had failed in my life. In fact, I was born a failure. I could not live up to God's standard of holiness on my own. I asked Him to save me and I am so thankful that Jesus died on the cross to turn this wretched failure into a miraculous success story.
Why is she telling us all this instead of sharing her joy over her daughter's first birthday, or giving us the nitty gritty on her labor and delivery?
In all the ways I'm prepared to fail in this journey of parenting, I pray that sharing that story with my daughter would not be one. If she never makes a straight A, strikes out every time at bat, doesn't have a boyfriend until she's married, isn't the popular girl, has a behavior problem or a learning disability... that'll be OK. But with all my being I long for my daughter to know Christ and accept His free gift of life. Her birthday just reminds me of a year gone by-- have I done all I could to treasure Christ and share Him vibrantly with Bug?
Only one life
'Twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last