At about this time 13 years ago, the Lord blessed your father (my dearest husband) and I with you. Oh what joy filled our hearts! From that day, you have continued to (and we know, will continue to) fill our hearts with joy and pride...
According to Phyllis Diller:
"We spend the first 12 months of their children's lives teaching them to walk and talk
and the next 12 years telling them to sit down and shut up."With you, every day has been unique - and each has had a bit of both. Your lovely smile and liveliness is infectious and has earned you some pet names within and outside our home.
As you celebrate your first birthday as teenager, I'd like you to know, note and remember a few things: Your father and I love you more than words can tell and actions can show - it may not always seem like that but believe me, all we say and do are from a heart of unconditional love.
You are, and always will be, our "Number 1" - as I fondly call you from time to time. It's more than a title or a number - it is prophetic. Our heart desire is that you become and remain the Head and a Trail-blazer to the glory of God.
We know that God will take you places - to high places. So we pray that you always take God with you and live in a "God-consciousness" in all those places. We have done (and will continue to do) what Proverbs 22:6 says:
"Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right."*
In return, we pray that you always obey Proverbs 6:20-24
"My son, keep your father’s [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you]. Bind them continually upon your heart and tie them about your neck. When you go, they [the words of your parents’ God] shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the whole teaching [of the law] is light, and reproofs of discipline are the way of life, To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a loose woman."
As we've constantly told you and your brother, your futures are too bright to let them be dimmed by the darkness of the world. Many things and people will try to distract you from obeying God. Do not fall for it!
Live by this ABC:
Stay Alert! Stay Bright! Stay Connected to God.
It goes without saying that you are a gift from God. Remain a gift from God to those around you.
You're deeply loved.
* Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 Pet 5:8 - Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. (Message)
Matt 5: 15-16 - Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father. (Living Bible)
Prov 4: 18 - The way of the good person is like the light of dawn, growing brighter and brighter until full daylight. (NCV)
John 15: 5 - I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. (CEV)