God · Kids · Parenting · Women

It’s a Girl

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When you wake up sun will shine.
We will not go under any cloud.
Let balloons go up in town,
ring out every bell.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
all the birds of this day
sing a song, sing a song.

Dream of trains carrying you
through the state parks with the cherry flowers.
When you wake up it will be
the beginning of the world.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
in the fields of this day
hear a song, hear a song.

Oh, undeserved sweetness and light,
stay by my side.
We will go out in the morning now,
a crown of maple leaves, a crown of flowers
circling your sweet head.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
in the streets of this day
play a song, play a song.
-“Happy Birthday,” The Innocence Mission

Let me tell you what it’s like being the mother of a girl.

It’s nothing like they say.

I have heard…

“Girls are expensive.”

“Girls are high maintenance.”

“Girls are so much more trouble than boys.”

“Boys are so much easier.”

“Just wait until she’s a teenager!”

The world favors boys. And for a long time, it seemed to me that God favored boys, too. We speak of God primarily in masculine terms, even though both men and women were created in God’s image. In the Old Testament, men were held in such high regard that God told the Israelites to take all of the firstborn males and consecrate them to Himself.

The Lord said to Moses, β€œConsecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”(Exodus 13:1-2, NIV)

I must confess, that after all this, I was nervous about having a girl.

Because I had heard these and so many other misguided cautionary statements about girls. In fact, I heard more words of warning when it came to girls than words of encouragement.

I did not feel close to my own mother growing up.

And then there are those ghastly statistics.

And so, secretly, I wanted boys. Because having a girl was supposed to be so hard.

Or so I had been told. So many times.

This is the message the world has given to girls since the beginning of time.

“You are too much trouble.”

It’s a lie.

You see, ironically, that very same God who seemed to favor men in the Old Testament, had a very different plan for me.

Because the truth is, God does not favor boys over girls. We do that and unfortunately that bias is reflected even in the Word of God, which was written by human hands. The fact is, God loves girls and created us in God’s image.

Let that sink in.

March 19th, 2003. You were born.

I didn’t have a firstborn son. So, I took you, my firstborn girl, named you Isabel, which means consecrated to God, and I dedicated you to Him anyway.

Your birth was easy. You were a joyful, happy, “easy” baby. In fact, nothing about you has ever been or ever will be “difficult.”

You prove them wrong. And you continue to every day.

It’s hard to believe that we have had 13 years with you. You have made us the proudest parents on Earth. You were wanted, prayed for, and loved so much. Your daddy brought a printer into the hospital room the day you were born. He printed out pictures of you, handing them to every nurse, visitor, or remote stranger that passed by our room.

Strangely, that was an infamous day in history. The U.S. declared war with Iraq. Ironically, later that same year, Hurricane Isabel would go on to ravage the southeast.

You were born in the midst of global tempest and tumult.

And yet you have brought us nothing but joy and laughter. Light and love.

The truth is…This world is difficult. Not you. Never you. Never accept that label. Whenever I try to imagine your future, I see sunlight. I see hope. I see beauty. I see goodness. Because any time I try to envision the future, I see you in it. And it is good.

You are blessed. You are beautiful. You are brave. You are adventurous. You are kind. You are funny. You are intelligent. You are courageous. You are a leader. And I couldn’t be prouder to call you my daughter.

Every year with you just gets better and better. And every day you become more and more wonderfully you. I simply adore watching you grow.

Today you turn 13. Thirteen is a big deal. You are a teenager now. A young woman. It’s the beginning of a new era. And yet, I look to the future with you, and I have no fear. I keep waiting for you to be “difficult.” But you simply refuse!

You make this world a better, brighter, more beautiful place, Isabel Mae.

I will sing your name. I will celebrate you. I will shout for joy that you were born this day. You are a dream come true. My girl.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful.

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5 thoughts on “It’s a Girl

  1. A beautiful tribute to your daughter, Isabel and to my First grand-daughter, who is a JOY to be with at all times—small when she was in Montanna with family eating Huckleberry ice- cream and now at 13–Wow! congrat, to Ren and Angela! Nana Buckland

  2. What a wonderful description of your 13 year old and my 1st grand-daughter. I will never forget when she as a young baby flew to Montana with Papa and me and healthy ate huckleberry ice cream. Papa was so thrilled and wanted to make a special effort to live until until Miss Isabel graduated from High School. But God had other plans
    For Papa. But hopefully, I will be around ( for him ) to see her graduate from high school. Isabel is one to be proud of!! Happy Birthday, Isabel!Nana Buckland

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