You know, sometimes you don’t realize what your words mean to a person.

My youngest daughter is 25 today. She has received a gift from us, has had messages from the whole family, and I’ve talked to her on the phone twice. But when I asked her if she’d seen my Facebook post, she said, “Yes…but where was my birthday blog?”

I didn’t write one this morning. I really didn’t think it meant that much to her, but apparently I was wrong, and she reminded me of another year when I didn’t write, and how she’d asked my why, even back then.

You know what? I won’t forget again, because words have a heavy weight. We toss them around like feathers, but they land as either bricks or cozy blankets, bludgeoning us like blunt force trauma, or wrapping us in warmth and security.

So, that said, here are my words to my daughter on the occasion of her 25th…

You matter to me.

EmmieBday89From the moment the black eyes in your tiny face (bruised from a hard and fast delivery) locked with mine, I was ruined for you. I had been worried for the previous nine months that I wouldn’t have enough love for you, because I loved your sister with my whole being, but I learned in that one single look that love grows exponentially. It doesn’t divide; it multiplies…and I didn’t see that coming.

It hit me like a freight train, just like your all-in personality. You smiled BIG, and got mad BIG, and laughed BIG, and threw tantrums BIG, and embraced the world as yours – all of it – wanting to experience everything…BIG. And though, at times, you brought me to the very brink of myself, you needed me. In the midst of your fierceness and wild independence, I have been, and remain in many ways, your touch stone. It humbles me to this day.

But you know what else?

You matter to God.

There was never a beginning moment between the two of you because you’ve been planned as long as, well…forever. He’s always known what a spectacular human you would be…what your gifts would be…all about your hangups. He laid everything on the line for you because He found you to be worth it. Worthy because He created you and would go to the ends of the earth for you.

Because He has.

And somehow, for some reason, He decided that I was worthy to be entrusted with a beautiful firework who had my eyes and her dad’s gumption. Amazingly, He gifted me with you, and on this 25th anniversary of that first look, I find that I’m filled with more words than I can write.

And I know that I’ll never forget to spill them out to you on this special day again, because, not only do you matter, but words matter, too.


I love you, my baby girl…as big as the sky,