Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All Grown Up!

This past Sunday, our youngest daughter, Victoria, celebrated her 4th birthday! Any child's birthday is a big deal and a wonderful time of celebration, but each birthday is especially so for our Victoria! As most of you remember, Victoria was born very prematurely at 28 weeks gestation and struggled for her life for the first two months after her birth. The Lord graciously touched her body and she grew stronger and stronger until she was able to graduate from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and venture out into the great big world that awaited her. Now that she is four, she is walking, talking, running and jumping and eager to do things on her own and to help any of us in our various tasks too whether we need it or not! It's so much fun to hear her exclaim, "I'm all grown up now! I can help!" It just brings smiles to all of our faces!

Even though Victoria is the most vocal daughter we have in declaring her womanhood, we have three other daughters who have the right to brag about womanhood, but refrain from doing so - Coco and Maris who are fully grown and out on their own, and Joana who is incredibly mature for her age and nearing the threshold of adult independence. I can remember when each of my three older girls were tiny too, and I often find myself feeling as if I'm caught in a time warp, remembering them in early childhood striving towards independence and seeing them actually having achieved mature womanhood right before my eyes.

I think what has most blessed me beyond any expectations I had when they were children, is their earnest concern for others, their eagerness to be of help whenever and however they can and especially their unwavering dedication to look after Luz and me. We all have problems and challenges, and I am no exception. My girls have been of amazing assistance to me, encouraging me, pushing me onward and even gently yet effectively giving me advice when I find myself "stuck" in search of solutions. I cannot adequately describe the joy and overwhelming gratitude of having a grown daughter hold your hand and offer to pray for you without your asking for it, or to have a teen aged daughter listen to a problem and offer a hug and a word of encouragement. There's just nothing so rich as having your own "little girl" listen to you ramble on about some problem and to have her offer sound advice on making things right and moving ahead past the challenge.

When Luz and I were busy raising our older girls in their early years, it never occurred to us that as they went on to live their own lives and deal with their own problems, they would actually present themselves again and again to help us whenever we needed it! Now, lest I be accused of false advertising, we do have our moments where the generation gap is evident in communication breakdowns and differences of opinion. Nevertheless, I have found that even in the midst of the times we don't see eye to eye, it is imperative on my part to acknowledge what the Lord is doing in the lives of my daughters and to be open to the possibility that the Lord just may have given them some pearl of wisdom or nugget of truth that could help to address whatever difficulty that faces me.

A dear friend saw a picture of my family taken during the summer and called me a rich man. He was right. I have so much to be thankful for - things that just can't be measured by a bank account, but things that really do give one wealth. I'm thankful for the blessings of daughters who are all grown up, not quite grown and who think their grown. My prayer is to treasure these wonderful women and the woman who gave them to me all my days and in everything I do to honor the love and blessings they have showered upon me ever since I became "Daddy!" Until next time...


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