Happy First Birthday, Judah Lionheart!

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Judah Lionheart,

Today you turn ONE year old!

You are more kid than baby (though, you'll be my baby forever) and it shows more and more every day. You crawl everywhere. You love to laugh and be chased and bounced and tossed around (just a little, daddy!), and you love to climb. You eat pretty much everything we give you now, hate having messy hands, and drink from your sippy like a champ. You say "mama" and "dada" and all kinds of words that we don't understand yet because you just love to be talking. Walking is just around the corner and I can tell you are going to love the independence that comes with it, but our God created you to be a hardcore snuggle-bug so I'm not worried... I know you'll always run back to us for a nice, long snuggle sesh! You are still pretty shy around people at first, but you are warming up more quickly now. You love pointing, making us laugh, panting and barking like the dogs, and you are curious about everything. I love watching you learn and grow and see this world with brand new eyes!

You, my sweet boy, have made me a mother. You have changed me. I am not the woman I once was and, for that, I am thankful. You have wiped clean the slate from which I view the world. I am your mommy. I am your daddy’s wife. I am your first view of our Creator, Savior and Friend. You, my little Lion, have forever changed the way I see God, my marriage, myself and all the world around me. I am so thankful for you that it’s impossible to even comprehend. I am so in love with you that it physically hurts. I am so filled with joy by you that I don’t even know how to express it but I certainly cannot contain it! Every part of who I am is now marked by you in the best way possible.

For you, Judah Lionheart, I pray continuously. I pray that, as a family, we will sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron. I pray we will worship and serve The Father, teach one another what it looks like to have faith in Jesus Christ, and experience new ways to be in relationship with Holy Spirit together. I pray for family unity. I pray for your creativity, courage, discernment and compassion. I pray for your health and safety. I pray for your ability to see the world from the eyes of those around you, especially those on the margins, and that you will have Godly influence on everyone who has the pleasure of knowing you. I pray for your happiness… that you have it in abundance but that you understand that life isn’t about being happy but about being holy. Judah, I pray you know Holy Spirit – even now. I pray that you don’t go one single day where you aren’t aware of His Presence in your life and in the world all around you. I pray you love Him and that you allow yourself to experience what it is to be loved by Him and I pray you live in that space for all of your days.

My Lion, you will make mistakes. You will get hurt, be afraid, and fall short… but never let those moments steal your faith, your joy, your courage, or your praise because your identity does not come from your failings or even from your victories - but from Christ alone.

You are a world changer, Judah Lionheart, and you will do incredible, amazing, and wonderful things! I am so honored that I get to be your mommy and, God-willing, get to experience it all right alongside you! I love you more than you will ever know and I promise I will do my absolute best to show you for the rest of my life.

I am forever blessed simply watching you live, Judah. So, live fiercely... like the Lion.

Love,
Mama

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