The Sweet Gift of a Child: Peanut Turns Two!

Tomorrow, my just-born-yesterday baby turns two years old. Two years of joyous noise, messy rooms, helpless giggles, cascading tears, boundless love, and amazing amounts of pink. Cut straight out of the womb, she drew her first breath, and snuggled into a place inside my heart that had never before existed.




Our tiny Peanut was a low-key newborn, sleeping most of the way through her new life and calmly observing the world when awake. Two years later, she still loves to sleep – slumbering on average 11 hours a night and two hours or more during the day. But when awake, this fiery toddler is nothing less than a whirling dervish, experiencing all life has to offer.






She developed a love for music very early, and she moves easily to the beat of any melody she hears. Our lives are filled with the sounds of Peanut serenading us by playing her harmonica, singing Song Sung Blue, and singing just behind most songs as she picks up any word she recognizes. She loves to dance, and swirls to worship choruses, twirls to Mary Poppins tunes, sways to Michael Buble jingles, jives to Bon Jovi rock, and bounces to John Lee Hooker blues.

A girl after my own heart, she loves books, and asks me to read to her often. She’s a rough and tumble rug rat, and loves Jeeps, horses, and being flung, swung, and flipped. She’s fearless and adventuresome, and she loves to pray.








My heart flutters each time she stretches her chubby starfish hands toward me and pleads, “Pay, pees!” (Pray, please.) No matter how many times a day – or how many times during one meal, I never miss an opportunity to allow those soft, precious fingers to curl around mine and go before the throne of grace with my child.

As we enter the third year of this most treasured life, I find my heart is happy to see her grow. I look back at the fragile infant I held in my arms, as I sheltered her from all that may seek to harm her. While I reflect on those sweet, irreplaceable memories with nostalgia, there is nothing like continuing to raise a child. The delicate babe I brought into this world is an amazing creature, filling my life with sweet affection, and teaching me how live life through the eyes of innocence.

Each new milestone is full of wonder and awe, and I look forward to what the future holds. Below are a fraction of the gifts I’ve unwrapped this year from the hand of a loving heavenly Father as I am honored to mother this beautiful child.





     Unwrapping the Gifts


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Thanksgiving Thursday: The Gift of a Man


The life-blood of Thanksgiving Thursday is gratitude: unwrapping gifts and giving thanks to the Giver.  One of God’s greatest gifts to me is my husband.

Six feet of God’s most magnificent handiwork, this man is nothing less than my constant rock, best friend, intimate ally, steadfast partner, and covenant lover.

My ultimate gratitude for my husband belongs to God. But I am grateful – so very grateful – to my husband for everything he is and everything I’ve known with him and everything he gives me to look forward to.

Friday is his birthday, and I give the gift of thanks for all his gifts to me.

Proud Wife


Unwrapping the Gifts

   He has character

Character denotes many qualities, and my husband exhibits all of character’s indications. He’s honorable, ethical, compassionate, honest, courageous, passionate, and teachable. He is tender and responsive toward God’s leading, and stands ready to do all that is asked of him. With Joshua’s fearlessness, Daniel’s courage, and David’s faith (Joshua 1:7 & 6:17; Daniel 1:8; Acts 13:22), he is a man of integrity and love.

   He lets me sleep

I’ve never been an early riser, and he’s never asked me to change. Through 15 years of marriage, one daughter, and many life changes, he’s always let me sleep.

   He gives amazing back rubs

His powerful hands work with precision, talent, and erotic strength. A back rub is only a back rub, though. And that leads to the next gift.

   He gave me a daughter

Of all the things he’s given me over all the years we’ve been together, our daughter stands supreme. And he’s a rock star dad!





   He’s faithful

My beloved is mine, and I am his. A cord of three is not easily broken.




   He’s a man

He’s sweet, smart, kind, and loving, but he’s made of brawn, backbone, bravery, and bold confidence.

   He communicates

He talks – really. Sweet, laborious, fun, hard, dreamy, frightening, or silly, he communicates. Long chats are our Modus Operandi.

  He lets me buy books

He doesn’t know how much I spend on Amazon, and he doesn’t care. I love to read, he loves me.

Truths of my life



   He’s affectionate

He holds my hand and he kisses my daughter. He canoodles on the couch and he hugs my mama. He throws his arm over me as we sleep and he lets me toss my leg over his. His touch is soft, his hold firm, and his cuddles perfect.

   He’s goofy

He’s my kind of groovy: innately fun and full of laughter.

   He works hard so I can stay home

He knows I am ardently dedicated to raising the child I brought into this world, and so is he. He loves her enough to work skillfully and capably to provide for us so I may bring up and nurture our child.

They Are Your Work

   He supports my work-from-home love

I have found my life’s passion in writing, and he supports me in every way. He proofreads, keeps the kid while I write, lets me work in bed, and tells me I’m fantastic at what I do. 

   He creates a haven-home with me

Our home is a shelter. We do love. He makes it that way.


And the child grew and became strong in spirit: Happy 1st Birthday, Shelby!!

My precious Shelby,

Today is a very special day. It is a day of celebration, of remembrance, of thankfulness. Yes, I think you could say today is my Thanksgiving Day. You see, you were born one year ago today.

I knew you were coming; I just didn’t know you were coming that day. I expected you to be born nearly a month later. Yet, June 7th, 2011, was the perfect time; it was your time. I called your daddy the minute I felt you on your way.

 We couldn’t wait to meet you, and at 6:04 PM, you came into the world.

You were oh-so-tiny when you were born; just 5 lbs, 10 oz. The clothes I brought to the hospital to put you in were so little that I feared you would never wear them. But when we dressed you to take you home, you swam in the tiny outfit, and you looked so lost in your infant car seat.

 You were strong, though. Just seconds old, still moist and messy from the womb, you showed strength and independence. 

There is much to tell you about that day, and about the year that has followed. But on this day, my Thanksgiving Day, I must tell you something important, something I want you to know and remember always. Your life, my little one, was spoken into existence, planned, ordained, and blessed by a holy and loving God who holds your life in the palm of his hand (Ps. 119:73, Jer. 1:5, John 10:29). Each day you draw breath has been woven together into a tapestry of grace by a heart of Love. The hand of the Almighty knit you together, and it is by him that you live, move, and have your being (Ps. 139:13, Acts 17:28).  

My tiny Peanut, the Giver of eternal life is the Giver of your laughter. The Author of Salvation is the Author of your faith (Heb. 5:9, Heb. 12:2). The Maker of heaven and earth is the Maker of your body (Ps. 146:6, Ps. 139:14). The hand that holds the tides is the hand that holds your life (Job 38:8-11, Job 12:10). The Keeper of the stars is the Keeper of your tears (Ps. 8:3,Ps. 56:8). The One that orders the wind and the waves is the One that orders your steps (Matt. 8:27, Ps. 119:133). The Lamb that shed His blood to redeem your soul is the Lion that has triumphed and overcome death…to win your love (Rev. 7:14, Rev.5:5, John 3:16).

When you were just three weeks old, your daddy and I presented you back to your Maker, who entrusted you to us. Strength, power, and dignity were the visions for you that day. Your daddy and I, along with members of our family and our church family, gave our word and promised our undying efforts to stand in the gap for your soul and raise you according to God’s Word. 

The journey of parenting you these past 12 months has given me immeasurable joy, awe, and wonder. From the moment of your birth I have pointed you to the Savior. My sweet child, there is only a short lifetime to say all that there is to say, and how quickly the time passes. Yet with all my heart and all my strength, I will live the rest of my days helping you know the Lord. I will work to support, educate, train, and inspire you to be a woman of character, committed to the values of Christ, duty, honor, and country, prepared for excellence and service to God and others. I pray, my little one, that you become a fierce and feminine warrior for the kingdom of God, one to storm the gates of hell, and bring down the enemy’s strongholds in the name of Jesus. I will support the unique and special talents God has placed in you and help you to see that you can do anything he calls you to do, because he goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, for this God is your God, forever and ever; he will be your guide even to the end (Deut. 31:8, Ps. 48:14).

You are a precious, spirited, happy child, Shelby, with a smile that enchants angels. I see God’s image in you, and I will look forward to watching him work in your life and on your behalf. My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me when he gave me you (Luke 1:46-49). I love you deeply and desperately, little one.

Happy 1st birthday, Shelby Deanne, your adventure has just begun!