Dear Lord, on Thursday, Bethany turns 17. Thinking about that makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time. I’m so proud of her. I can still see her as a newborn, so helpless and fragile. All of the qualities I saw in her as a child are there now, just magnified. She’s kind, strong, loving, thoughtful, funny, studious, cheerful, encouraging, and giving. She feels deeply and gives of herself in every way. She loves you Lord, and pursues you with passion. I love hearing her thoughts about you. She loves our family and acts like a glue that keeps us tight. I feel like I’ve been blessed to see a beautiful flower blossom, and I am still looking at the intricate detail and beauty…amazed. Thank you for letting me be her mom. It is a privilege and a gift. Thank you for this blessing, Amen.