Dearest Jude, At 3:48 (I think) you will have been on this planet for 3 years. I've cried over this fact at least 15 times over the past 24 hours. Driving to work this morning my heart broke at the thought that you are no longer my little toddler. You're potty training. You speak in complete sentences. You can walk and run in controlled strides. You have distinct likes and dislikes. You have things that make you so happy (Grammie! Charlie Horse! Legos!) and things that scare you (the shoes in my closet! Watson the raccoon). You've even authored your own song about those scary shoes in my closet!
I'm so happy that God has given you a healthy growing body, but it is murder to see you change so rapidly! I almost sobbed when I noticed you've gone up to size 9 shoes. I know it's silly and sentimental, but it's so painful to think that someday you won't be my little Jude any longer. Some day, not so far off, you'll leave our little home and move to your own place. You'll marry an awesome lady (**Georgia**) and you'll make your own choices. You won't ask me or your dad to help you with your broken Legos that "aren't verking!" That makes me so weirdly happy and sad. Stupid feelings can be so obnoxious.
Here's my prayer for you:
1: That God would call you to himself from a very young age, so that you will never be able to remember a day when you did not love, treasure, and pursue him.
2: That your dad and I could be a positive part of God's romance of your heart toward himself.
3: That you will be a brother unlike any other, loving Noah like your best friend and protecting him from the cruelty of others.
4: That God would mold your feisty spirit to become a gift of bold proclamation of his beautiful name.
5: That when you are (hopefully old and ) at our funeral you will think, "they truly loved me, loved God, and strove to grow my love for The Lord every day."
Dear Jude, I'm at work and can't spend this wonderful day with you and I'm sorry for that. But know that I thank God every day for his merciful love in giving me such a precious, talented, vibrant soul to nurture and watch over!
May He flood your 4th year of life with every kind of spiritual blessing and joy! Happiest of birthdays to you, dear boy!
All my love,