You know those cute little stickers for each month of your baby’s first year, the ones you’re supposed to stick to a onesie and click a cute pic so you can look back and see your child’s growth? Yeah, Georgia will be seven months this weekend, and I’ve done exactly one of those. And it was three weeks late. I would tell you these are third child problems, but, truth be told, I got maybe two or three of my older girls during their first year. I finally caught up on the photo books I (try to) make, this last one having about two years of pictures because that’s how behind I was. Then, I saw that it was going to be $54 even with a promo code because it’s so stinking long, so, yeah, I haven’t ordered that yet. And I’ve apparently found a new version of Russian roulette where you wait until you are completely out of diapers and then make the trek to Target hoping you won’t have a blowout on the way. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not going to win any awards for Most On Top of It this year. (Or any year–let’s be honest.) But while our picture books might be a couple years behind, I’ll keep coming to this little place to write our story. And, Georgia, this page is for you.
I know it’s cliche to wonder where the time has gone, but that saying about the days being long and the years short is truth. Parenting in this season, while the hardest thus far, is my favorite. With every child, I’ve had to release my white-knuckled approach to life a little more and a little more. So that, by you, Georgia Ray, I have finally surrendered (at least on most days) to dirty floors and overflowing laundry bins, sticky fingerprints and snack requests every 3.7 seconds. Often, you and I will leave the big girls and their play dough/watercolor/mud pie/dance party explosion and steal away to the nursery for a few minutes in the afternoon. That’s when the light comes in brightest through your window. We rock in the glider and listen to old hymns. And you do what you always do–smile and laugh. Maybe it’s following the type A and firecracker sisters or maybe it’s just being the third child or maybe you take after your daddy, but you are as easy-going as they come. You watch everything with this look of awe, and nothing makes you laugh like your sisters. (Nothing makes me laugh like them either.) Sometimes you wear this funny expression like you’re still trying to figure out how you ended up in this crazy, rambunctious family. But, goodness, I can barely remember life before you.
Like the best books with layers of plot twists and turns, each of you, my precious daughters, has added a new narrative to this story we call family. Lydia’s life is writing a story of hope in a God who never leaves us. Charlotte’s a story of faithfulness and trusting in God when we can’t understand His plan. And you, sweet Georgia Ray, with all your peach-colored ink are writing one of abundance, of a God who loves lavishly. This weekend, we will gather our family around the table, and your daddy and I will publicly dedicate ourselves to live before you a life that makes you want to know this God who knew our names before the creation of the world. This Savior who redeems all our brokenness and makes us beautiful. This Holy Spirit who lives within us changing us from the inside out.
In my prayer journal I have a page for each of you girls. Granted, yours isn’t typed like the others but rather a welter of verses and promises I pray for you all scrawled together in my part-cursive/part-print handwriting. One day I’ll get it orderly and looking pretty–or maybe I won’t because I’ll be spending my time in the rocker with you and that gorgeous afternoon sun. But I’ll pray them for you daily and whisper them in your ear often. I love you, Georgia Ray, and I pray that your different colored eyes never stop gazing with wonder at Your Maker and His creation.
Matthew 9:35-38//And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Georgia, your name means “farmer,” and while we were in the hospital God brought this verse to mind. When I first read the meaning of Georgia, I thought of my Papaw. My Papaw loved two things–God’s Word and God’s people. I pray you will labor for the only harvest that matters, that you will love lavishly and give generously.
Leviticus 26:11-13// Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.
Your middle name Ray means “strong protector,” and it was the name of your daddy’s late grandfather. The only thing scarier than saying yes to God is saying no. God often asks us to do things we don’t understand, but He has broken the yoke of fear and worry, and He promises He will make His dwelling among us. Press on in faith, sweet girl.
Isaiah 49:1-3// Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me. He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; and He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, in Whom I will show My glory.”
A verse I pray for all my children. You are His arrows, His glory–not mine.
Isaiah 61:1-3//The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
I pray you will be planted deep, your worth coming from the life-changing truth of His Word.
John 10:10//The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Life abundant in Him alone. My prayer for you and our family, Georgia Ray.