It's here!
Your 18th Birthday.

let's celebrate your life with some cheesecake, a present or two,
a song, and some balloons.
Let's celebrate all your days with joy and laughter!

Let's celebrate YOU, our sweet girl,
with a reminder of why you are here on this planet
and why your dad and I chose your name.

The image of you in the picture above is the first time we ever saw your face.
Six months before you were born!

In that instant of divine and intense joy,
your father and I were purposeful about what your name would be.
 And of course, you already know this,
your first name, Alyssa, means "Flower"
and your second name, Carol, means "Song".

Here's why.

As a flower in the garden stretching toward the light of the sun, 
so we expected that there would always be in you, 
a mysterious inclination toward the eternal light.

And there is.

When you were a smaller child, and we would teach you stories 
of the Savior and His love, 
you would never ask with strangeness and wonder,
“What or who is God? I have never seen Him,” 
but you would listen with your shining face
to the words as though they were soft loving sounds 
from the land of your first home. 

When you were fresh from God,
and we would teach you to fold your little hands in prayer,
you would gladly, because it was a natural connection
to the heaven you had just come from.
That world of which you still dreamt of
with longing and anticipation. 

As you grew, as all flowers should, with proper nurturing,
your face beamed with hope,
your eyes shone with purity,
and your heart beat with praise.

When the sun would shine on you,
you would twirl your skirt and dance to the rhythm of a melody that only you heard.
When the gentle breeze would blow through you,
You would hum chorus upon chorus of songs
that only you knew the lyrics to.
These psalms could only have been given to you by your Creator.

As you sang His song,
we knew you were delighting in the warmth of today,
the promise of new mercies tomorrow,
and the certainty of life forever.

Now that you are, according to the law, officially an adult,
your father and I pray that your roots will continually reach 
deep into the soil of the garden of God's truth.
We pray that your face will always turn towards the Son.
We pray that your voice will always be lifted in devotion towards heaven.
We pray that your heart will always be dependent on Christ's grace.

You are God's flower, always sing His song. 

Love, mum and dad



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  1. Happy birthday y sweet 18 year old grand daughter...where did the years go? Hope you are having a fantastic day.

    1. Hi momma! Thank you!
      I dunno where the years went. I had adored every.single.year. with her, though.
      Love you!

  2. What a sweet and inspiring post to read! Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter!

    1. Hi!
      Thank you!
      I love this girl!
      She is reading the comments, so she will love your wishes for her :)

  3. I couldn't have said it better myself, Leslie.

    You are our delight, Alyssa! Live for Him and may each day of your life be filled with joy and an inner peace. I will always love you!!


  4. Beautifully written!

  5. 18 is joyous--and hard, isn't it? But a real reason to celebrate.

    Precious post!

    1. I love 18.
      I loved 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, AND 1~
      I am blessed!

  6. BTW, I'm home from Rome--and probably will be here for the most part for the rest of the summer. Are you still planning a trip to Durham?

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely daughter! I just wrote a post about the importance of celebrating milestones in our lives and this is a perfect example. Brought tears to my eyes. Blessings!

  8. Wow, what a beautiful post to your daughter. You are all blessed.

    Not everyone has been so blessed. Your post touched my heart.

    Happy Birthday to your young adult daughter!


  9. A ver happy birthday to a precious gift from God!

  10. Happy Birthday Alyssa. And what a beautiful post.

  11. Such a lovely post for such a lovely girl..
    My son will turn 18 in January and I want so much of the same for him..
    Happy Birthday to Alyssa..xx
    p.s I'm having a giveaway if you'd like to pop over and say hi..xx

  12. Beautiful post Leslie! I love your blog! So I’m giving you the “One Lovely Blog and Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. You can read more about it here: http://fromoverwhelmedtoorganized.blogspot.ca/2012/07/one-lovely-blog-and-very-inspiring.html. Congratulations!

  13. Beautiful through and through! Happy birthday to Alyssa!

  14. Happy Birthday to your Alyssa! What a beautiful post!!! And what a beautiful daughter!

  15. This post is so beautiful! Your words brought tears to my eyes! My husband and I have a 14 month old little girl that is our pride and joy and I know she's a direct gift from God to me so I can relate to that love you feel for your child.

    Happy birthday, Alyssa! I don't know you but you are a blessing to your family and a child of the Lord so we are all family! :-) God bless you!


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