The gift of 3.

Happy Birthday to my dear Ryan! From the time he was a few days old and weighing a mere 3 pounds, I would hold him in my arms and pray. I wanted him to live, to grow. I wasn’t sure that he would be forever mine, but that couldn’t stop me from loving him through and through.

From very early on, I asked God to let His joy always be Ryan’s strength. More than I could have imagined, we were going to need that strength simply to survive. By the grace of God and the love of so many, Ryan gets to turn 3 today.

With each of my kids, I chose a book for them and write a birthday letter in it every year. Although, with the craziness of 2018, I am a bit behind on my messages. My hope is that some day in the years to come my children will treasure these books and the love that is contained within them.

For Ryan, I chose: “You’re Here for a Reason” by Nancy Tillman. It beautiful reads:

You’re here for a reason, you certainly are. The world would be different without you, by far.

If not for your hands and your eyes and your feet, the world, like a puzzle, would be incomplete.

Even the smallest of things that you do blossom and multiply far beyond you.

A kindness, for instance, may triple for days or set things in motion in different ways.

It travels much further than you’ll ever know.

Under the treetops…

Over the snow till it’s wandered and fluttered and floated…

and twirled-

making things happen all over the world.

You’re here for a reason. It’s totally true. You’re part of a world that is counting on you.

So don’t be too worried if some days fall flat.

Good things can happen, even from that.

Life can be tricky, there isn’t a doubt. You’ll skin your knees trying to figure it out.

But life works together, the good and the bad, the silly and awful, and happy and sad, to paint a big picture we can’t always see…

a picture that needs you, most definitely.

Remember that next time a day goes all wrong…

to somebody else, you will always be strong.

And that ball that you lose or that kite you let go could make someone’s day – you just never know!

You’re here for a reason. If you think you’re not, I would just say that perhaps you forgot – a piece of the world that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you weren’t here.

If not for your smile and your laugh and your heart, this place we call home would be missing a part.

Thank goodness you’re here! Thank goodness times two!

I just can’t imagine a world without you.

Ryan, you are loved.

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