Sarah Beth, this is what you looked like on December 11, 2008, the day you asked Jesus into your heart. You were six years old and had been asking us questions since you were three about Jesus and baptism. We felt you were too young and just kept talking to you and praying for you. Finally, on this day last year as we sat around the dining room table you told us you wanted Jesus in your heart and daddy explained to you what that means. He explained that meant asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be your Savior. You said, "Well can I pray now?" We knew that Jesus was knocking at the door of your heart. You prayed with daddy right there at the table. Two months later you were baptized and you showed your first step of faith. You had been telling us for years that you would get baptized when you were six. You had been scared of going under the water, but God gave you the faith to do it (and daddy promised he wouldn't hold you under long. :)
This is what you look like this year and my, how you have grown! You've changed from a chubby cheeked first grader into a tall, beautiful 2nd grader. You have grown in so many other ways too. You've learned all of the books of the New Testament and several in the Old Testament. You've learned several verses as well. You learned to play "Kum Ba Ya" on the piano and you played it last year when we visited some elderly members of the community. My little toddler that used to be too scared to get on stage even with a group of other people has become so brave and independent. You have been so excited about Christmas this year and make sure to remind us and everyone else that it is Jesus' birthday! I left you with one of our Methodist neighbors for just 10 minutes one day and when I got back you had asked her if she and her daughters had been baptized. :)
I know God has such big plans for you. You are so thoughtful and compassionate. You are also determined and "strong-willed". I thought that strong-will was going to do me in when you were younger, but I have watched God mold that will into one that wants to please Him. He needs people who are determined to serve Him and share Him and that is you! I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. You have already grown so much in just a year. Can't wait to celebrate lots more of these "birthdays" with you!
My prayer for you~ Father, I thank you for the opportunity to be Sarah Beth's mama. It is the most important and significant job you have ever given me. I pray that Sarah will continue to grow in grace and in her knowledge of You. I pray that you will fill her with an unquenchable thirst for You and a hunger for Your Word. I pray for teachable moments in her life that will draw her closer to You. I ask that You would fill her with strength and boldness that in the days to come she would remain strong in her faith. Lord, I pray that you will surround her with family and friends who love You and encourage her and support her in her love for You. I pray that she will learn to seek her security from You, and You alone. Thank you Father, for giving Your only Son, so that my baby girl can have a relationship with You.