Dear Abby,

It’s your birthday. So, I’ll be telling you, once more, the story of when you were born, because that’s just how we do in this family. Grammy is going to want to tell you, again, how she was the first one to find out that you were a redhead, and how totally surprised we all were about that. Just like Grandmother likes to tell me all the details about the day I was born and how they stopped at McDonald’s on the way to the hospital and it was the first time she had tried an Egg McMuffin. It’s all part of the story of how we began. And the details are etched in our minds because those are the days that change us forever.

Sixteen years ago, we prayed you into the world amidst terrifying complications that threatened both your life and mine. But God delivered you safely to us because He has a plan for you. Your influence is needed in this world.

You have a responsibility, even at 16, to let your light shine. Don’t let those gorgeous locks and long lashes be the reason you stand out in a crowd. Let the love of Christ be the first thing they see.

Keep singing in your room to the top of your lungs because it keeps us entertained. But, let your life song always be for Him.

Be dependable. Loyal. A true friend. An encourager.

Don’t forget to tell your brother how much you love him because you know he’s crazy about you. And he’ll never have a sidekick quite like you.

And be sure to be extra-kind to your sisters, who are looking up to you every single day and want to be just like you.

Always listen to Dad. The older you get, the more you will understand that a dad’s words of wisdom are some of life greatest treasures. And don’t forget to laugh at his jokes. He only says them because your smile is one of his favorite things ever.

And then there’s me. You know I’ll always have a few words of advice. Ok, maybe more than just a few. And I know I’m one of those moms, who has something to say about pretty much everything. And sometimes I say it to the world because that’s what bloggers do. But, remember this: God has blessed you every time you obey your parents and take our advice. Don’t forget to turn around now and then and look back at the path you’ve walked. “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11). You’ve already known this to be true. And there are so many more good things in store for you if you’ll keep your eyes on Him.

Sixteen years ago, you were so small you could’ve fit in my handbag, and now we wear each other’s clothes. You’ll soon discover how fast time flies,and how we must make every moment of our lives count. Not only for good causes, but for the cause of Christ and makingHim known.

Happy birthday, dear Abby. You really are so dear to us!