I wonder if all cultures celebrate the day of birth? In a way it is like celebrating the Gospel message. If you have been blessed to experience a birth, you know how much of a miracle it is. It really is a gift that is ultimately out of our control. Life is something we simply cannot recreate on our own. Life is extremely precious, fragile, and truly priceless; it is something we never could earn or deserve, and it hurts us very deeply when life is taken away. Life on earth is a precursor to the new life that awaits us in heaven as that life too is precious, priceless, and miraculous. Mercifully it won't be fragile but instead miraculously eternal. This is news almost too good to be true.
So today we celebrate the birth of our youngest daughter! God has created her and entrusted her into our care (we can debate the wisdom of that later), and we celebrate the miracle of her birth and we rejoice that we will only temporally be separated from her by death! I am thrilled that by the grace of God I might get to enjoy Natalie forever. Natalie was born on that State Championship Saturday just hours before Blake Harffarber experienced a miracle himself. Yep, I watched him hit that state championship winning shot from his butt holding my brand new daughter! I've always thought that surely this is some kind of sign... Speaking of butts (sorry Mom but it is relevant to this tale), I had Natalie pick her brackets for the NCAA tournament today. Comparing all of the children's brackets, Natalie's is by far the best because of two reasons. First, she always picked the team I said to her last and the team I said last was always the better ranked team. She's a smart one! Secondly the other kids have too many friends who love North Carolina and have convinced them that the Duke Blue Devils should lose every game they play. Natalie however, took Duke to reach the final four but to then lose to Butler. Butler is Natalie's downfall, it could very well be the only reason that she will lose the contest. You see Butler's first game is against LSU and I read Butler's name first because they are the lower seed. Usually Natalie would have said LSU but instead this time she said "Butt" and smiled. Every game I read Butler's name first because they aren't very good, and every time she picked them to win because, "she liked their name."
Our life is a miracle but our sin nature is evident right from the beginning isn't it? Natalie is our little tournament rebel, giving my mom more gray hairs. Picking the Blue Devils in the final four and saying BUTler breaks two of her rules in just one little innocent exercise! What can I do? I can't punish her, it's her birthday after all! Oh yeah that reminds me, Natalie thinks that people only grow taller on their birthday. The above picture is Natalie showing you how much she thinks she is going to grow on this, her one growth, day! Thank you all for being such a large part of our blue eyed miracle we like to call Natalie.