Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Seven years of life, Ellie!
The Lord has given you 2,555 days to enjoy on earth.
You have been loved, enjoyed, appreciated, and wanted since the day you were born, and you will be wanted, appreciated, loved, and enjoyed for the rest of your days.

You are full of energy and passion and intensity.
You are wild and free.
You hate boundaries and limitations.
You thrive on independence.
We pray that the Lord will chisel each of these qualities into strengths to be used for His Kingdom.
We pray they will be used to stir others into action when you share your passion for God, for His people, and for His purposes.

Your greatest strengths are also your greatest weaknesses, sweet daughter.
Passion-filled, independent, intense people find it difficult to submit, to yield, and to obey - even when they know they should. Passion can quickly transform into pride, and independence can morph into narcissism. "I can do this." "I don't need anyone." "I am all I need."
Yet Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches; apart from Me you can do nothing."
And God opposes the proud.

But Ellie Ruth, if you combine all of your strengths with humility, bowing your knee before the Father, offering everything you have and everything you are to Him - there is no telling what He can do with such a woman!
Elisabeth Elliott, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alward, Corrie ten Boom ... names we know well. Women who faced adversity, pain, suffering, and tragedies with astonishing faith and strength. They were not perfect, they made mistakes, and they sinned just like the rest of us, but the Lord chose to set them apart for work that other women could not do. Even they did not always believe they could accomplish His purpose for their lives, and they wondered and wavered, but they kept moving forward with Christ - instead of forging ahead in their own way with their own plans.
And that is the difference.
You can, in your stubbornness, run ahead of God because "you know best." He will even let you go. But, daughter ... it is such an exhausting way to live. Every time you run ahead you will find yourself standing alone. Then you must run back. Back to follow the steady footsteps of the Savior who knows exactly where you need to go, how long it will take, and what you will do when you arrive.

Anyone can lead, Ellie.
Only the humble are willing to follow.

Be a follower of Jesus and an encourager of the saints.
As you run hard after Jesus, cheer, comfort, and support those running beside you.
You may have a faster stride than some, but that doesn't mean you should leave them behind. Pull them along with you. Show them how much more they have to give. And then - let those who have been running longer pull you.

I love you, Ellie Ruth, and I know the Lord has something specific in mind for your future. He did not make you this strong this young without purpose. One day He will overwhelm you with a specific passion, calling out, "This is it! This is what I have been preparing you for, daughter! Are you ready?"
And my prayer, sweet Ellie, is that you will answer with the same conviction with which the prophet Isaiah responded, "Here am I, send me!"

You are a strong, sweet, unmoveable, thoughtful, affectionate girl, and I am thankful the Lord chose to allow me to be your mother. He knew you needed me - and He knew I needed you.

Happy 7th Birthday, Ellie.
❤ I love you. ❤

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