happy birthday, my love


Happy Birthday, my J

This year. This year has been a full one; the hard kind of full and the really good kind of full. Truly, it's been a significant year for us. The refining that has happened in both of our hearts, in the life of our little band of three, though many times painful, has been defined by the kindness of the Lord. The kindness of the Lord to not leave us to ourselves, to do the unexpected thing (unexpected for us) because He actually knows it's the best thing, to show us how sweet it is to trust Him, to show up with surprises that are filled to the brim with His grace.

I savor the fact that as we've had conversations about all this past year has held, all it has been defined by, that one of the first statements out of our mouths is: He is so good. He has brought us to a greater place of understanding and acknowledgement of the fact that He is so good, all the time. He has taught us to step back and take notice and say, "there's His grace," whether it's the good, the bad, or the ugly that we are facing. He's shown us how beautifully His goodness and His love are intertwined. He's prompted us to see His good, in the seemingly mundane things and in the not so mundane. And He's brought us to a place of craving more of Him, not the good we can get from Him. He's nicked away at our hearts to show us ways we've wanted and/or pursued the "good" rather than the One who does good, and He's changing that. I love that this year has been so significantly marked by these things.

Thank you for flying the banner of these things, my Love. You have lead so well, with words and without them. You have lead in making the rhythm of our home one that sets it beat by the truth. You have lead in change, the kind of change our hearts must have. You have lead in letting us dream, but putting a stop to the "if only" conversations. You have lead in choosing joy and being present. You have lead in desiring that our lives be marked by wisdom and a fear of God alone. You have lead in speaking truth. You have lead in being the one to take the first step of humility. You have lead in stretching us. You have lead in saying, "let's turn off the tv and pick up our books." You have lead in teaching me to not get hung up on things being "just so." You have lead in getting outside of ourselves and looking toward others. You have lead in saying "yes" even when we are tired and saying "no" when our motives aren't right. You have lead in the gentle and needed pushes. You have lead in doing the uncomfortable. You have lead in loving Him best.

 You have lead in this year, Babe. You have lead so well, in a way that makes me whisper many many prayers of thanks to the Lord that I get to be the one lead by you. 

I love celebrating you on this day, J. And it won't ever get told to me that, 9 years ago now, we met on this day. That was a really good day. 

Happy Birthday, my husband. You really are the butter to my bread.

I love you forever.

Me

happy 5th birthday, my Little


My Sweet One,

It's here. Your 5th birthday. The day that I wanted to hold off as long as I could but it just came anyway. 5 just feels so big to me, my Little. As I snuggled you before bed last night you said, "Mom! Because I'm turning 5 that means I'm almost 7!" Oh that felt much too true and I'm just not ready for that. Thankfully, though, you aren't either because a second later you said, "I'm not ready to be 7 yet, Mommy. That's really big." So, my AK, we will not rush to 7 just yet. Instead, today you will turn 5 and we will celebrate that.

These birthdays are such funny things, kiddo. My mama heart feels the oddest tension of sadness and joy that only comes in your birthday season or when you do something especially grown-up.

The joy at seeing how much you've grown, how much you've absorbed, the new words you use in sentences, simply handing you the ingredients as you single-handedly put together the chocolate chip cookie recipe, watching you do flip after flip underwater in the swimming pool, seeing your creativity and your imagination flourish, watching you grow in how you interact with those around you, being inspired by how brave you are, being taught by your eagerness to serve, seeing your mind and your heart struggle with your sin and began to more clearly understand your need for Jesus, hearing you say that you don't want to sin but you want to obey and trust in Jesus, seeing you grapple with the hard questions and watching your heart began to open, day by day, to the understanding of truth and the sweetest grace of God. These moments.

The sadness is a different sadness. It's not the one that is made up of sorrow or pain, It's the one that comes when the door closes on a chapter of life, when it's time to move into the next stage, the new season. With each one of these moments my mind fasts forward to watching you drive a car for the first time, bringing you to college, seeing you walk down the aisle to your husband. All of these are far into the future right now, I know, but their horizons come to mind. And I don't want to shut them out because they remind me of something. This type of sadness reminds me of something. All of this reminds me that you are not ultimately our Little. You are not ultimately ours but you are His. God's. He just graciously said, "Jason and Jenny Coobs, this precious one gets to be yours for a time," and He entrusted you to us. I want to take the moments the horizons come to mind and be filled with hope for those days ahead and be reminded that the biggest mission of my days with you is to "train you up in the way you should go." It's to point you to Jesus. To lead you and love you, to train you and discipline you, to comfort you and help you, to serve you and come alongside you, to laugh with you and adventure with you, to encourage you and dream with you, to be brave with you and hope with you, to do all of this in a way that says, "Here's the best gift of all: Jesus." He died for you, He rose for you, He treasures you, and He desires you to seek Him all the days of your life. Everything I do with you, all that I say to you, is to resound with truth, with the gospel, so that when those horizons comes, by His grace, you will be thoroughly equipped to walk them in a way that honors Him, that loves Him, that knows that "He is better than it all." 

So the sadness isn't really sadness after all, is it? It's more like the salt to the sweet, the flavor to the joy. It's all wrapped up together in the beautiful package that was gifted to me 5 years ago when I became your mama. As I wrote this letter to you last night I was recalling all the minutes of the night before the day I met you. On that day it felt like 5 years old was miles and miles ahead, a faint thought. Here we find ourselves, though, and those miles went a lot quicker than I ever thought they would. They've been sweet, though. Hard and sweet, raw and beautiful. 

There's so many more things I want to fill this letter with, all my thoughts on what this past year has held, all the emotions, the pieces of learning, and the moments that are now stakes in my memories. Some of these things I've shared with you already, some I'll share with you as you grow up, some daddy and I will just share, and some will just be held quietly between me and the Lord.

Know this, my Sweet One: countless times this year I have whispered up prayers to the Lord to thank Him. To thank Him for choosing me to be your mama. To thank Him that He made you, daddy, and me our little band of three. To thank Him that you are the one we get to hope and pray for another baby with, and be so amazed by what your mind thinks and your heart comprehends. To thank Him for your intensity and your tender heart, your perseverance and your honesty. To thank Him that you are our little, fierce one, with struggles we don't fully understand, and strengths that inspire us. To thank Him that He loves you more than we could ever begin to comprehend. 

I hope that this 5th birthday day is a special one for you, my Little. You are so treasured. 

Happy Birthday, my Anna Kate. I love you forever. 

Mommy