She's a Teenager!

Hannah, 3 days old.
As of September 25, at 12:29 AM, I have a teenager.

I really don't have much to write about that. No words can adequately capture what I feel inside. As a parent, you understand.

I remember cradling Hannah in my arms in the hospital, when she was about 20 hours old. I was weeping, as I thought: "In less than a day, she'll be twice as old as she is now."

Well, now she is 5698 times as old as she was in that moment. I'm feel just as uncertain and weak as a parent as I did then.

I fail all the time, but I think I'm doing OK. Even more important, Hannah thinks I'm doing fine. A couple of weeks ago, when I told the kids that I would be teaching a parenting class for young dads, she immediately exclaimed, "You'll be GREAT at that!" It was so encouraging to hear it from her, as I could tell she meant it from the heart.

She's a reflection of God's optimism and hope. She's beautiful, inside and out. She is growing in God, learning how to relate to others, and becoming more aware of herself.

Want to see how much her personality hasn't changed over the years? This video was done in 2006, when she was 4-and-a-half years old. We crack up to tears whenever we watch it. (The purpose was for it to be a part of a "thank you" to children's ministry volunteers in our church. The voice you hear is the Children's Ministry Director at the time.)

There is so much commentary I could give you about this video, but I'll just share this one thing: Her favorite (or was that frave-rit) Bible story that she referred to is when Solomon threatened to cut a baby in two (I Kings 3).

Hannah, 12.8 years old
I'm not fearing this stage of her life (the dreaded "teenager"). Our relationship is changing, but it's not for the worse. I get to relate to this young woman in a way that I could not have done with her when she was 4 or 5 years old. I am so thankful that I get to be her Daddy.

I'm even thankful I get to do things like buy her hot chocolate after an MRI at 10 o'clock at night. (See the picture to the right.)

Want to read more about her, and what I'm learning from parenting my daughter? Here are some posts from her previous birthdays:
And here's my post from this year on her birthday, on my other blog: Birthday Flashback.

Are You a Parent of a Teenager?

Do you have a teenage daughter, or will you soon have one? Be encouraged, and be joyful.

And here are some other articles that may be helpful for you:
I especially like the following excerpt of this last article, which I'll close with:
"What happens when the joyful little girl who knew the love of Jesus begins to look shadowed and burdened, wondering if it all makes sense?... As I attempt to love my daughter through her struggle, I am trying to get out of the way. I am trying not to let my sin hinder her progress."

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