One of my favorite young people turns 19 today. I've been thinking of her and of this occasion all week long (and longer), but despite that fact, and notwithstanding my good intentions, I've not managed to put her card in the mail. To my chagrin, I am simply not very timely when it comes to getting holiday or birthday greetings to my family, friends and loved ones. It's not for any lack of caring, but somehow I need to prioritize my time better for such important gestures.
Anyway, "Biblical Bekah" (so called both for the spelling of her name and for her conscientious love for the Word of God) is uniquely significant to me and to my family. She is a genuine southern belle, no doubt, lovely in both her appearance and the gentle spirit of her heart. She's got style, as well as a marvelous, fun-loving sense of humor. She's also quite bright, let me assure you; but then again, when she's not entirely clear on what is going on, she'll flash her photogenic smile and equally disarm the rest of the room along with her. She's caring and compassionate and considerate, delightful with children, and a real good dancer. What's not to love? Yet, it is none of these things that has made her so special to us.
Biblical Bekah surely deserves the credit for inspiring my eldest son to mature, seemingly overnight, from a big boy to a responsible young man. I don't believe there is anyone in the family who would seriously dispute that observation. My dear Zach has always been thoughtful and serious, but he became downright disciplined about life, the universe, and everything once Bekah had captured his attention. It seems that his and her elder sisters had a hand in this, but I suspect that he would have noticed her in any case. Higher Things is the new Walther League (let the reader understand). Whatever the circumstances may have been, the transformation of Zach's daily routine and longterm outlook was nothing short of miraculous. Thank you, Bekah!
As things have progressed and life has happened since then, it now appears, God-willing, that the dear southern belle whose nineteenth birthday we celebrate on this auspicious day will also become my first daughter-in-law. I am still also in the process of accustoming myself to the fact that my own Beanie Belle will soon have a husband, and that her Sam will then be my son-in-law. All of this sets very well with me, but it is an adjustment nonetheless. Such developments have caused me to ruminate on what it means for my children to be growing up and beginning to make adult lives of their own, and to consider the differences between daughters and sons (both in general and in particular). Along with all of that, my witty wife has recently hit upon a great answer to those inquiring minds who want to know how many more children we are hoping to have: "We're planning to double 'em," she says. Not losing our daughters and sons, but gaining sons- and daughters-in-law. Sounds good to me. I can only hope and pray that each of my younger children will, as the time comes, find (or be found by) such fine companions as Sam and Bekah are for my DoRena and my Zachary.
Of course, it is not mine to make nor even to predict the future. Life comes as God so wills. We make our plans and proceed in faith; or, as the case may be, our children make their plans and live their lives, and we proceed in faith all the more, fervent in prayer and constant in hope. In the meantime, it is already my pleasure, and my family's pleasure, to count Biblical Bekah among our friends and loved ones. Among other things, her parents and sisters and she are my little Frederick's godfamily. But how shall we count the ways in which she has endeared herself to all of us? She has brought a happy joy to our home and family, and we have known the world to be a better place because of her presence. On this day, we rightly give thanks to God for His good gift of Rebekah, with optimistic hopes for the future, cheers to the past, and a celebration of this day which the Lord has made, in which we rejoice and are glad.
From far away across the miles, which seem especially too many on this occasion, here's to you, Bekah! The Lord be with you, bless you and keep you, and lift up His countenance upon you.