Melody entered the world with much fanfare, and she was not about the let her first birthday pass incognito.
The expectation of Melody making it to one year was low, but by God’s mercy here she is. The expectation that people should show up for her birthday party also seemed like it should be low, given that it was Super Bowl Sunday, there was snow on the ground, and it was sick season. But somehow the girl managed to celebrate her big first birthday with about 300 of her closest friends!
We are so thankful for all the wonderful people who contributed to making Melody’s birthday exceedingly special! We are particularly thankful for our friend Jamie who is an exceptional organizer and helped with countless details. We are also immensely grateful for Melody’s grandparents who came in from out of town. When I found out they were planning to be here for Melody’s party I asked if they could help decorate our church for the event. I was thinking maybe one balloon for each month of Melody’s life, or something to that effect. I soon found out that Melody’s grandparents were arriving with the Party Decorators Extraordinaire. Melody’s great uncle and two great aunts came from out of town. Thanks to this crowd, we did not have 12 balloons, but rather, 125 (!), a Hello Kitty balloon that was taller than many of the children present, pink table cloths, pink cups (the little boys weren’t so sure about this), pink napkins and an array of polka dots. Everyone who stepped in the room had a tangible reminder of the honor bestowed on a little baby. The honor had nothing to do with what Melody has achieved, accomplished or what she can give. It is rooted simply in the fact of who her Maker created her to be. That is a beautiful picture of the love of God in Scripture that all of us can receive by faith, not by striving. ” For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
The birthday girl decided to take a little nap during the church service in preparation for her party. When she awoke she was ready for the party to start. She was talking/singing up a storm. I tried all the things I had up my sleeve to quiet her chatter and nothing worked.
I even tried showing Melody her books, which is usually a full proof method for distracting her and keeping her quiet, but to no avail. I finally surrendered to the fact that it was, after all, her birthday and hopefully everyone would understand that she was excited.
Melody was not able to eat her AMAZING birthday cake made by Rebekah O. She was, however, able to enjoy the amazing nutrition of her avocados. Then she settled in her grandma’s arms and thoroughly enjoyed the incredible singing by Bold Reflections. It really was so sweet to see her delight in the music. The singing was followed by a beautiful time of testimony, including her daddy’s insightful perspective on the impact of Melody’s life.
After that Melody was passed around so much I did not see much of the birthday girl. We were thankful that with all the competition to hold her, especially with three of her aunts and her grandma there, that a fight didn’t break out.😀 The girl is so loved! When we got home I did tell her I missed her, as I honestly did not see much of her sweet face that day, being the beloved little one that she is.
In Beverly Linder’s wonderful book, A-Never-Give-Up Heart, she writes “When my daughter Kristie was born with an obvious problem, my parents came to visit us in the hospital. I remember posing a question to my dad through my tears, ‘Will you still love her?’ His reply, ‘We’ll love her even more.’ ” How wise her father is! Melody has experienced a remarkable outpouring of love that has been a tremendous gift from the Lord. We are grateful for parents, relatives, an extraordinary church family and precious friends who have “loved her more”, so to speak.
“The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”