Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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A Letter from a Daddy to His 2-Year-Old Girl

This morning we sat down for a special birthday pancake breakfast to celebrate baby girl turning two. Gavin surprised us by pulling out a letter he had written to her. I don’t often get to share his heart with you here, but I’m thankful for that opportunity today. It is my honor to parent alongside this man, and Eliza continues to bring me so much joy. I’m sharing his letter on this space because I don’t want to be the only one to shed a few tears over the beauty that is raising children.

2 year bday c


Dear Eliza –

There are some things I’ve been wanting to tell you. Now that you’re 2, I figured you’re old enough and mature enough to handle it. Please listen closely to what I have to say. I’ve been waiting a long time to tell you these things. Here goes:

You are such an amazing daughter.

Remember all those times we start to eat and you remind us we need to pray first? That is so sweet.

Remember when we tuck you in at night, and you say, “Hug, kiss, hug, kiss,” over and over again? That is really special.

Or all the times you take such good care of your Froggy: checking his heartbeat with your stethoscope, making sure he is staying hydrated, keeping him warm at night, and teaching him how to color? That is so precious.

Or how about the times when we are brushing your teeth and you exclaim, “Jesus!” because you’re excited to read the next bible story? So cool, dude.

You are such an amazing daughter.

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But man, you are a little monster, too.

Remember that one time you pulled down the curtains in the living room? That was really mean.

Remember the time you got out of bed during naptime and applied hydrocortisone cream all over your legs? That was so ugly.

Or the time you peed in Daddy’s lap 5 minutes after he asked if you needed to go pee? That was a real punk move.

Or how about the time you put Mommy’s iPhone and the A/C remote in her cup of coffee? Not cool, man.

You are such a little monster.

As I have been thinking about your 2 years, I have seen so much of myself in you. The way you can quietly play by yourself. The way you love playing with the football. The way you are able to cram an entire plateful of food into your mouth at the same time and still manage to chew and swallow. All that, you got all that straight from me.

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You need to know that there are other ways we are alike: I am a monster, too.

I am really selfish. I gossip sometimes. I get jealous of other people. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I am not very generous. I don’t usually give people the benefit of the doubt. I am often apathetic. I am pretty lazy. And I’m really bad about holding grudges.

I am a pretty terrible monster. We’re both terrible monsters, you and I. Maybe someday we can find out what terrible monsters eat and just stuff our mouths full of it just to show off how much we can chew and swallow.

But until then, I have to show you one other way that we’re alike: we have a Father who loves us no matter what.

He’s a Father who made us in His image. He’s a Father who walks with us in the garden and in the valley. He’s a Father who is so sad when we do dumb stuff. And He’s the Father who is waiting on the porch for when we finally come back home.

He’s a Father who loves His monsters, because they are His.

Eliza, God knows you are going to do monster-like things. But He also knows that in your heart, you are becoming a girl who loves Jesus more than anyone else. And I think your heavenly Father couldn’t be any more proud of you.

I know for a fact your earthly father couldn’t be, either.

I love you sweet girl.


2 year bday d