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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jane Esther Cochrane, 12 Years of Blessings

This week kicks off birthday season for us. We get to have a birthday just about every two weeks until the beginning of July. So it's party central, and that means it's time to stop and reflect a little on these beautiful, beloved, still relatively new people God has blessed us with the privilege of nurturing and guiding and watching grow and learn and give and lose and hurt and glory for a few years.

Jane gets to start the season off by turning 12. The Angel Child is a full-fledged tweenager now. She is wrapping up her first year of middle school, and ending strong. It's been a good year for her, as far as academics are concerned. She's learned some lessons about perseverance through her great improvement in Cross Country in the fall. She's learned about self-discipline in managing a dramatic increase in homework and expectations from homeschool to fifth grade at school to (cue music of Doom) Middle School! She's made new friends, been invited to other homes for parties, bonfires, sleepovers, and mission projects. She's felt the glory of being awarded high honors at two levels of Science Fair, and felt the sting of disappointment and injustice at being dismissed without serious consideration when taking the same Science Fair project to the state level. She's also learned that she can lose something she thought her heart was set on, and yet at the same time rejoice with another who achieved it apart from her. She has learned to say, "Look how God is blessing you!" when she might be tempted to feel passed over instead, and to give thanks for it.

Life has its challenges for Jane. She has to work hard. She has health issues that are foreign to most of her friends. She has a keen sense of justice in a world where injustice more often seems to rule, and the apparent victories of sin cut her deeply and offend that sense of justice in her. Justice for her even trumps mercy and grace at times, to a parent's frustration and concern. But then, just when I think I have reason to worry, she blooms in amazing loving affection, concern, and deep-reaching-into-her-sacrificial-soul grace to pour out good unexpectedly on another sometimes undeserving soul with absolutely no expectation of receiving anything in return.

I know God's got her. She hears his voice. She is learning to walk in humility and let him be her God. I see the fruit in her, his little lamb, maturing.

Happy birthday, Jane Esther Cochrane. You live up to your name. You truly are God's gracious gift and a shining star, and you are greatly loved.

You've come a long way, baby.
Jane at one year old, 2002.

1 comment:

suismoi said...

She is blessed to have you, and you her. This is beautiful to read. Happy Birthday months to all!