You’ve been asking me for months for a stethoscope for your birthday. A REAL one. One that allows you to hear your actual heart beating actual beats.
I’m not surprised. You’ve been telling me for two years that you want to be a nurse or a doctor when you grow up.
I know how these things work. Kids might spin through a dozen potential occupations by the time they enter college and then change their major five times as an undergraduate and still go on to graduate school uncertain about their future.
But this is your constant so far. And I see it in you, that remarkable blend of gentle compassion and courage that you’d need to care for others.
So, I bought you that stethoscope and I made sure it was pink, your favorite color.
It’s because I’ll probably call you “Baby Girl” even when you get married and when you cradle your own newborns and even when you watch your children get married and then gaze on your grandchildren.
You will always be “Baby Girl” to this momma of three stair-step daughters.
Yet, here you are five years old. Somehow you’ve grown in a flash and now you’re headed off to kindergarten. You’re always pushing and pushing to grow taller, to learn more, to be bigger, to get older. As distant as it seems now, that future isn’t so far off and, oh, “Baby Girl,” I want to help you become all that God intends for you to be.
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll need that stethoscope.
In a month-and-a-half, I’ll no longer be the one person you spend most of your time with. You’ll be sitting in classrooms, learning from teachers, making friends and standing your ground when kids are mean.
I’ll miss you so.
But you are ready.
You picked out your outer space backpack covered in sparkly stars. You’ve toted that new backpack and the matching lunchbox all around town ever since we bought it.
You’ve cheerfully done what you call “my homework” every day this summer, running through a series of activities you picked out yourself to practice math and reading and then playing a tune on the piano.
You’ve read me those books aloud and we’ve cheered you right on as you learn new words.
More than that, you’ve bounced into offices and classrooms with confidence and excitement. You’re not afraid of school buses, classrooms, or hallways, not the cafeteria or making new friends.
That’s the courage and the bravery in you.
Others may first see your gentleness and sweet spirit. You’re a bucket of joy, just spilling out enthusiasm all over the place. You’re quick to clap your hands and explode into a crazy story about something that made you laugh. You’ll jump and dance and your eyes grow five times their normal size when you’re excited and you wave your hands wildly when you talk to us at the dinner table.
But oh, girl, you’re a powerhouse of strength and resolve, standing up for what is right against kids who are far older and bigger than you and who try to manipulate you or even say they hate you. It’s already begun and you’re already standing ground.
We gave you the name Catherine, a woman of strength and authority. You are that.
Yet, your name means “Pure.” You keep asking me what that means exactly. Pure. That’s hard to define for a five-year-old girl.
I tell you how it’s loving what God loves and hating what God hates. It’s being passionate for what’s right and good and true. It’s running far away from sin and when you do mess up, it’s running right back to Jesus with a heart of true repentance because you want so much to please Him.
You are that, too. Your name is a perfect fit.
You are always thinking about God and you are quick to pray. You have compassion for the hurting and you are a gentle and thoughtful friend. You are fun and you are funny. You are strong and gentle at the same time.
For your fifth birthday, Baby Girl, I pray this for you:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8 NIV).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King