Dear Magpie and Other 20-something Friends

Today is our youngest daughter, Maggie’s 27th birthday.

Maggie is the shiny one who has friends all over the world; some she just hasn’t met yet.  She’s the one “car dances” and who keeps us laughing at ourselves and playing games and celebrating life with hoopla. She’s passionate about injustice, and traditions, and a good glass of wine.

For her on her birthday I want to shout “Huzzah!” and give her this sign I saw yesterday that said:

Always keep your beautiful imagination & exquisite humor.

I want to send a plane full of peanut butter M&M’s to scatter around her town so she’ll find them everywhere – nuggets of grace.

I want to go with her on fun new adventures to quirky spots like we’ve done in the past.


And I want to remind her of what I wrote her two years ago because it still holds true – what I would say to her and to my own 27 year old self…

Dear Magpie,

Don’t let this discourage you, but the older you get the more you’ll know how much you don’t know…how little you’re sure of.  That’s ok though because it will help you to ask good questions, listen hard, and strain to hear God’s voice through His Word and others.

And as you do, you can remain certain of at least these three things.

1.  You really do matter.  The world is big and you’re so small, but even your little choices make a difference.   Don’t ever “despise the day of small things” done with great love.  Remember the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a hurricane somewhere else? Flap your wings.  You matter.

2.  Everything really will be ok.  You’ve made mistakes before and you’ll make them again, and some days you’ll be sure the sky is falling, but the longer you live the more you will remember that the One who hung the stars is still on duty, holding them in place.

You’ll experience His mercies, new every morning.  Again and again.  Ever faithful.  He really does cause all things to work together for good, even when that’s painful.  And He really can redeem anything.  Anything.

3.  You are not alone.  Even when you feel most alone.  When someone has hurt you or betrayed you or you’ve lost something.  No, no one has lived your story, but others have had chapters with similar themes of loss or fear or conflict or joy, and God has given them to you as companions, as well as Himself.  He’s the sure thing. You are beloved.

Sweetie, anyone can write these words, but you will have to live them into your bones.  I know that you will.  You will stretch and ask and risk and hope and pray.

And you will run your race “not somehow, but triumphantly“.  Surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses” cheering you on.  With Daddy and me in the front row.

Happy Birthday Magpie.



  1. I love the name you call her! It is so endearing and only a name right for you to use. And what a beautiful tribute to your special dsughter… i know she will read and feel your precious words Laura..

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