Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. And as cliche as it is to say, I can’t believe how fast time is flying by.

There are so many blessings in my life, and so few of them are things. Many of them are people, family, friends. And at the top of that list are my wife and daughter.

Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him.
Psalms 127:3 NLT

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord .
Proverbs 18:22 NLT

We had Mia’s birthday party this weekend, and it was wonderful with friends and family — gifts, cake, singing, celebrating, playing games together.

And today, since Mia is officially 8, and is 4’9″ tall, and sits comfortably with an adult seat belt, we will be doing away with her booster seat. She has no idea, and we will surprise her this morning with this revelation that she no longer has to sit in a booster seat.

Man, I can still remember that first ride home from the hospital with her in the rear facing infant seat as I drove oh so carefully and was amazed at how carelessly others were driving around us. Didn’t they know that there is precious cargo inside these vehicles?

And we want to continue to keep her safe and secure with the proper precautions in place. Just as important as the correct safety equipment in the car, is providing her with the right spiritual protection as well.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 NLT

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Matthew 7:13‭-‬14 NLT

So we will have our morning devotional together this morning, and we will praise and worship the Lord with our lives today. And we hope that we aren’t just teaching Mia outward religious mimickery, but that we are introducing her to what it means to seek and find God through the narrow way, to know and love and serve and obey Christ Jesus as her Lord and Savior — not as just a religious title or claim, but as an abiding, real, present and manifested reality of His Holy Spirit alive in us.

And my wife is such a blessing. It is through her that this precious gift of life came into our home 8 years ago. And it is her that bears so much of the child rearing responsibilities — even though I try not to miss out on my opportunities and responsibilities as a daddy either.

These times are precious, and she is at an especially sweet age where we can snuggle up on the couch together to watch movies, go get Krispy Kreme together, play in the Creek together with PomPom, play games, go to movies together, read, sing, pray, and even discuss the amazing things in the Word of God. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, so I hope that I will take these moments together and take them, not waste them on foolish things, not treat them as common or ordinary, but as precious and valuable.

And if time with her is too be considered precious and valuable and not to be taken for granted, shouldn’t the same be said for time with the Lord?

Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful opportunity to spend our special day with you. Watch over us, give us, protect us, and lead us in your way. Amen.