This incredible thing of light and life and joy suddenly beamed into the week, breaking into my Tuesday and reminding me of the gift of beginnings.
Welcome to the world, Miss Elsie Camille.
She is an absolute gem. I couldn't imagine a sweeter girl to call my niece. We'd been anticipating her arrival for many months, secretly hoping she'd join us on July 4th so we could call her Americus. And secretly relieved that she didn't so we wouldn't have to.
I had a pretty good feeling all along that this baby was a girl. I knew there was something really special and beautiful growing in my sister's belly. But I couldn't have imagined how beautiful and perfect she'd be.
She knows nothing of the world's poverty, of humanity's brokenness and the continual struggle to set things right, to bring ourselves back to how we were created to be. Sadly, she will probably learn these things far sooner than any of us would hope. We will protect her and guide her and teach her the way of grace and redemption.
But more than anything, I hope she will learn to live a great story. She already has a great beginning.
I hope she will learn to laugh when something is funny, cry when her heart must mourn, fight for wholeness when things are broken, and celebrate with joy every single day, because it is a gift and a joy to have life. And I know the world is a better place because she is in it.
May we rejoice and sing, ever mindful of his mercy.