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Bethany's thirteen year old poem:

Bethany is a Teenager

The curtain rises
You stand on the stage
Of the seven-year production
That is called "Teenage"

Look at you, wearing make-up now
That is put on just right
With beautiful emerald eyes
(Take a look at them, you'll see what I mean)
In the right light
That change to different shades
of blue and green

You appear fearless, always have
Though I'm sure there are jitters
For this is no time for faint hearts,
shrinking violets, or fence-sitters

Life now moves into a new phase
Of your middle school career
you are at the pinnacle
8th grade, almost high school now, the teen years
And I hear all the cynical
voices saying that these years are hard
And a parent who dares face them won't come out unscarred
Yes, they say, it would be better just to skip 'em
And that to barely survive is our barest hope
"Teenagers," they groan,
"to Africa you should ship 'em"
Well, I look at them and smile and say "nope!"
I woudn't miss these years for all the riches on earth
You see, I love what you're becoming,
and I treasure each second's worth

Bethany, I just know you'll do awesome
You'll continue to grow and stretch and blossom
My lovely, precocious, green-eyed daughter
Being molded into a beautiful vessel by the great Potter
Who fashions this clay of us in His strong, gentle hands
amazing works of art fitted for His wise, loving plans

I believe you will sing yourself through these years
Loudly, joyfully, through your various careers
As volleyballer, student, friend, and theatre-arter
Growing in grace and beauty, and, may I say, way smarter
Than your average AIM-typing, "like" saying teenybop
When it comes to brains, girl, you come out on top
I love your attitude, how you strive for the best
And approach everything with determination and zest
Unafraid to reach for the heights
The bigger the stage
the brighter the lights
It's all the better for Bethany
For early to bed, early to rise
Makes Beth-beth healthy, wealthy and wise
There are so many things for you to lead and to organize
With your potential I think the limit's the skies

I love our morning drives
And our morning talks
And I can see you growing up
But I'm used to it - it no longer shocks
To think of my little girl
becoming a young lady
You're wonderful as you are
Growing up, and in many ways already
About as grown up as can be

You maintain a cool head
and that good Bethany focus
In the midst of the theater of day to day Middle school
Where all the world is indeed a stage
You keep your poise - you are no fool
You know that life can often be a drama
But the Author knows the ends from the beginning
And He's placed you on His A-team, and you're destined for winning
He's written a role just for you in His story
For He has created you specially for His glory
And though sometimes it seems the wait is long
To find your own place and to sing your own song
You will not have to wait for ever
No, God has made you both beautiful and clever
And though I don't know His plans, in this you can rest
I do know that they will be for the very best

And I believe that you will get your chance to fly
defying gravity, I believe you'll fly high
Never flying solo, for your Father will guide your way
And in Him you'll be flying free, in His strength, day by day
With the rush of His winds upholding your winging
With eyes wide, bright and voice happily singing
Changed for the better, for the best
Bethany,
In Him you are
Unlimited.

Happy Birthday!

I love you,

Dad
October 9, 2006