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Bethany's fourteen year old poem:

Bethany is Fourteen

Bethany, my sweet daughter
You had a great
Middle school career
Culminating in a musical, dramatic adventure
That made us all stand up and cheer
Most definitely, absolutely, you were the best
(by far) ever, Wicked Witch of the West
In both your shows, our "black magic mama"
cast her theater magic on us
You sang, you acted, you left the others in the dust
you performed your heart out
You improvised your hat for crying out loud
We were so amazed, we were so proud
You were oh so wicked!
You completely stole the show
It was a perfect role
That we knew you would tackle
With relish, with great acting
and the wickedest cackle
You scared us good, and all the while I was rooting
for you
To defeat that girl from Kansas (and her little dog, too!)

Now you are fourteen
The pre-teen in you remains, but just in traces
You are starting out in high school
And you're almost finished with braces
Everything's bigger now, more intense
Each day it's off to the races
I'm sure sometimes you feel like you're just holding on
In a school the size of the Pentagon
But, in true Bethany fashion
you persevere
And, though you may not know it yet
To me it's quite clear
You will make it just fine
You won't just survive, you will thrive

You are beautiful, my beloved daughter
I am blessed and so proud of you
And I'm always impressed
by the ways you do what you do
but I'll bet sometimes you feel a little
overlooked, being in the middle
Of your older siblings
And your little brother Blake
But make no mistake
I think the world of you
And I'm so pleased with who you are
And I'm so amazed how you've come so far
You're growing up, true,
but so grown-up already
While so many people have their heads full of spaghetti
Not you, you're a thinker, and even when you're a dreamer
Your dreams come with strategy
In a good way, you're a schemer
You are independent, savvy,
Self-assured and so clever
Organized to the hilt
And determined, girl,
you never say "never"
You have a uniqueness about you
A fearlessness even,
There's only one Bethany, true
You are smart and pretty, and always willing to
Put all of you into all you do
You're not one to keep your flag hidden and furled
As you're finding your way in a bigger world

Of course, you're also "finding your way" as part of a
very focused, well thought-out plan
So let me give a shout-out
To you and Carmel, plotting out your route
"As the bell rings" (if you know what I mean)
You check each item off the list
The initial goal was just to get close
Then maybe a close brush
Then a smile and a "hi",
and then . . . BFFs!
Well, good things happen to those who try
You've made great progress - but no need to rush!
I suppose there's no harm in a celebrity crush
I know you'll keep your head on straight
Ditzy-headed teenagerism just isn't your fate

But it's not all fun and games
And sometimes high school can be
spill-your-lemonade-and-laugh-till-you-cry overwhelming
At times you are burdened with care
But God cares deeply for you and He walks with you
Through the halls of Cy Fair
So listen for His voice
above the noise of a thousand other voices
Calling "This way!" and "Over here!"
As you walk through your high school years
Every day, He's right at your side
And as His will for you and the world's ways collide
I pray it's in Him that you will abide
Through all the stages of your life,
counted in years, months and days
And each day is its own theater
Where life's drama continually plays
The things we strive for
Can burn in our hearts like fire
I encourage you, keep pushing for your heart's desire
But always remember to first delight yourself in the Lord
For He is where all desires begin and end
He is your loving Father, your Savior, your Friend

So don't hurry, love
Enjoy life
with all its reason and rhyme
It will all arrive in due time
And don't worry, love
Seek first the Kingdom
For you belong to the King
He will give you strength
and cover you in His wings
May you feel His touch
And hear His voice clearly
And enjoy year fourteen
For you are loved dearly!

I love you so much
Happy Birthday!

Dad
October 22, 2007