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Molly's sixteen year old poem:

Molly is Sixteen

How do I love you? I cannot tell all the ways
They are too many to count
For you are such a treasure
And blessed am I, beyond measure

You are becoming a young woman, and - this I know well -
You've come a long way from little Molly Wobets
(cute as can be, but what did she say? We could not tell)
You are thoughtful, introspective,
Mature and beautiful
Competent, talented, and collected
And, this is true, you are not the least bit awkward
I've seen you maneuver the year with grace and poise
A year with ample supply of angst and joys
A very good year, though one not without trials
But you've approached it all with determination and smiles
And, so that the past would be no mystery
You took about a gazillion photographs
You were a girl on a mission, recording history
Every smile, every tear, every laugh

And I'm reminded of the Lord's promise
about this life in Him
He promised that of boredom we should have no fear
Because this life would be abundant
And you have had an abundant year!

You've faced teachers and tests
Though they gave it their best
You came through, colors flying
There's just no denying
You're as smart as a whip
And a hard worker too
Learning the history of the ages
Was easy(-ish) for you
I saw you study your caboose off
Facts, dates, battles, nations swirled
I found that, after all, maybe it was possible
To learn the entire history of the world
Amazing, that.
This college-level material that you retained
You learned it all and dominated WHAP
and your run of straight A's remained

You learned to play bass (extremely well)
And you were in a great band
That from day one was special
And I know that God planned
This unique mix of people
All different, but unified
Though you had conflict at times
It can't be denied,
you had each other's back
With you was Taylor, your friend of friends
And, of course, your sparring partner Zach
John, the heartbeat, solid, steady and true
Nathan, different (and barely awake)
but look at the friendship that awakened between you
Then there was Riley, a thinker, a leader, full of introspection
You all led worship with joy and inspiration

You've launched a million AIM convos
Typed a trillion texts on your cell
Created five thousand mixes
(with creative titles as well)
You've blogged your life stories
Sung of God's glory
Been a PAL
And a BFF
You've done VBS
And been the best camp ref
We've ever seen
At Victory Camp you were the ref queen
A favorite of the teams, beloved by all
And not just for spirit points
What'd she say? *boink* "Boundary Ball?!"
But no one's perfect in every aspect
There are oddly written pages in everyone's book
Take your room, for instance (please - ha ha)
This year we've seen your room start to look
Like an archaeological site
With layers upon layers
Still to see the light
But I'm sure with some effort you'll get it clean
(And maybe it will stay that way for at least one night)

We had lots of great talks at El Gallo
At Papacitos had your big surprise
A good amount of mint chocolate chip ice cream too
Alias, chick flicks, and some good cries
And, speaking of crying,
Many, varied, drawn-out, and creative band goodbyes

You've screamed at a hundred little bugs
Almost got eaten by a spider
You've been attacked by dogs
Seen friends attacked by dogs
(what's next? Chased down the street by wild hogs?)
There are ten thousand dangers in this old world
Good grief! Dear Lord, protect this girl!

Did I mention photography?
Well, I did, but I'll mention it again
You've taken pictures, pictures, pictures!
Thousands and millions and trillions of them
Recording the memories of this great year
You have skill with the shutter and lens, that's clear
Capturing digital images like there's no tomorrow
And filling our hard drive with them, we'll have to beg and borrow
Just to get a new computer, or maybe a spare terabyte or two
To store every single image that means so much to you
I recall in particular, we saw a crisis unfold
When six hundred photos suddenly went *poof*
You were bereft, crying in grief unconsoled
While I stood there helpless, like a big goof
But through that I learned a few things
The least of which was how to restore pics on a card
I learned that things we think are lost,
things we think we can't replace,
Well, we're often wrong to lose hope, and I'll not soon forget
The look of absolute joy on your face
When we got them back, the whole set!

It's a joy to know that with God, nothing is irretrievable
He can bring light out of darkness
even when we think all hope is lost
He brings sweet resurrection to our hopes and dreams
That's what He does. He bore the cost
Of all our failings,
Both because He loves us and also for His glory
For, after all, each one of us live a part of His story
And your history is unfolding, from the past to the future
And what is emerging is a beautiful melody that's in His keep
A song of praise to God, not without it's sad movements
Because the best songs can often make us weep
But with a solid undercurrent of joy, even in the strife
God is composing that song, the song of your life
and it is a wonder and a joy to behold
and very beautiful

So I hope you enjoy the sixteenth stanza this year
May God keep you and hold you and protect you, my dear
When it comes to church, school, and band, here comes lots of "new"
But just follow Him and He will guide you into what you should do
And I believe you'll do great, of this I have no doubt
Because you know what really matters, what life's all about
It's about knowing Him and being His where so many others fall
Though you may not always feel it, it shows, you're living out the call
Happy birthday my sweet Molly
I'll take one last look back on year fifteen
I'm so proud of how you've done
Where you are and where you've been
Through a thousand awk . . . ward moments
That put you to the test, I
know this year was like a mountain
But look at you. . .

You climbed it. Te Telestai!

Happy Birthday!
I love you,

August 17, 2007 *

* Two months late . . . ummm, this is a little . . . awkward.