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Molly's Graduation Poem:

Molly's Graduation Poem

Here you are
At a milestone that once seemed
so far away, so distant
when I penned the lines of your first poem
But here you are
Seemingly in an instant
Nearly eighteen years have gone by
Since I held precious baby Molly,
all brand new,
Standing and swaying by your crib
Softly humming lullabies to you
This day,
that then seemed so remote
When first I looked on your sweet face,
Has finally arrived and you have done it
by God's generous grace
And through great effort and diligence and dedication
Here you are
at your graduation
Wearing the laurels of well-earned success
Suma Cum Laude, among the best of the best

It's been a privilege
It's been my pleasure
Beyond what I can express
or measure
To be your dad
And, thankfully, your dad I will remain
Though roles change with the passing days
each link on life's golden chain
You will step into womanhood
in just a short time
Yet will always be my daughter,
with your beautiful balance of reason and rhyme
Intelligence and wit, a soul of lyric and song
And a heart for God, lovely and strong

Time moves on, as it always has,
and time brings change
Sailing us swiftly past familiar shores
Toward new lands, at times frightening and strange
Endings are difficult, beginnings sometimes more so
As familiar landscapes recede and our lives rearrange

Of all that has gone before
though we wish time would tarry, this much is true
You are not leaving it behind
So many memories you will always carry with you
Like beautiful roses, in your heart entwined
Even more so, and far more vibrantly and presently
Your spirit bears
The character that you now possess, which was built
through these years
You will carry forward the talents you have honed
With an intellect sharpened and a sure witness bold
A compassionate spirit and listening ear
And a heart bought by Jesus, more precious than gold

You have seen and experienced
times of trying, giants in the land
Mountains to conquer
small stones in your hand
And you have learned
once the strain and dust has cleared
and you have persevered
Behold, those times take on new glory,
a radiance, though easy to overlook
Once we've moved on and closed the book
Yet, when we ponder again those well-written pages
and see the faithfulness
of the One who commands the ages
We find the golden worth of it all
When the effort and tension is seen in the light of
the purpose, and in the golden glow of the call

So I offer to you
a father's prayer
and a blessing
To my beloved daughter
In who I am so well pleased

May your summer be golden
Full of fun and laughter
As each bright day passes
To a brighter one after
And when you move on to college
To your future's next stage
May where you are swiftly become a home
The same familiar book
just a different page

While there, may you be blessed with friendship
The comforting warmth of phileo's fire
Faithful companions, through thick and thin
The satisfaction of your heart's desire
Laughter and fun and deep conversation
Helping hands, loving smiles
encouragement's deep inspiration

May you find direction for a life's work
whatever work that may be
Responsive to the Lord's leading
Working for Him, not to man, most heartily
As His workmanship
created artistry to show his glory
A human mirror, to reflect His image
And for the willing hearer, to tell His story

Maturity and steadfastness,
traits already strong in you, may you nurture
To stand against the constantly changing stream
of style and belief and culture
And all the dancing visions of this world's oft-shouted dream
To have constancy, forsaking all else for the Pearl of great price
For your steadfastness always will be found in Christ

May comfort not reign as your highest value
Though it is tempting to pray for a life of ease
But it is in the deserts, and lonely mountainsides
that life gains sharp focus and complacency flees
Where, in a mystery, we set down roots and send up flowers
As patiently, and with open hands
we offer all to the God of love and power
Who is himself our peace
And our contentment
and our joy's sweet increase

May you have opportunity to pour yourself out
And then be filled to overflowing again
To love the unlovable, comfort the broken-hearted
Shine a light for your neighbor
in a world of dark sin
To have a life that is marked by gracious giving
For that is a life truly worth living
And it is a life you already live
A friend to the seeker
and to the one who doesn't believe
May you show them to the One who
alone their paradise lost may retrieve

May you be free from all the expectations
Of the shifting winds of fashion
May the steadfast beam of heaven
Lead your heart's bright passion
For God weaves the future, and is calling you forward
Into a time, unknown
and a place away from home
A landscape of high calling, further up, further in
But still home, in Him
and with Him, within

May your tears, even in sorrow, sparkle with the light of your joy
May your trials and testings build in you a firmer foundation
That the winds and the rains can never destroy
And through your shining, may others be led to salvation

May music flow from your fingers and life
For you are poised to play the song
that has been composing in you all along
You need not be nervous in any way
You know these notes, you've practiced them every day
Notes of faith, and of hope, and of love
Their melody playing on into the future
built upon bright measures past
the memories sounding still in sweet harmonies clear
Skillfully joined to the present, beautifully, year by year

May you be blessed in love
When love comes, in its season
As I believe it will
prepared as you are for this reason
One day to stand, for a moment
me misty eyed, you in beauty white
As I escort you
down an aisle, where awaits your knight
I will gently place your hands in those of your life's true love
a young man lost in your loveliness, enthralled in your light
And thus a new beginning together to begin
a new journey, new lands
New chapters to be written
now written with two hands

And even when alone, you are alone never
For Jesus is forever
And always with you
To grace you strength and peace for every trial
May you hold to this truth, all the while
For in a lifetime of change
He is the Constant
The firm foundation
The rock of Salvation
The light, undimmed, that burns ever
The loving Bridegroom, enthroned forever
Calling you to a faith to keep
a beautiful mind to nourish
and a soul-beauty to flourish
Like pure gold that does not tarnish
is His love for you
Continually purifying, calling out the dross
through the cleansing of the rugged cross
And He is faithful, ever faithful
A strong, gentle hand to guide you through
The Lord, steadfast, in perfect faithfulness
will never leave you nor forsake you
in this you can trust
And, less perfectly, but still enduringly,
Always you have your family's love
You will always have a home with us

Always

In many ways this life is a dance
That we interpret as we go
And go we must, there is no staying
Despite the temptation
for the future's delaying
So may you dance, joyously
with steps graceful and grace-filled
in time with the heavenly melody that's playing

For I've watched you dance all your life
And this I know well, your dance is beautiful

So congratulations to you, my sweetheart
My lovely one
My wonderfully talented
graciously gifted daughter
With the heart of gold

Happy Graduation!
I love you, and I'm so proud of you

Dad
6/5/2009