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Molly's nine year old poem:

Molly is Nine

What a time it's been, dear,
leading up through your 9th year
And though it's difficult to place in a clumsy rhyme
The joy that is mine
as I think of wonderful Molly
I'll try anyway?

You are growing up, and growing deep
Growing in wisdom and stature
And yet you keep
That childhood innocence
That is your strength
May it stay with you for the length
Of your days

Nine years old now and I wonder how
How the time has passed
Yesterday you were just a baby
Now you are a young lady
Full of grace and truth
and blossoming youth
With a beauty that is
Both inside and out
An encouraging smile
And a sweet, tender heart
That knows just what to say
To brighten a dismal day

You are a great friend to your school girl cohorts
Ready to cheer them up when they're feeling out of sorts
And what a friend you are to your daddy
Oops - I guess I should say your "dad"
Ready with a card, handcrafted with skill
To let me know you think that I'm somewhat cool,
still
Or to give a gentle word that you're eager to share
To show that you care
And - I even remember, once or twice
Receiving wise counsel and good advice
from you, and I realize
That you have a wisdom beyond your years

Yours is an innocent heart and smiling eyes
There's an openness to you, there is no disguise
And a faith that flows in deep channels
Flowing with love
For your Savior who reigns above

And a mind that is quick
With questions - a thousand and one
Questions about life, about all that you
Need to be knowing, or questions about
where we're going,
Or about what's going on now
Or about what went on before
Or about whatever

So whether you're shooting a basketball
with grace and skill
Or playing the keyboard (which gives me a thrill)
Or running or playing or reading or praying
Or singing with sweet voice - could be a solo
in "Fun in the Son"
Or just humming songs around the house, sweet one
In whatever you do, Molly dear
you make my heart soar

And I'm glad that you still like it when I hold you
And spin you around - it's like I've told you
You'll always be my little girl
Even when you're grown up and out in the world
And when that time comes, I pray we've raised you right
And helped fill your heart with Jesus' light

So happy birthday, best wishes
and God's blessings on you
Without you I'm not sure what I would do
I praise God for you - for you brighten my days
With your goodness, gentleness, and virtuous ways

So have a wonderful ninth year, little dear
And may ninety nine more be granted
And throughout your life, may this truth be planted
Deep inside - to know that you are loved so dearly
And that we are so proud of you
May you understand that clearly, and that no matter what you do
Our love will remain, forever and ever
So strong for our Molly, who's so sweet and clever
And good and gentle and caring and true
Happy birthday dear Molly, we'll always love you

Love,

Daddy
July 14, 2000

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided
hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it
should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and
quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." - I Peter 3:3-4