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Happy Birthday, Jill!

By January 1, 2023Devotional

Our second daughter, Jill, was supposed to be born on or about December 18, 1977. But, as is the case with babies, she apparently didn’t get the memo and as it turns out, Jill was the first baby born in Hinsdale Hospital in Hinsdale, IL on January 1, 1978. Janet had gone into labor on New Year’s Eve and we spent the greatest part of the night waiting for Jill’s arrival.

The doctor allowed me in the delivery room and asked whether I wanted a son or another daughter. I replied that I had hoped for a daughter, Kristin, the first time and I would like another daughter for our second child. Lo and behold, as Jill was born, the doctor said that my prayer had been answered.

By the way, we didn’t know whether we were having sons or daughters with any of our three children and we didn’t feel the need to find out in advance what we would be blessed with. When Janet was about to deliver our third child several years later, I was once again asked what we wanted and I answered that whatever child we had would be great. Andrew became our one and only son. It has been a delight to have both daughters and a son.

As Jill grew older, the norms in our family changed. When I grew up, it was customary to take down Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day. But Jill would have none of that! New Year’s Day was about her and for all her life it has been that way. That’s why I titled tonight’s post “Happy Birthday, Jill” and not “Happy New Year.” In fact, Janet and I got to the point that we were always home by the stroke of midnight to usher in the New Year at home. And yes, last night at the stroke of midnight, we wished the family Happy New Year and then immediately called Jill to give her our heartiest birthday wishes.

In fact, I don’t see that ever changing. By now, it’s been ingrained as an annual ritual. And to be sure, it’s kind of nice to have a January 1st birthday in the family. By the way, my brother’s son, Spencer, is also a January 1st birthday. What’s the chance that we would have two in the same family!

The Bible spends much more time discussing sons than daughters, but daughters are a critical part of the lineage of Jesus. In fact, Tamar, Rahab and Ruth, mothers in the lineage of Jesus, were also daughters in their own right. And at a time when men and sons were counted, these three great women were worthy of mention in the genealogy of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew.

Although God will accomplish His goals by whatever means He sees fit, it is noteworthy that He chose daughters and mothers as critical figures in the history of His people. And there is no denying that Jill has played a critical role in our family since the day she was born.

The verse for tonight comes from the genealogy in Matthew, highlighting the important women mentioned there. Matthew tells us, in Matthew 1:3,5, “Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth…”

My encouragement this evening is that both sons and daughters are a gift from God. My prayer is that the mothers and daughters in your life bring you as much joy as Jill does. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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