Luke — Year Three

Happy birthday, big brother! For the first time ever, today I have a 3-year-old Lukie Bryant, and I am SO excited about the little man you are becoming! You couldn’t love your new little brother more, and you’re always looking out for him — alerting me immediately when he’s crying, sharing your toys with him, and rejoicing with him when he smiles, laughs, and reaches new milestones. I’m so proud of how you love him, and all of us! You’re so generous with your hugs, kisses, tickles, and “I love yous,” which make us all feel so special.

Over this last year, you’ve really shown your creative side through coloring, drawing, building, singing, dancing, and playing pretend. Your drawing is particularly impressive, as you began drawing spirals and silly faces months and months ago! And I love finding out who you are from hour to hour — are you Batman? Spider-man Monkey? Captain America Mouse? It’s always very serious business, with your costume just right, your fists ready, and your tough face in place as you set about looking for bad guys. We really appreciate the added security around here!

You have such a big personality, and I love that your big reactions leave no question about your opinions! Whether it’s splashing in mud puddles with delight, and then panicking when you’re suddenly covered in mud, or squealing over a dinner roll and then shoving your plate away when you find out you have to eat the “real” food first, you feel your feelings to the fullest. Whether you’re laughing or crying, you hold nothing back. You’ll even lie down in the middle of a trail in Yellowstone when you decide you’re “a sleepy boy.” You do you, Lukie; you do you!

Some other things you love: Reading! Oh the stacks and stacks of books you bring to me every day! You love animals (especially “mouses,” “mipmunks,” and ocelots). Every night, you giggle as Mommy or Daddy “burritos” you in your Mickey Mouse blankie, along with Blue Bear and Roary. Bananas and bread are still your favorite foods, along with all the candy, cakes, and ice cream. You love to play baseball, piano, Connect 4, hide and seek, cars, and all sorts of adventures with Bennett. You will make teams of toys and play in other worlds for hours.

Lukie, you are just such a joy, and you make me proud to be your mom every day. I love you so much. I can’t wait to see what Three has in store for us!

Love,
Mommy

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Luke’s Year Two Birthday Letter

Lukie Babe!

It’s your birthday already, Punkin Doodle! You sure have had a big year! You have grown so much — to size 3T, to be exact — and you are showing your personality more and more every day.

You LOVE animals, and you routinely dump out Bubba’s entire animal box onto the living room floor. You don’t exactly love cleaning them up later, though.

You LOVE to read every book you can find — especially The Big Hungry Bear — but you don’t really love it when people won’t read to you ABSOLUTELY RIGHT NOW!

You regularly sing and dance, and it’s never quite okay for the music to stop playing. It’s always, “Uh-oh! Mom! Mom! MAMAAAAA!”

Mama cuddles are your favorite, especially right after you wake up, but you usually don’t want cuddles from anyone else. (And that’s usually okay with me!)

The rest of your time is filled with drawing; coloring; building; going on bear hunts with Bubba; playing catch with Daddy; asking Mama if you can watch

Mickey, Owlegories, or Letter Factory; and discovering letters all around your world and telling people what they say. You are very busy and very focused, whatever it is you find to do!

Lukie Babe, you have brought such spirit and joy to our home in the last two years! You see the donkey in every horse, and respond with a resounding HEE-

HAW! Your cheeky smile lights up our world, your “mohs” charm us, and your “oh” in

place of “yes” delights us. You are stalwart in every way, and I’m so glad God made you that way. I can’t wait to see how He will continue to use you to point others to His goodness, grace, and joy. It’s a very great honor to be your mama. I love you so! Happy birthday, Punky!

Love,

Mommy

Luke — Year One Birthday Letter

Dear Luke,

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WHAT? There is no way that you’re turning one already! Weren’t you just born the other day? Yet here you are, Mr. ONEderful, Mr. Independent, Mr. I Have Ten Teeth and I’m Ready to Eat All the Food! Lukie Babe, I can’t believe that you’re so big, but it sure has been a fun year learning all about who you are and what delights you.

First of all, my heart swells watching you and your brother! You just adore him. Since you’re on the move now — so very close to walking! — chasing Bennett is probably your favorite thing besides eating blueberries. Sometimes he even makes you laugh so hard that you can barely breathe! I love how much you boys laugh and play together, and I pray that you’ll always be best friends.

1486671434999Speaking of laughing, you have the sweetest smile ever, and it’s made even sweeter when you decide to really turn up the cuteness by crinkling up your nose. I hope you never lose that squinchy-nosed smile, even once you figure out it’s my weakness.

Oh — and books! Oh my goodness, the Lord gave me another boy who devours books! I love that your eyes light up when I ask if you want to read books with Mama, and that you will read book after book after book with me. You’ll sometimes even just sit and “read” by yourself. Be still my heart!

But you’re no homebody, that’s for sure. You love to be outside, and you’re always just itching to get into the dirt and grass and discover the world. Sometimes you just look up and point out the window. I just know that as soon as you have the words, you’ll be asking me all day if you can just go play outside! And you can barely contain yourself watching Bennett play t-ball. You just point and lean toward the field like you’re ready to run the bases. Be still your daddy’s heart!

My jovial, cuddly, expressive, sweet, little punkin, I am so very thankful for this year with you. It has been so fun to watch your personality unfold. You bring so much light and joy to our home, and I am so excited to spend a lifetime watching you grow and seeing how you will bless others in the same way. I love you so much, and I am so thankful to be your mama.

Love,
Mommy

A Letter to My Belly Baby

I wrote this just two weeks before Luke was born, and it will be the first one in his scrapbook. Working on Bennett’s birthday letter reminded me that I never published Luke’s pre-birth-day letter!

My Luke Bryant,

Here I sit, mere days from finally getting to see your precious face, and I’m filled with hopeful expectation, both for that wonderful moment, and for all the moments the Lord has planned for you. I wonder who you’ll look like, what you’ll love, where you’ll find your joy. As I wonder and imagine the possibilities, my greatest prayer for you is that the ultimate answer for all these things in your life will be Jesus. Whether you have brown eyes or blue, light hair or dark, I want more than anything for people to see the Lord shining through your heart. Whether you love baseball or books, whether you take joy in music or mathematics, may you discover that our King holds the only true key to your heart’s desires. I am so excited to learn about you every day for the rest of my life, and I count it among my greatest privileges to show you how uniquely God created you — every little detail of who you are — to shine for His glory.

May you find Him and love Him and serve Him, so that you bring light to all who know you. That is what your name means. Luke means “light,” so I pray that you find THE Light and shine for Him. Bryant means “strong,” and so I pray that you learn what true strength is and from Whom it comes. He is your Light and your Strength. Look to Him in all things, and He will never forsake you.

As we learn and grow together through the years ahead, this will always be my prayer for you. Please forgive the ways I will fail you — because I know I will, every day — and remember instead what my heart’s desire is for you. Shine your light, and remember that Jesus will give you the strength to do it.

Love,
Mommy

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
-Matthew 5:14-16

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
-Joshua 1:9

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