Folks, our daughter walks. I use the term "walk" loosely, because she hasn't quite figured out how to effectively use her hips yet. It's more of an unsteady duck-footed march, endearingly hilarious to watch. There's simply no stopping her now. She's a tiny toddling bulldozer scooping up and trying to eat anything she can get her hands on.
Her vocabulary portfolio has also increased exponentially since I last wrote. In addition to her ever-increasing arsenal of animal sounds she says please, thank you, Pops (my dad), Papa (Emily's dad), Daddy, Mommy, sings Jesus Loves Me ("Yeth, eeth, mee!"), and a hundred other things I won't bore you by listing.
Speaking of speaking, Emily and I have been sobered and almost a little intimidated to see just how closely Nyra pays attention and copies us. As any parent can testify, it's amazing and uncanny how a tiny pair of eyes and ears can put us on our best behavior whenever they're around. Being a parent means being an example. Our girl is going to do what we do whether we like it or not. We're so thankful that Jesus, the Ultimate Example, is also Jesus the Graceful Enabler, because it's evident that in our own strength we couldn't teach her anything but two-faced selfishness. For that reason we're thankful that Jesus is our life and salvation and everlasting hope. Emily and I pray every day that Nyra will know Him as this from a young age, as we were blessed to do.
We're finding that as we're raising our child, God is raising us, His children. When Nyra looks me right in the eye and deliberately disobeys me, her earthly father, it's a tiny picture of my natural bent to do the same to my heavenly Father. But likewise, the time I enjoy snuggling with her while she drinks her milk before bed reminds me that I can call God "Daddy" and find rest in Him because of what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Thank You Jesus for making me a daddy. Thank you Jesus for giving me Your Daddy.