Seventeen doesn’t look the way it used to.
When I was seventeen I had a cartridge camera, and when you filled up a cartridge you had to send it away in the mail and wait a couple weeks for the developed photos to come back, and sometimes eleven of them were various shots of your thumb.
She takes photos with her phone. If she accidentally gets a close-up of her thumb, she can see it immediately and delete it in about one second. Or she can edit it with fabulous programs and make it look like a supermodel riding a zebra.
When I was seventeen I was learning to type on a manual typewriter. I was terrible at it and dreamed of being able to use correction tape or white out without getting busted by Doc Wolverton, my typing teacher.
She didn’t learn typing, she learned keyboarding. Mistakes are gone with a pinky punch to the backspace key. She is certified in Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, and Dreamweaver, and she actually knows what to do with all those icons in Word.
When I was seventeen I was awkward with thick glasses and goofy hair and gapped teeth and a mom-picked-it-out wardrobe.
She is the caboose kid, the last of four. She is creative, funny, and tender-hearted. She loves shoes and old people and has never outgrown Scooby Doo. I love the light of her smile.
I dream wild things for her, things she can’t begin to comprehend as she views life through the Teen Goggles of a seventeen-year old. I dream of the day when God awakens a fierceness in her and she realizes that she is much bolder than she previously believed. I dream of hearing her speak words of prophecy and His love to those who are hungry for a touch from the infinite. I dream of seeing her walk in the confidence of His anointing on her to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. I dream of the day when her eyes open and she realizes that she is called, she is anointed, and that the God who is crazy about her has a very specific assignment for her that will bring outrageous joy to her life. I hope it happens soon, because I don’t want her to waste a minute in becoming who she really is…because it’s gonna be so, so good. She is going to love it.
So happy birthday, Olivia Grace. You are a treasure and a delight, and you grow more beautiful with each passing year. I love you.