My eldest daughter was born with her mouth wide open.
And she hasn't shut it since.
But that's a good thing. It has truly been a gift from God.
She was born to act. That was clear very early on. While some college students, and might I say, some middle-aged fathers, are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives, she has never floundered in her ambitions.
But she doesn't just act because she loves it. She acts because she wants to bless the people she works with. John and I have had many of her adult co-actors tell us that there's something different about her. Parents of her peers who have been in community theater with her have told me that even when she is in a lead role, she never lords it over the others; never acts as if one role is more important than any other.
If she has a motto to live by, I think it might be that we are all important in God's eyes, and therefore, in hers. She is an encourager, one who brings hope to others.
She's been on the other side of the coin. She's had ensemble members treat her with disrespect because of her lead role. But she has persevered. She can't change someone else, but she can still treat them with love.
And you know what, she might not have been born with her eyes open, but she is inquisitive and a student of her environment. I have watched her interact with professionals in the theater field. She asks questions, she observes, and she takes notes. She is wise beyond her years.
So, Mariana, on your 15th birthday, I thank you that you are an encourager, at home, at school, and in theater. It is no surprise that you are spending your birthday week playing the lead role in Thoroughly Modern Millie. God has His hand on your life. And He is so pleased with you.