"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalm 127:3).

My birthday present came early the year I turned 25. The afternoon before my birthday, God gave me the gift of a new baby boy. Like all pregnancies that go past their due date, I worried about the new life inside me. However, when my son was finally born, there was no doubt he was healthy and strong. With a full head of red hair, a ruddy appearance, and weighing in at 9 pounds and 15 ounces, my bouncing baby boy looked like a tough outdoorsman as he greeted me with a smile.

Parenting this "easy keeper" was fun right from the start. My son slept, ate, and played exactly the way a mother would want. As he grew, he was ever the complacent child and never demanded or drew attention to himself. Humble in heart, he approached life with an inquisitive mind and sensitive spirit. As we homeschooled, my son was active, observant, and creative, and I knew his life was going to be different. John the Baptist was his biblical mentor, and like John, my son was happiest serving God while living in the great outdoors.

Twenty-five years later on my 50th birthday, my outdoorsy, archeologist son surprised me with another blessing. He bought me a new pair of durable hiking sandals, so I could accompany him on the mountain trail near his home. Crying, I read his words of love and the Bible verse he picked just for me: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth" (Isaiah 52:7)! Birthday surprises never cease! Praise God for His glorious gift of children!

Father, I lift my heart in praise to You for the wonderful blessings of children. Thank You for the privilege of being a parent and knowing the joys of a child's love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.