….Only Seventeen

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives to be released, that the blind see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19

A few days ago, I was thinking about writing this birthday blog. This scripture immediately came to me. I knew it was a prophetic word over Anna’s life. I knew it wasn’t just something that she will one day enter into, but something she was already living and experiencing. She’s always been the champion for the underdog. She’s always been an advocate for the marginalized. And, what I see happening more and more now is how often she has a timely word of wisdom for the people in her life, including myself. I cannot begin to unpack in this 17th birthday blog how incredibly blown away I am by her sensitivity to the Spirit and the wisdom and understanding that just flows out of her. 

I also cannot begin to unpack in this one post how immensely proud of her I am and how much I love every single thing about her. But, I am going to try…..

My Anna Banana is 17 years old today. I don’t know why that seems so much older than 16, but it does. I’m also hit with the very difficult reality that her days are numbered living under our roof. AND, I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO DABBLE IN THAT REALITY AND THOSE EMOTIONS. Not today. And, I’m not sure how I will do it then. But, I’m sure she will have some sort of perfectly timed words to get me through it. I will need those words and your words and wine and Jesus, Amen. 

Anna Marie Takle, good Lord, I love you. I’m so proud of the confidence that you walk in. I’m proud of the friend that you are. I’m proud of the daughter and sister that you are. You are my very best friend, and spending time with you is my absolute favorite. 

I love how you are so very self-aware and see what needs work but also see where you’ve grown. 

I love how you have internalized the quote “The more you love your decisions, the less you need other people to.” You are walking boldly in what you feel in your spirit is best for you without fear of what other people think and without the pressure to mold into something someone else wants you to be or do.

I love how you handle disappointment. You don’t allow things that don’t turn out the way you hoped turn into something big. You roll with every punch….very much like your dad. 

I love your optimism and relentless hope that there is always something great around the corner. You get this from your dad, too. 

I love how freaking hilarious you are. You get this from me. Obviously. And, your Ga-Ga. No one laughed more in quarantine that we did. And, you have the videos to prove it. Do NOT show those to people! (I know you do.)

I love all of your accents. They are hilarious and brilliant. But, Jeff, from the Australian Outback, will always dear to my heart. 

I love how my friends ARE your friends. I love that you know them just about as well as I do. I love how you will show up at their house without me and make yourself right home. We’re going to pretend they love it, too. (They probably do.)

I love how you mother everyone in our house. Especially your brothers. (They probably don’t love this.) 

I love how proud you are of John Henry and how you never go to bed without telling hm goodnight. 

I love how you look at pictures and videos of Jett and say, “God, I love that kid.”

I love how excited you get over really good food. 

I love how you will tell me every single detail of your future life. (P.S. It’s going to be more incredible that you can imagine right now.) 

I love that you convinced me to get a golden retriever. 

I love your love for travel.

I love how you love Billy Joel. 

I love how you love color and patterns and antiques and very old, traditional styles. 

I love listening to you talk about what a classical piano piece means to you. 

I love how you love having fun with your Ga-Ga. 

I love how you treasure your Nan.

I love how you believe that your Farmor can create anything, and I love how you love talking about life with your Far-Far. You fully embrace your Swedish and Norwegian, and it’s just so wonderful.

I love how you light up with when your dad comes home. I love how you two love spontaneous and fly by the seat of your pants travel. (You did NOT get that from me.)

I love how well you love me.

I love how you have loved being 16 so much that you didn’t think you were ready to leave it. But, you are now. You’re here for it. Like you’re always here for everything life has for you. 

Anna, you are so very thoughtful. You are such a thoughtful gift-giver. You are absolutely killing it in school and working so hard. You have already achieved so much in your 17 years, and we are all blown away by you. But, what I’m proud of most is WHO you are. You are intuitive and kind and wise and FUN. SO MUCH FUN. Don’t lose that fun part. Because, life is everything with it. And, don’t lose how you talk to Jesus everyday. Life is definitely everything with Him in it. 

This is going to be your best year. The time of the Lord’s favor has come.

I hope this birthday is one of your most special ones. I hope you know how much I love you. I hope you never stop being you. 

I love you, Anna Takle. You give my life all of its color, and I’m so thankful. 

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen!

Happy Birthday!



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