Mad for…Maddie

She’s the kind of girl who follows her heart, but takes her brains with her on the journey. She’s not afraid of being smart. Or faithful. Meet Maddie Beck. Today is her 15th birthday! In honor of this auspicious occasion, on this day, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my incredible niece.

Maddie is an utterly brilliant human. She’s just flat out brighter than most of the rest of us. We’ve known this since she was very small– all of us. Several years ago, one of my kiddos had some sort of project that required them to understand the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. He knew just what to do when he saw my “you mean they aren’t the same thing” face. He called his cousin Maddie who lives in Naperville, Illiois. She sent us a video explanation from her family room. I’m pretty sure she didn’t need Google. I once found a chemistry book on her bed as a much younger girl and quizzed her about it. Turns out, she was memorizing the periodic table for fun. She’s a prolific reader. She’s a badass keyboardist who loves the Rolling Stones. Maddie sings in the church choir, and she was BRILLIANT as Miss Hannigan in her school production of “Annie” last year.

Additionally, Maddie Beck makes me so incredibly proud to be her godmother. She’s caring and she’s kind. She’s got a beautiful laugh, and as a big sister to sweet Ellie, she is loyal, affectionate and warm-hearted. Her work ethic is outstanding, and in my opinion, she glorifies God by the way she lives her life.

Maddie’s been aided, for sure, by my incredible sister Robin (her mom) and her pretty swell Dad, Chris, along the way. She hit the genetic jackpot there. Ditto that “wow, she’s blessed” sentiment for all the folks at her grade school, All Saint’s, as well as her grandparents and extended family. STILL, there’s a light that shines in this young lady that comes from the Lord. Those folks at St. Francis High School truly have no idea what a gem they have in their midst yet…but they will.

So, birthday girl, today I wish you just the most fantastic day. I love you. Happy 15th! If I can leave you one sentiment this day and always let it be this quote from the great St. Augustine.

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

Please, never forget that. If you can manage it, all will be well. No matter what life deals you. I LOVE YOU, MADDIE!

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