Home video Birthday Tribute to My Daughter

Birthday Tribute to My Daughter

by Kelly Crawford

If you don’t like sappy tributes and videos, you may want to move on to another post 😉  but I wanted to share a blessing in my life and “immortalize” the tribute in a blog post.

Bria is 16 today.


I loved her from the womb, despite the shame and fear I felt as a single mother. I remember driving everywhere without my seat belt because depression had numbed my desire to live.

But I loved her still, feeling hopeless that God would ever be able to “fix” this mess into which I was ushering her.

I named her “Bria” because it means “strong” and I felt certain strength would be a necessary part of her character.  She grew into her name very well.

The tiniest remnants of childhood are giving way to a woman…a remarkable woman.

I never imagined that she would be one of my greatest influences.  My own daughter, still very much learning and growing, nevertheless makes me want to be a better woman, a woman more fully devoted to pursing Christ, a woman striving to serve harder and love deeper.

She is more capable than I am, and yet more feminine.  It’s a blessed combination of personality–hardy and delicate, always at the appropriate times.

She dons her work boots, her jeans and scarf, and out she goes with a bucket.  She man-handles the cow, comes back with the goodness of warm, raw milk, and disappears, returning with her flowing skirt and hair tied up, ready to help where it is needed.  I would find out later that she had to repair the fence too.

She believes that life is not worth living without a hearty day’s work and some days she works circles around me.

“I think the downstairs living room needs painted.” One fleeting thought and she’s off to paint it–tape it, move the furniture, climb the ladder to trim, and back down again.  Her Daddy said she couldn’t do it in one night, but she did.

If the horses are out while Dad is away, she puts them up.  “Let me try, Bria”, I say, not sure how I’m going to fulfill the offer.  Her look says it all.  It’s not demeaning, but just a protective kind of “I’ve got it, Mom”, glance, full-well knowing she is better than me at that sort of thing.

(She knew from a very young age that her mother was broken.  She felt an innate need to protect me then.  And though my Father has done tremendous healing, she still tries.)

She gets things done.  In an amazing kind of way–one of the many things I love about her.  It’s just part of who she is.  I call her the “Tasmanian House Cleaner”.

Don’t pity her; she hates that.

She wants to be her siblings’ best friend, though we struggle just like any family who lives inside flesh-covered houses.  She takes them for walks,tries to interest them in the Greek period she’s studying, and usually resists tattling.

“Whose plates do I need to get?” I ask after church.  “Yours.  I’ve already got the kids’.”

She washes all our clothes.

She is still catching up to her womanhood, but she’s not far behind.

She loves walking in the woods, reading, nestled between hay, taking pictures, researching interesting subjects, playing music, watching movies, making things beautiful, planting vegetables, blogging, sewing.

She handles a gun with the same precision as her knitting needles.

There’s a beautiful dress hanging on the form in her room that she sewed.  I break out in hives if I have to sew anything beyond a hem.

When she was younger, she got upset because a boy flipped her pony tail; she thought her purity may have been compromised 😉

She prays for a husband that loves to work.  She prays for a husband that loves the Lord.  And contrary to critics’ assumptions, she prays for a husband that loves children–house fulls.

She cries.  She gets frustrated.  She wrestles with wrong attitudes.

(She just walked up modeling her new “invention”…a split skirt especially tailored for horse-back riding.  It’s actually really cool!)

She’s of the romantic variety…flowing things are her thing.

She is a sinner saved by grace, with the same struggles as anyone.  And at the same time, the Lord has seen fit to make her a vessel of grace poured out on my life and I am daily humbled by this gift.

She is my best friend and I am hers.

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Jen C March 3, 2010 - 12:53 am

You made me cry again!! 😀
What is that song? So very beautiful. She is a beautiful girl. what a blessing. My eldest son is nearly sixteen and I can’t believe how fast time has flown.


JasonS March 3, 2010 - 1:20 am

I have a feeling that you both are tremendously blessed to have each other.
Great post!

Mrs. Santos March 3, 2010 - 1:23 am

Beautiful! made me cry.

Kim M March 3, 2010 - 1:32 am

Oh my! Tears…. what an angel she is.

Jane March 3, 2010 - 7:49 am

OK, now you’ve made me cry! Beautiful!

dawn March 3, 2010 - 8:33 am

My, what a beautiful young lady!!! I thought watching the video at the beginning ” she looks just like her mama, Beautiful” then at the end I thought “she is even more beautiful! and what a remarkable young lady” Happy Birthday Bria.

Amy March 3, 2010 - 8:47 am

That was a lovely tribute. My son is 17 today. Wish they could meet. 🙂 His heart is set on pleasing the Lord too. Blessings on your day!

Amber March 3, 2010 - 8:49 am

That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Donna Hebert March 3, 2010 - 8:54 am

sniffles! This is such a beautiful tribute! You are very blessed and so is your daughter to have such a loving mommy. Happy birthday Bria!

Monica March 3, 2010 - 9:24 am

Hi Kelly,

I’m de-lurking just to tell you that that was a lovely post and a beautiful video – made me tear up a little. Blessings upon you and your family as you strive to walk and grow in the Lord.

Beth March 3, 2010 - 10:18 am

Kelly, Bria truly is a beautiful woman after God’s own heart. Thank you for sharing this, and for sharing her. She has been a tremendous blessing to Madalyn, and to all of us, by her testimony. I plan to go over and tell her so myself.
Praying for you all,

Alicia March 3, 2010 - 10:22 am

Happy birthday, Bria! What a beautiful tribute!

Amanda March 3, 2010 - 10:39 am

What a lovely post 🙂

EmSue March 3, 2010 - 10:42 am

How beautiful! I got a little teary in spite of myself. I don’t want time to fly by, but I look forward to seeing my daughter become a young woman like Bria.

Darby March 3, 2010 - 10:51 am

Happy Birthday Bria!

We love you! You have been a blessing to our family as well.

The Travers

Charity March 3, 2010 - 11:01 am

What a beautiful daughter you have, and from how you describe, both inside and out. Hope you have a special day celebrating her.

Diane March 3, 2010 - 11:17 am

“She is a sinner saved by grace, with the same struggles as anyone. And at the same time, the Lord has seen fit to make her a vessel of grace poured out on my life and I am daily humbled by this gift.”

What a beautiful girlie♥

Farrah March 3, 2010 - 11:26 am

I left something on my blog for you.

Candace March 3, 2010 - 11:30 am

Aw, Kelly, I loved every sappy word. Bria’s life is, to me, evidence of much prayer, teaching, and sacrifice. This is why I love your blog so much because you discuss things that spur me on to love and teach my own children and family–I just hope that my daughters are as lovely as Bria.

Anne March 3, 2010 - 12:20 pm

Thanks for the tears,Kelly! What a beautiful girl. My oldest just turned 16 and reminds me so much of your daughter. She is definitely more woman than girl-which is hard for me to let go of. These children are definitely blessings!

delilah March 3, 2010 - 12:41 pm

That was so sweet. I have been in your shoes, I had my first one out of wedlock and very young. It is amazing how God can take something wrong(the situation, not the child), and make it right. Hannah has been such a blessing to so many people and I know God has a plan for her life. Tell Bria Happy Birthday from the Fox Family.

greengardeninggirl March 3, 2010 - 12:59 pm

It is quite humbling to find our girls have passed us in grace and beauty at such a young age. I am embarrassed to tell my stories of what mattered to me at age 16! (Mostly myself!)

Bria- you are a blessing to your family and ours. We love you and thank God for bringing our perfect violin teacher into our lives!!!

Jill F. March 3, 2010 - 1:08 pm

Beautiful girl, beautiful tribute and amazing pro-life message. May God have all the glory of bringing together your wonderful family!

I am going off to hug my amazing 18 and 16 year old daughters (3rd and 4th children of our eight)…they grow up so fast!

Kelly L March 3, 2010 - 2:11 pm

So beautiful! I pray that this day and this year she will know the presence, grace and favor of our awesome Lord more than ever before! That she will hear Him more clearly, and that she will receive all God has for her, for now, and her future! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Christie March 3, 2010 - 3:44 pm

Loved the video – made me cry. My 3rd is 1 week old today! I’m holding him extra today.

Mrs. Lady Sofia March 3, 2010 - 4:42 pm


Wow! You have a very beautiful daughter (inside and outside), and it’s obvious that the Lord has blessed her with many incredible talents! I know that she must truly be a beautiful blessing to you and the rest of your family!

Thank you for sharing this lovely birthday tribute of your daughter with us. 🙂

~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

P.S. Just so you know, I enjoyed this “sappy post.” 🙂

Word Warrior March 3, 2010 - 5:45 pm

Thank you all for your well-wishes–they have blessed Bria and me!

“To God be the glory, great things He has done!”

Kristina March 3, 2010 - 5:53 pm

I can relate so closely to this post. I have a similar background, only my oldest daughter turned 21 today (the 3rd). I asked her to read this post because your words reflect my heart!


Jessica Pritchett March 3, 2010 - 8:47 pm

That was so sweet and truly told the truth about our sweet friend!!

We love you Bria

Your Hijacking Friend!!!

Anastasia March 3, 2010 - 9:33 pm

BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing, encouraging, and modeling Christ for us. Much love…your sister in Christ

Jennifer March 3, 2010 - 9:51 pm

This is simply stunning, Kelly. What an incredible young woman. I’m so sorry you struggled back then, but it seems beyond healed now 🙂 Just amazing; I’m older than Bria by nine years, but almost feel like I need to catch up with her.

Linda March 3, 2010 - 10:59 pm

Your tribute is a wonderful encouragement to me as a mother of 5 young daughters. I hope Bria has a wonderful birthday.

Do you mind me asking… I noticed a few areas your daughter is excelling which you said you yourself do not… how has she learned how to sew and do those things you can’t teach??

Ann March 3, 2010 - 11:00 pm

I was blessed. Thank you for sharing it. Hope she had a wonderful birthday!
Thank you for blogging and encouraging me to be the wife and momma Jesus wants me to be.

Word Warrior March 3, 2010 - 11:18 pm


Well, the sewing was in large part, self-taught. We do have many talented friends from whom she has gleaned as well.

Much of her interests are just inspired as so many of our friends display a multitude of gifts (see teachgoodthings.com) as well as aspiration to learn new things…the art of homemaking is taken quite seriously among those friends, so it’s a similar kind of peer influence, I think, as a girl might experience in any other surrounding.

Sarah March 4, 2010 - 7:14 am

Happy birthday, Bria.
I can’t believe that it is almost a year since you stayed with us. Hope you will travel again.
May the Lord bless you richly.

Elizabethsue March 4, 2010 - 7:24 am

Kelly, you are a wonderful mother.What a great post!
Happy Birthday Bria! May you continue to walk in the Grace of God.

Brandi March 4, 2010 - 7:58 pm

This was a beautiful tribute to a lovely daughter. Moved me to tears because it made me realize how fast my own daughter is growing up. Such precious girls!

Carmen March 4, 2010 - 11:45 pm

What a beautiful tribute! What a great role model she must be! Happy Birthday to your Bria!

Kim from Canada March 5, 2010 - 12:12 am

One of the few blogs my 10yo daughter is allowed to visit unsupervised is Bria’s site. She is a beautiful girl and very intelligent one, as well. Happy Birthday!

Jasmine March 5, 2010 - 2:10 pm

Happy belated birthday, Bria! What a beautiful tribute from your mother. =)

jen in AL March 6, 2010 - 8:58 am

Happy Birthday, Bria!!!!!! Such a blessing you are! Thank you Kelly for sharing this precious tribute! blessings, jen in al

Dana March 6, 2010 - 10:33 pm

“Wow” is the sentiment from both DH and I. 16 years old….where does the time go. Your tribute was absolutely beautiful. Bria is a truly Godly girl and a great role model for my daughters. Because of my age, I have also watched Bria’s mother transform into a beautiful Godly woman, wife and mother. I just happen to know that she had a lot responsiblity in the beautiful girl that Bria has become. Bria is awesome because she has an awesome role model. We truly love your family and are blessed to know each and every one of you. We also wish Bria a very happy belated 16th birthday.

Word Warrior March 7, 2010 - 3:05 pm


OK…now you’ve made me cry. What a kind thing to say.

Shelley Swindler March 9, 2010 - 12:32 am

Well, it took me a few minutes before I could post a comment. I had to stop the tears!!! That was such a beautiful tribute to your daughter!!! I don’t know which one of you is more blessed…you or her.
In HIS Mighty Grip~

M March 9, 2010 - 8:53 pm

Thanks for sharing! What a beautiful tribute! Your words gave me encouragement as it has been a very rough day for me. I was crying out to the Lord about feeling depressed and broken. I have been feeling inadequate to mother my 3 little girls. It is encouraging to know someone else felt similarly and yet God has brought healing and helped you raise such a wonderful daughter!

Gayle Vander Roest March 11, 2010 - 7:10 pm

You have a beautiful daughter! Thank you for sharing some of your story and your mother heart. How precious…it touched a deep place in my own heart.

claridadventura@yahoo.com June 11, 2010 - 11:23 am

that is to beautiful i love the song i have been trying to find a song to sing for my daughter on her 16th birthday that would be a good one can you give me the name of the song and who sings it. god bless you and you family

Word Warrior June 11, 2010 - 4:12 pm

Thanks! The song is “Find Your Wings”, by Mark Harris.

Jennifer June 11, 2010 - 5:06 pm

That’s so perfect for her 🙂 She already looks like a bright-eyed gold eagle or something.

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