What a year, ‘eh? But you know what??? Today we get to celebrate the amazing gift that you are to this family! You are so full of love and compassion that you light up a room with your smile and your heart. You are setting a beautiful example to your generation! You are a true Proverbs 31 woman for this specific time in history. You are strong, you are courageous, you are tender-hearted, you are frugal with investments and finances, you take such good care of your fur-babies, you work hard at your profession, you take great care of your hubby, and most of all, you love Jesus.
Daughter, this year I wish for you all of things that make you smile and want to skip and run in the wind with hair flowing behind. I pray that this year is fun filled with many adventures. I hope that you take the time to take care of yourself and read all of the books on your list, take all of the bubble bath soaks that you want, and be waited on like you deserve.
Happy Birthday Blessings, Lauren. I love you muchly (not a word but covers what is in my heart).
Father, wonderful Creator, You rejoiced over Lauren at the foundation of the world. You knitted her together in secret and I praise You because she is awesomely and wonderfully made. You have blessed me with a daughter who continually strives to do well for her family. Help her to stand firm in the faith all the days of her life, unwavering in her devotion to the truth. I thank You for the master plan that You had for her even before she was born. She is a beam of light shining in the darkness in this old stinky world. Amen.
…“I am the daughter of a King that is not moved by the world. For my God is with me and goes before me. I do not fear because I am His.”…
Happy 33 wonderful years on this planet, sweets! From the moment I found out I was carrying you; I was excited about you. And guess what, that has never changed! These days, I so appreciate the friendship that has bloomed between us. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be your Momma first, but also adding ‘My friend’ to the mix is really a blessing.
I do not like the way we have to celebrate you this year! I would love to drive down to Galveston and spoil you rotten for an entire weekend or more. But Covid-19 stopped that right in its tracks. So, this year we will do a family Zoom whilst you open your presents. It’s not perfect, but it is something!!! I think and hope that you will enjoy the contents of all of those boxes! We had fun selecting things that you would like and appreciate.
I did enjoy the time that you were able to telework from here for a bit. That blessed me so much! I had my two girls sequestered with me! And all those games of Mexican Train!!! How fun is that!! But then you had to go back to Texas and get things prepared for an odd-looking school year for all of the students and staff. I know that you can do whatever needs to be done and do it with excellence. God has gifted you much in so many avenues and being an Executive Assistant to the Superintendent is right up your ally. You are organized, intelligent, industrious, diplomatic while still being transparent and speaking your mind. You have a unique way to get people all charged up and on to greater things too. Such a leader!!
More than that, you have the mind of Christ and walk daily in His blessings. You show the way to Heaven by your godly life and living. I am so proud of you. You are what my generation calls, “Sold Out’ to Jesus. Unwavering. Never Compromising. Always Thankful and Grateful. And you know His Word like the back of your hand too!! Thank you for being a good student in that aspect. I know you’ve learned so much at college, Bible College, helping plant/grow churches, taking mission teams, and then going on mission trips that you orchestrated. I also know that He gives you new things and ideas all the time that you choose not to share, but rather hold in your heart until the right time.
So today I wish for your dreams to come true and for you to have a prosperous year. I pray for good solid friends to surround you, for people that you may give into their lives, and for people that will pour good godly things into yours as well. I also pray that you and your sister will be able to go and travel safely in the next year to all of the places that you want to!
Happy Birthday my sweet firstborn. Truly I love you more than life itself.
Lord, I pray for my first born. As you know, she is an amazing woman with so many facets. Holy Spirit I ask you to hold her tightly to you today and hug her extra for me too. I know that she is more than just my babygirl; she is the daughter of the Most High God. Bless her on top of the regular blessings, and let more blessings hunt her down and jump all over her… In Jesus’ mighty name.
Signed, Christine A muse of the Remnant.
…“Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who is brave, strong and emboldened because of who Christ is in her.”…
I believe with all of my heart that the best half of my life began the day my babies were born. I didn’t stop being myself but adding ‘Mom’, ‘Mother’ and ‘Mommy’ to my persona is a gift I wouldn’t change for anything. Trying to be the example you needed in the world and embracing you – my children as my greatest teachers is a role I will always treasure.
You love your family, friends, food and Jesus. You have never once hesitated to embrace anything that might make you a little ‘different’ from the kids – the people around you and I love it. Not only do you recognize differences in yourself as strengths and embrace them as qualities that make you unique, you feel the same about such qualities in others. That is special and important for everyone around you to know & to remember.
From the time you were a toddler, I could see the twinkle in your eyes; a sparkle that felt as if you believed anything was possible. I still see that sparkle in your eyes, I know you still believe you CAN if you try. I mean really, how many young women earn 2 master’s degrees by the age that you did? This is a gift I would like to see you hold on to … keep believing!!!
Years ago, today, this glorious bundle of goodness rocked my world. She had a full head of dark brown hair, warm melting eyes, and an adorable smile. In past years, she has exploded into a tornado of independence and opinions, wit and funny faces, curiosity and intelligence, practicality and heart, friendship and compassion, and too many beautiful emotions to understand. Like all young women, you are forging a path – one that is spiked with opinions and independence. I want you to remember that whoever you choose to be, whatever path you follow in life, it is yours. You are not me, your dad, your brother, your sister, your grandparents or your friends. While we will always be here as a sounding board, we will guide you and offer advice, we love that you are uniquely YOU. You have your own opinions, interests, and heart. Follow them.
”Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I believe it in my soul. There will be a zillion people in the world who have ‘more’ than you- whether its height (Ha!), talent or charm, a gift for mathematics or art, or just wealth – but only you can control your heart and hustle.
As you enter this new decade of your life, I know I won’t always be able to be there in person, but I will ALWAYS be on your team. I will not always have all the answers, we may not always agree, but I promise you can count on me to be standing at your shoulder, supporting you.
Thank you for holding my hand as we have navigated this mother-daughter journey together.
Thank you for allowing me grace when I make mistakes, for teaching me the true definition of patience, for guiding me through motherhood and being part of the heartbeat of our family.
You are a gift. You have my heart, always. Happy birthday dearest daughter…
This past week I made a homemade apple pie. I was going to pull out my new peeler/corer attachment to my KitchenAid®, but I chose to do it by hand and let some precious memories flow instead.
When I was a young girl I loved going over to Nana’s (my grandmother’s) house most times. There were the occasions that I hated it as well; like doing laundry with her on a Monday! She used an old-fashioned wringer washer. Those old beasts were brutal! Sometimes when I wasn’t paying close enough attention, my fingers would get into the rollers and feed my hand in up to my knuckles! At that point it would pop open, but by then I was already screaming at the top of lungs. It didn’t get me out of finishing though. I was scolded for not paying attention (she was correct), and then she would rub my hand and kiss it… then back to work girl! Later in the day she made us the most delectable ham and swiss sandwiches on Italian bread to be washed down with Pepsi-cola while we watched the afternoon feature film. But Monday mornings were all business! She was busy getting the clothes that were drying on the line outside or hung downstairs in the winter. She would take Grandpa’s shirts and slacks and slightly dampen them with a Pepsi bottle topped with a spigot sprinkler and then roll them up and put into the freezer until time to iron. I did learn to iron from her, and you know what; I love ironing to this day. Many think it is a terrible chore but to me it is freedom from stress and worry. Just pop on some good music and boogie on down while you iron away.
Around the holidays, Nana always made the apple pies. They were glorious and I always ate way too much dolloped with schlog (DreamWhip). A few times I was there for the preparation. It started with Grandpa peeling and coring and slicing up bowls and bowls of Macintosh apples, with 1 large sweet apple added per pie made. Now this was done meticulously under her watchful eye with lots of directions. He would look at Nana and say, “Sarah, do you want these done right or done fast?” I loved when he could peel an apple all in one strip! She would just smile at us cheering away.
In the meantime, she would be working on the pie crusts. I got snippets of directions, ‘Always use fresh Crisco and icy ice water; don’t touch the dough too much with your hands or it won’t be flaky, use the wooden spoon instead; chill the bottom crust before you fill it or bake it.’ These things are hard to find in a cookbook these days. Then she used the correct amount of sugar and cinnamon with a dash of salt and cloves in the huge spaghetti pot now holding ALL of those apple slices. The pot was not for cooking at this time. It was the only bowl/pot large enough to hold everything at one time. Oh, I forgot about the cornstarch; always add a few tablespoons to the big pot and then a sprinkle on each individual pie, along with a pat of butter cut up in tiny pieces and strewn about before crowning the heaping masterpiece with the top crust. Pinch the sides just so, then she would go over it with a fork making tine marks all around the perimeter. Slits cut into the top and then egg wash painted onto the top crust and they were ready for the oven! It was so hard to smell those pies and know I would not be tasting them today! Personally, I think Grandpa should get as much of the credit as Nana for the pies. But he never would take it.
Being a foodie and a baker, I can re-create her recipe in a snap. What I cannot recreate is the fun time I had learning from her and Grandpa. So, I created times with my children through the years baking and cooking and sewing (and laundry and ironing).
I also cannot recreate how my grandparents overcame things that life can throw at you so unkindly sometimes. They were of the Greatest Generation. They didn’t throw things away just because they were broken. They fixed things or made do with them and were still thankful no matter what. They taught us not to be wasteful of anything, and to give to the less fortunate. We all are learning or relearning these things in this time of being home for safety with this world wide COVID-19 flu pandemic. Both of them survived the Spanish flu of 1917-1918, WW1, StockMkt crash 1929, WW2, and on and on….
They were officers in the Volunteers of America for a long time, but didn’t actually accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour until they were well into their 60’s. So, I can make her/their pie AND I will get to see them again in Heaven one day. My heart is so happy!
This month is the anniversary of Nana’s birthday on the 15th and their Anniversary on the 7th. When they stepped into Heaven in 2002 and 2003, they had been married for 68 years. I know they are probably up there Square Dancing for their King of Kings.
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Dear Father, Thank you for giving me such great grandparents. They weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for me. I bless their memory. Help me to give what you have taught me to others freely and openly and transparently. They knew it was okay to be a mess sometimes, and that Love wins in the end. Thank you for that stability.
We had securely tucked all of the Snowmen regalia away for another season. We place them out after Himself packs up Christmas for the year. It is a way for me to extend the holidays I guess. My house feels almost nekkid when all of the festive decorations are put way. I like to keep the snowmen out until the end of March hoping for a good snowfall! It snowed only maybe once or twice this year, but in lieu of flurries and drifting we had a pandemic hit the world. A very sobering time. A time to dig down deep and muster up all of the Faith, Hope, Joy and Patience that one is able.
I found myself becoming a gloomy-gus, and that is not me at all. Himself and I were discussing what was happening around the world and we prayed for all of our families, friends and leaders. Then I remembered what always brought me peace and mentioned that I needed to memorize more scripture like I used to do in my younger days. We committed to memorize Psalm 91 in its entirety. I cannot even tell you how comforting that has been to us this past week or so. Then we heard Pastor J talk about that particular Psalm that next Sunday! Ms Chatty was watching online church too and thought that was a good idea, so we 3 were diving in. We didn’t care which version was being used either. Then I spoke with my sister CajunBelle and she and her hubby Ranger signed up to memorize as well!
We are all craving stability right now. The Word of God is the only stability that has never changed. It is the one thing that I have relied on since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour on a personal level when I was 18. He is true to His Word and even watches over it to perform it. And… He cares so much about all of us, down to protecting us and all that we have to do is ask.
Back to my snowmen, or lack thereof. My living and dining room were looking very sterile with everything put away. Then Himself, knowing me oh so well, brought out a huge red container from the garage. Our Easter decorations!!! Then next day I dusted off surfaces and cleaned where I could one-armed and then opened the box. I gently opened the smaller containers and placed our treasures around our home. These bring so much joy to me. I love Easter even more than Christmas, and I think we all know how much I love Christmas!
While setting up the resurrection set, it brought to my memory the Bible passages about all that my Jesus went through on what we term Holy Week. The ridicule, the pain, the torment the rejection from even his father that he endured for me (and everyone) is beyond my understanding, but I am eternally grateful to Him for his sacrifice so that I can live forever with Him in Heaven one day.
But the story did not stop at the Cross. The bible says that Jesus descended into Hell. Can you imagine???!! Satan really thought that he had Jesus… Then Jesus rightfully grabbed the keys of Death and Hell from him and then Rose Up From The Dead! He beat the foe.. for you and for me, and for everyone. He beat him forever. Now we have the opportunity to reap those rewards that He won for us. Like I said, I am forever grateful. I did nothing to deserve this immense love. But it was freely given to me. I just had to ask.
In the pictures below you will notice that I love to decorate with eggs. To me they are a symbol that my God is 3-in-1; The Father, Jesus, His son, and the Holy Spirit [the shell, the white and the yolk]. When I looked it up online it read: The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, the egg symbolized new life emerging from the eggshell. In the Orthodox tradition, eggs are painted red to symbolize the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.
I’m not certain of all of that, but I love color and I love eggs and I love Jesus! And seeing that I cannot have you over till this pandemic is over for coffee and a Danish to celebrate, I thought I would share some pictures with you. I hope that they bring some Hope and Joy into your day today.
Thank you, Father, for the gift of your son Jesus who, by agreeing to take on all of my sins and the world’s sins upon himself on the Cross at Calvary. He knew what He was up against and still chose to stand in for me because He loved me that much. I cannot fathom that depth of love, and I love deeply. Thank you that it didn’t stop at His death, but that He came up out of that Grave!! Glory!
Please help me to be more like Him, to emulate Him in what I do, how I speak and even think. You are a good good God.
31 years ago, Caleb Alan
made his entrance into our lives and Today we are celebrating that day and the
incredible man he has become. I am so grateful for the gift you are to
this family, and to the Lord who picked me to be your Mom!
You have grown into an
amazing man and husband and have always been a stellar son. You have been much
more than a source of pride and joy to me – you’ve been a source of infinite
inspiration. Your sense of humor has kept me going at times. It’s a little off…
just like mine. Except for those ‘daddy jokes,’ I want no responsibility for
those whatsoever! But you have brought so much laughter and joy into this
family. Thank you for that. And thank you for our mom/son lunches too. You have
no idea the joy that brings to me.
Thank you also for being
the best brother to your sisters. You are there for them and they know that
they can always count on you. That is really an important thing in this day and
age. I love when you all get together and just act silly. You all live so far
from each other now. Don’t ever let that closeness dwindle down.
Thank you also for being
the best husband for your precious bride Lauren. I can see your protectiveness
and love and commitment to her. I remember our first talk about her, and I knew
you were smitten! I am so thankful that she said ‘Yes!’ Now you’re old married
folks with a new car and a mortgage. Don’t ya love it though!
Caleb, this coming year is going to be your best so far. I know that can be a catchy phrase. But I know it in my knower. Amazing things will happen this year for you. Keep steady in your path and always lead with that ‘attitude of gratitude.’ (I just had to do one mommy-ism) ha I love you son. Happy Birthday!
Lord, Thank you for my son. Please remind him that he is empowered with power and courage to defeat every Goliath in his life. I love him, but I know that You love him even more. Lord I pray on his birthday and through this next year that he is gifted with divine wisdom to soar on the wings of success in all of his endeavors. Amen.
You may think I’ve only known you for a couple of years. But
I have known you since 1988 when I first found out I was carrying your husband
inside of me. This is how I prayed:
‘Dear Lord, I pray that my child’s spouse will sense your unconditional love for them and realize their need for You at a young age. Make them a person after Your own heart. Put people in their life who will share the good news of the Gospel with them and model for them what a life led by Christ looks like. Give them the desire to follow You and the courage to say yes to You all the days of their life. May their relationship with You grow stronger day-by-day. Help them to trust You wholeheartedly and to always put You first, even after marriage.
you for creating us with the capacity to love deeply. We know that
relationships begin with the feeling of love, but we know that relationships
only flourish by acting in love. You showed us the greatest act of love by
sending Jesus to die for our sins. I pray that my child’s spouse is
experiencing Your great love at this very moment. Help them to receive Your
redeeming love in a very personal way. Give them a heart that is full of love
and ready and willing to forgive the mistakes that will happen in their
marriage. Show them what it looks like for love to win. Amen.’
So, you see… You were birthed in my heart over 31 years ago. (Thank you for not giving me any stretch marks!) I cherish you, Lauren. I see such a loving stability in you, while at the same time a sensitive vulnerability. Your smile lights up a room and your energy and love for others is contagious and so beautiful!! I hope today you feel celebrated with lots of sweet words, well wishes and bunches of presents!!!
You are an amazingly talented
woman! Please don’t second guess yourself. You have a discernment that is long
sought after. That is the Holy Spirit talking to you. Listen closely to what He
says. Then speak it out with loving-kindness when needed or hold it tight if
that is what is called for.
I must say it has been fun
trying to figure out your food likes and dislikes. You have one adventurous
culinary palate! And wow… with the hot sauces!! Muy calienté! You like it even
more spicy that I could ever do. (I think you and Aimeé might be a match)
All this to say, Happy
Birthday Daughter. You are deeply loved.
Signed with Love,
Christine (aka Mom) (aka Friend) A muse of the remnant
p.s. Henceforth, when I write about you, you will be Mrs. TwinkleEyes. Your hubby is Mr. Rational. (go figure. haha)
Happy 32nd Birthday! First and foremost, thank you for making me a Mommy!
On this day, you burst into our little world as one of the most beautiful babies I had ever laid eyes on. You were perfect! A perfect blessing from God to us. I had been told for years by doctors that I would probably never conceive a child, and if I did, I would never carry it past the first trimester. I had a tipped uterus and had 2 rounds of radiation mixed in with some endometriosis against me. #ButThenJesus heard my prayers of wanting to be a mommy one day in the far future and made it possible. In fact, you were born 10 months after we got married! Yes, you were a little early too (36.5 weeks – all 3 of you were early birds) and you were perfect. A perfect tiny blessing. [08/08/1987 10:27am / 7lbs 3oz / 19.5 inches] Oh, here is a funny on that day… I am in the midst of pushing you out without medication (Not my plan, but you decided to make your entrance from first pain to delivery in less than 2.5 hours) your daddy, with his infinite sense of humor looks at me and says, “If you wait 12 months her birth date will be 8/8/88.” I don’t remember the look on my face, but the nurse told him to hush up and back away quickly. hahaha.
I’m just going to say it and let the cards fall where they may. You were the easiest of the 3 to raise as a child. A few blips once in college, but all in all definitely the easiest. You have always had what I term as the ‘Peter persona.’ When you did need correction, you were quick to repent, and it was heartfelt as well, just like Peter in the Bible. You had this intrinsic ability at an early age to rectify a bad attitude. I marveled at that Rachel. Grampa always said you were his little old soul, meaning you were wise beyond your age. And you know what, he was right! When you were a little girl, you enchanted me with your antics, but as a woman, I am stunned by your grace and love.
You are/were the best big sister, even if not always appreciated
by your younger siblings. They will never know all of the stuff that you circumvented
for them, and though I didn’t mention it – I saw it, mommas usually do. Now,
there were the times that you were the ringleader too… #DayFromHades. I will leave it there. Hahahha
I also watched as you were the best of friends to people, giving all of yourself, and it was taken advantage of on many occasions. No matter how you were treated, you showed yourself as a good friend to them. You truly emanated the love of Jesus. I wish I was more like you in that, daughter. God is redeeming those years and friends, hun. You have prayed for them and loved them through this life journey and some from high school and college and beyond you may never see again but know that your Heavenly Father is watching over them and bringing them into their best life too. The depth of your kindness and love, influences not only my life but the lives of everyone you meet. You are such a compassionate and caring person.
God has heard your prayers and is now bringing YOU into a new season. May your birthday mark the start of a wondrous year of new adventures for you. New home, new state, new climate, new people (a few old friends too!), new job position, new church and an old van. (hahahha, had to say it, but it has new shoes!)
Sweets, no matter your age, you can come to me with any worry, hope, or dream. I will always be there with a kind word and a warm hug… and coffee – lots and lots of coffee!!
With All My Love, Mom
Psalm 36:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
7 Your mercy is so precious, O God, that Adam’s descendants take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Lord, I ask you to bless my baby girl today. It’s her special day. Holy Spirit wrap her up in your wings of comfort and give her good rest today. Thank you for this precious bundle of blessings that you entrusted to me to raise. I tried my best. Thank you for filling in the cracks that I made along the way. Let this new year of life bring her all of the desires of her heart. I know that you go before her to make smooth the way, and you are also her rear guard of protection. Let her know today how much she is loved. She’s my firstborn lil darlin’. She deserves all of the good things that life has! And please remind her, ‘There’s no place like home’ when you need a respite.
This year for your 29th Birthday, Wait… what? 29 years old? Your last year of being 20-something?? Boy did those years whoosh by!!!!
Anyway, for your 29th Birthday I feel the need to give you a pep talk of sorts. I mean, this is your last year in your twenties! Maybe it’s more for me. I’m not sure. Batten down the hatches baby… here goes….
First and foremost, I am so very proud of the woman that you are. You are amazing. I don’t know if you know this or not, but I learn so much from watching how you style through life. You have this certain pizzazz that cannot be bottled. It’s just… You! And I don’t mean that just outwardly. It is intrinsic with you as well. You are amazing.
Your name means ‘dearly loved’ and that is exactly what you are. You are beautiful inside and out. Your smile brings overwhelming joy. Your sweetness melts hearts and gives hope. And your beauty lights this old world. And darlin’, this old world needs more smiles and light, and definitely hope. I am impressed with the gentleness and grace that you maneuver and conquer the area that you live in, and the field of service that God has called you into.
I have some other things that I wanted to make certain that I conveyed to you before you hit the big 3-OHhhh as well. Please bear with me on this…. I’m feeling a tad philosophical tonight. Better go grab some coffee or hot tea, hun. Might be a long night! (p.s. sorry about the love/need for coffee or tea that I so obviously passed on to you. It’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time, isn’t it?)
Always have dreams for yourself. When one dream comes true or changes, make another. Dream bigger. Work hard to make those dreams come true. If hard work is not enough, then fight for it. Stand up for what is right. The greatest things were not achieved by following the crowd but from leading one! Do what you believe is right and never falter to the pressures of other’s beliefs. Live your life with purpose and give purpose to your life. (How’s that for a mommy-ism?)
Laugh often. Cry when needed. Love much. (Your brother is probably rolling his eyes right now while reading that.) But in reality, laughter warms the heart; a good cry releases the pain, and love heals all.
I’ve already taught you to look at your shoes until you could control your emotions on your face. Always step back and pause to think before you speak, especially when emotionally charged, you will gain more respect with a well thought out opinion. Speak from your heart with loving directness; what you say may be forgotten but the way you make someone feel will remain for generations to come.
Never give your word if you can’t keep it. Breaking one’s trust is the hardest thing to rebuild. The Bible in Psalm 15:4 (CSB) ‘… but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his word whatever the cost.’
Lastly, you will always be my baby. Continue to take the world head on and be the strong, independent woman you were born to be, but at the same time never feel alone in this world. I will always be in your corner; you will always be my baby, and you will always have a home. And p.s. … Jesus loves you even more!
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)
6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Heavenly Father, I know that my daughter already knows all of these things, and I also know that a gentle reminder or ferocious accolade are timely too. Thank you for allowing me to be this precious woman’s momma. It has been such an adventure to this point, and knowing her, and You ~ the adventures will continue on and on and on. Please keep her safe with your protection. You promised in Your Word to go before her and to also be her rearguard. I am reminding You of Your Word. (Isaiah 43:26) I know that you love her even more dearly than I do, and I just do not know how that is even possible.