Six weeks before a rather significant birthday, I sent an email out to friends around the world that have worked with C in mission. There are great men of faith he’s been mentored by, and young men of vision he has invested in! Over the course of the next few weeks, messages poured in from the furthermost corners of the globe from people whose lives have crossed paths with his. As I secretly compiled the video messages and worked to piece together chapters of his life to gift him on his birthday, I was struck by a recurring theme that came through clearly message after message….
C has impacted lives for eternity through modeling a life of unwavering faith!
Our 9 year old Evie, (meloncholy-like-her-momma) actually cried when she watched the video.
“Happy tears momma“, she said. “I just cant believe that there are all these people all over the world who love God more because of daddy!”
And this is precisely the point.
His aim has not been to acquire the praise of men, material gain, or even stability, but always, to glorify the Lord and to make Him known! And in that, I believe, this amazing man has been hugely successful!
The kids see daddy leave. For weeks at a time they dont get bear-hugs and tickle-monster. They’ve had birthday calls from dad instead of birthday dates with dad more times than I can count. He’s had to miss performances and ball games and awards ceremonies.
They miss him.
Yet there are tears at times.
But this ‘wise-beyond-her-years’ glimpse from daughter of why, and the wisdom to discern the gravity of daddy’s impact and influence leaves me humbled. God is doing a deep work in their childlike hearts as well and giving them an eternal perspective of what really matters! They are proud of their daddy, and so am I!
There are a great many other things he does well that deserve accolades….
….I frequently acquiesce the kitchen to the preferred parent when it comes to dinner time. The kids love it when daddy cooks! Homemade pizzas and grilled fajitas and french onion soup are signature favorites!
…he is handy-man extraordinaire! There is precious little that he cant fix or rig or improve on his own. He’s currently out of town for two weeks and Ive already had to call a locksmith and a repair man and a plumber. Issues that would be resolved unbeknownst to me if my handyman-hubby were in town!
…he views father and husband as a high-calling. Its rare that he gets a guys-night-out because he chooses to be present in the lives of our kids. He makes family time a priority and still dates me and pursues my heart. Instead of golfing on Saturdays, he gets up and fixes made-to-order omelettes (can you tell my love language is food?).
…he leads spiritually by example and has imparted to our kids the importance of quiet time daily with the Lord.
…he is generous! Even as our own faith is stretched at times provide for our family of 9 while living on support, C’s heart remains sensitive to the needs around him and he responds with generosity to the ever pressing matters that are brought to his attention. Im constantly humbled by the way he seeks to be stewarding hands through which the Lord can bless others.
May the next 40 years ahead be even more fruitful and may the Lord continue to be glorified through his life and sacrifice and service. So grateful to be partnered in life with this man who lives with integrity and intentionality!
(its long, but for those who participated and care to see,
here is the 40th birthday video montage)
They say “blink and you’ll miss it”
But really tho….Ive got to stop with the blinking!!
Just like that, our little man-cub turned one and an entire, beautiful year has sped by in the blink of an eye! But savor it we have!!
Here’s a little fast-forward through our year. A time lapse documenting just how fast it goes. From those early swaddled bambino, sleep-round-the-clock days, to the little monkey who can nearly climb out of his crib now, we have treasured each and every moment!
My little man-cub turns ONE today and this momma-bear couldn’t love you more!!
I have relished every second of your babyhood.Sure, there have been mommy-moments of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and frustratingly unproductive and hormonal, but when you have watched how fleeting the baby stage is already six times over, you know that the challenges of a newborn are only a season and you are keenly aware of how fast it goes and reminded savor every milestone and memory!
Eden, you are everything your name means.Our pleasant, delightful, perfect giftfrom God completing our family.You could not be more adored by every one of your older siblings.Oh the things we dote on!Every stage and new accomplishment is met with such praise and adoration.You have the complete attention and affection of everyone in this family!
You started walking 2 weeks before your first birthday and now have 4 teeth that finally came in!You’ve kept your ginger hair which still, a year later makes me laugh.Our little “lucky” surprise, born on St. Patricks day, with the strawberry top that I always wanted one of my babies to have but never thought would!
You’re the best snuggler and we’re lucky that you love your rest and understand that Saturday mornings are meant for sleeping in.You typically wake and come to our bed and fall back asleep. When you finally stir from your slumber mid-morning, you’re like a little bear cub coming out of hibernation.You growl and groan for a good minute or two before you actually open your eyes.
You’ve not developed much of an appetite for food other than mommy’s milk, except for passion fruit smoothies which you love to slurp through a straw! You’ve got chipmunk cheeks and can literally hold food in them for hours without chewing or swallowing. No matter tho…your hight is average but weight is in the 70th percentile. Apparently mommy produces buttermilk!
Your tricks include “so big”, signing “more” when you want more smoothie or cheerios, walking like a champ, kicking a soccer ball (thanks to your expert brother coaching you), saying “dada”, waving “bye-bye” and giving big, wet, juicy, open-mouth kisses.
For being as tolerant as you are with our big, crazy family and siblings incessantly picking you up and dragging you around, its funny to me that you’re such an introvert around other babies.We host church at our house on Sundays.You typically grab a lego or car of your own and climb up a sisters leg until they pick you up and hold you.Then you just sit on their lap for the majority of the service warily eyeing the other babies crawling around playing with your things.
Blocks are your favorite toys, but much to my chagrin, you’ve also already figured out how to get a response from Siri on my iPhone and you’re so pleased when she talks back to you!You’re also intrigued by the mosquito zapper and its a constant battle to keep you from playing with it.You watch daddy wave it around every night clearing our room of the little pests and you think its a cool toy he’s holding out on you!
Bathtime remains your favorite time of day and our go-to solution just before bed when you’re getting cranky and tired.Abi and Britain love to bathe you and we laugh at your little suntan lines and white creases from the chub rolls on your wrists and elbows! Oh those dimples and wrinkles! The cutest! “Pat-the-bunny” is part of your bedtime routine. You love books.
This year has been one of great joy Eden Carey! Our hearts have expanded to love another and we acknowledge the good gift God has given to our family through YOU! Happy first birthday sweet Baby Mine!