This is my girlfriend (holding one very cool little dude).
Yes, I know she's super cute. I've been telling you that for years. Today is her birthday.
If you don't know, our family is pretty fond of her.
We have a blog tradition on birthdays of allowing the rest of the family to share what the birthday person means to them. I'm blessed that our family loves each other, really loves each other, so on days like this it's easy to share our love for each other. No love is easier for us to share about than the love we all have for my girlfriend. She's pretty awesome.
Here we go:
Bronwyn: "Happy birthday mom!! Thank you for always being so helpful and for praying for me. Like this week with my exam. You called me before and after and helped me stay calm. I love you and I wish I could be there with you today!! (and it has nothing to do with the pizza) I love you!"
Ansley: "My mom has taught me more about showing compassion to EVERYONE than ANYONE else I have ever known. She has also shown me, especially in these last couple of years, what kind of mom I want to be like if I have kids- a mom that is sweet and always smiling, but that is also tough and expects a lot of her kids. A mom that doesn't cry when you leave home because she knows God has a plan for your life- a plan bigger than any plan she or dad could ever dream of for you. And, most importantly, a mom that teaches you that God loves you more than she ever could. Thank you mom, for literally being THE BEST MOM in the world. Driz bid driad. Dridz bziadrz. (Happy Birthday in the voice of "m"), I love you and miss you soooo much!"
Garrett: "Mom is the best mom in the world. She is sweet, and nice, and pretty and she always helps me with everything i need. And she always encourages me! And I love her so much!!"
Carys: "She is so pretty so smart and she is the the best mother i could ever wish for!"
Anderson: "She is the best mom in the world. I wouldn't trade her for the White House or anything in the world or in the universe. She makes the best food in the world. Especially the lasagna! Happy Birthday!"
Giovanni (as translated by Carys): "I love her so much she plays with me and takes me to the swimming pool.Happy birthday mom."
Me: "My girlfriend is my girlfriend. We've been married for almost 25 years and I find myself sneaking peeks at her beauty just like I did when we were dating. She's the most beautiful person I know. She is so beautiful on the outside. Everyone can see that so that's kind of a "duh" statement but she is even more beautiful on the inside. I love her inside beauty as much as I love her physical beauty. This sounds like a broken record for me when I share what I feel about her but she has shown and demonstrated to me more about grace and love and peace than anyone I know. I've seen people mistreat my wife, she keeps on loving them and giving grace to them and living peacefully in the Spirit. I've wanted to choke them and she always just wanted to be Jesus to them. To choke them with the love of Jesus. Her example has changed my life in how I treat people. She's also the most amazing mom and wife that I've ever seen. Just amazing. I know, and anyone else who knew me before I met her knows this as well, that I am a better person, Christian man, because of my girlfriend. That's just fact. I'm a better dad because of my girlfriend's example and advice over the years. I'm blessed because I know that all of our kids have a mom they can say is their role model. We all know how hard it is to say that in this day and age. My girlfriend prays with our kids, reads Bible stories with our kids, counsels our kids and, almost as important, laughs with our kids, is goofy with our kids and tries new things with our kids. She also knows how to discipline in a Christ like way. It's rare these days to find someone who can blend all of that the way Jesus wants. My girlfriend does it. The Jesus light that you see coming out of our kids comes from my girlfriend and her example. She is a super, super cool mom. I really love that she not only listens to the Spirit but follows Him when He says to do something. Think in your head right now, how many women do you know with 4 kids that would leave a very comfortable life in the U.S. and move to another country, with a different language, to live (not visit but live) and tell people about Jesus because the Spirit told them to do it? And then be willing to die in that country if the Spirit asks and/or to stay until the Spirit sends them back to the U.S. or even to another country? My girlfriend did it/is doing it. How many women do you know in their 40's with 5 kids try to get pregnant with a 6th because the Spirit tells us that we are supposed to have one more even though, we know, some people think it's nuts? My girlfriend did it. She listens to the Spirit and then she acts. Fear, staying in her comfort zone, traditions, whatever don't rule her life.....the Spirit does. As a Christian man, I can't tell how attractive that is. And, as you all know, she's my girlfriend. I can't stand being away from her for even a day and I would love it if God blessed us with 50 more anniversaries together. We'd be old, no teeth, maybe in diapers, maybe not remembering much of anything but I would be willing to bet that when I look into her eyes I would remember my love for my girlfriend because that love is, literally, a part of me. God has burned everything about her into my heart!"
Happy Birthday Benay!