A week after New Year’s my husband and I celebrate our Birth-aversary: his birthday, our anniversary and then my birthday. During those three days my daughter posted the following on her Facebook page.

Happy birthday to my dad.
You taught me to use tools and stick with a project until it’s done. … and if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
You taught me to love travel and ‘stop in’ to see people when we’re traveling.
You taught me to identify plants, bugs and birds.
You helped mold me into a lifelong learner who isn’t afraid to ask questions or do research when I don’t know the answer.
You modeled reading the Bible, with your brown, leather Bible under a single light.
You helped me get the presentations right for science fairs, yet allowed me to do my own (usually shoddy) work when I thought I was too smart for your help.
You set boundaries that I hated with my best interest at heart.
You have helped us with countless construction projects. …and when I say ‘helped,’ I mean you did them because we couldn’t.

I’m thankful for the modern medicine that helped you regain much of your stamina this year. In your 30s, you didn’t think you would have your real teeth in your 40s or live through your 50s to see 60, but here you are, saying farewell to your 70s and knocking on 80’s door with all your teeth and wits!

Happy Anniversary to my parents.

For 47 years they have upheld their vows. I’m thankful for the example of commitment they have set for our family. They are promise keepers. Their marriage has morphed and changed. Some of the changes over the decades possibly threatened the fortitude of their vows.

They have remained committed through plenty of trials. Some of the difficulties have been theirs, some their children’s or grandchildren’s: Renovations that lasted years, legal woes, joblessness, broken cars and hearts, individual and family counseling, mental and physical illness, addictions and thousands of miles on the road, chasing bucket list items or hobbies.

When I was younger, I thought maybe my parents were just incredibly strong (stubborn). They ARE strong, but more than that, they both took their vows before God seriously. For better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. I won’t say, “they make it look easy” because marriage isn’t easy. They make it look real. It takes two people choosing every day to do what it takes to stay the course. I am thankful for the legacy of love they are still making.

Happy birthday to my mom.

If you have known me very long, you have heard me refer to my mom with deference and respect. Her advice, stories, and perspective are golden. I share them frequently. Our personalities are completely opposite. I often find myself wishing I could be more like her.

She listens first. Rarely overreacts. Reads voraciously. Serves consistently and quietly. Isn’t afraid to try new things. Thinks before she speaks. Forgives readily. Examines both sides of issues that often divide. Studies the Bible, praying for fresh eyes. Prays consistently. Travels to see family. Wakes early. Uses her resources wisely and generously. Sews warm blankets. She makes plans, but often just goes with the flow. She’s practical, but has a good sense of humor. She answers her phone all hours of the day and night. She remembers my family’s preferences and loves us well.

She’s great at math but terrible at punctuation. Love you, Mom. Thanks for being you.