Happy Birthday, Mom

(A few thoughts about my dear mom on her birthday. Spoiler alert: there may be tears.)

[So I was born on a Thursday. From what I’m told, I was in church the following Sunday and since I’m a Salvation Army Officer’s kid, there’s a solid chance I was teaching a Sunday School class or reading the Scripture for the morning worship.

My parents are full-time ministers in the Salvation Army. Full-time and Salvation Army are a bit redundant, actually. The only way to do life in The Salvation Army is full-time. And they did it quite well if I may say with absolute bias.]



I just wanted to say Happy Birthday. Thanks for… well, my life. There’s so much more to thank you for, but the fact that you still love me after those first 9 months is pretty substantial.

Thanks for making ministry a family adventure. Whether we were Storming the Forts of Darkness on a Sunday morning or Building Forts of Blankets on Saturday, we were doing it together. Some days it was Boundless Salvation and others it seemed like Endless Frustration, but you taught us to find God in all of it and hang on tight.

Thanks for the piano lessons and the little cards you made in the piano bench for us to fill out after practicing every day. I may have lied a few times with those. Sorry…

Thanks for praying with us every night and at every meal. Thanks for the glares when we “forgot.” Thanks for not glaring when our friends were over and we really wanted to forget. Thanks for praying for our friends. Thanks for praying with our friends. I can’t say all of this without saying that it set a remarkable standard.

Thanks for teaching us to pray. Thanks for not leaving that job up to somebody else.

Thanks for your commitment to your own soul. Thanks for getting up early in the morning for prayer and devotions. Thanks for knowing I was watching you and for inviting me to come sit with you. Thanks for showing me how important it is to do that. It’s not as easy as you made it look. I honestly don’t know how you did it, but I’m trying to keep it going.

Thanks for putting us first. Not all the time and certainly not at the times that we wanted to be first, but for your openness and honesty about life and ministry and your faith in God through victory and defeat.

Thanks for showing us how to treat people. Thanks for showing us how to serve people. Thanks for teaching us that community is important. Thanks for teaching us how to build things.

Thanks for teaching us not to compromise what we believe. That’s a hard one to stick to in life.  It’s been easy where I thought it would be hard and it’s been really hard where I thought it would be easy.

Thanks for teaching me to do laundry, to iron my clothes and to cook. It really is too bad that only one of those really stuck.

Thanks for being there every time I needed you, even when I didn’t know that I needed you. Thanks for still being there when I need you.

Thanks for teaching us geology and science. Thanks for opening our eyes to the enormous creation that is the universe and for introducing us to it’s incredible Author.

Thanks for teaching us to give, to share, to love first, to create and to hang in there.

You’re a special sort of Mom and we’re all the better for it.

I love you and Dad and I’m grateful for everything you’ve given to us and given up for us. Happy Birthday, Mom.




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