Happy 30th Birthday, Ryan!

It’s a red-letter year for you, Ryan!

Dear son-in-heart, holy man, my daughter’s forever-lover and husband, wholly-qualified daddy to my 9th grandbebe (and a bunch more of those, if you please), and an honoring son to me…

What a fruitful, blessed and rewarding year you are living! Good heavens, my boy – let’s take stock:


You became a daddy just before Christmas to a baby girl whose cuddles and laughs and coos and smiles are generously bestowed on all passers-by and her divine jabbering remind us that~

“God, brilliant Lord,

yours is a household name.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;

toddlers shout the songs

That drown out enemy talk,

and silence atheist babble.” Psalm 8.1-2 The Message

You have this happening in your household.  We’ve got us a little worshiper in Evangeline Lilly.

the faaland family march 2014

Could you ever believe you’d have such a lovely daughter? Way to go, Ryan! This baby is so sweet, so so so sweet and happy.  She is joyful, safe in her daddy’s household!


Then – you have this wife who loves you so much she prayed for God to give her three ways to party you up for your 30th birthday, one for each decade!  That is love and you are celebrated.

ry and dess

When I see my daughter’s clear, smiling eyes, I know she is well-loved and she is loving well.  Aren’t you the luckiest guy? You got Dessa!

“Tredessa is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. …” ~From Proverbs 31 (may or may not have been paraphrased by Dessa’s mom)



Plus you got ordained last Sunday, you and Dessa ~ recognized as church leadership!  God has seen and watched and smiled and He’s been making a place for you in His courts, a place to serve alongside Steve and Missy Crowder and serve the Family of God at Highway Community in Boulder.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.'” Zechariah 3.7

This is a good thing and you are up for it because of how you love people, how you support the lead pastor and his family and because of what God created you to do and to be.

1984 and 2014, both very good years

So grateful for the day of your birth and for all the days that led you to us, Ry.  And so thankful to see all God is doing in you and through you as you turn 30 years old, with so much life ahead!

I want to pray a blessing on you, but I want to tell you, first, my favorite Ryan memory from this past year.

I bet you think you know what it is.  But I bet you don’t know.

happy birthday, ryan

It was just an ordinary weekday, almost a year ago.  For some reason you were off work and came here during the day and you came and sat and talked to me about the hard things and decisions, and you, ever-so-gently, challenged me on some things – just the way God does.  The way He does it when He corrects, but you actually leave feeling better because you know He straightens you out because of His great love towards you, His zeal for your heart.  And you were asking me thoughtful, thought-provoking questions and you were so careful with my heart, so careful not to bring pain, and you listened to me (gave me the gift of time) – it just blew me away.

When you left, I was more aware than ever that you truly love us as your family, and you actually take the time to pray for us and think about us and check in on us. God has given me another son in you, Ryan.  I am so grateful.

That other thing…

See?  I bet you thought I was going to talk about how amazing you were in the birthing room, didn’t you?  And how can I talk about this past year without saying: yes!  You were an incredible labor coach and support and excited daddy at Eva’s birth.

My mom always talks about the way you danced with Tredessa at your wedding, how she saw your delight just surround your bride and she tells me, “I’ll never forget how he danced with her with such love.”


And while that wedding dance was joyous and romantic and beautiful and love-filled, it pales compared to the dance in the birthing room, as the time drew near and the labor intensified, to see you reach for Tredessa and say, “Let’s have a contraction,” as if you’d just asked her to dance.  And she’d lean in to you and the two of you would sway to music that had welcomed the Presence of God right into that room and Eva’s arrival was just a little closer each time.  It was a beautiful way to welcome your darling baby girl!


Very first daddy-daughter cuddle

Ok, I love both those things.  And everything about you.   Aren’t we the lucky ones to have you?

Blessed is Ryan, who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! Ryan’s descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in Ryan’s house; and his righteousness endures for ever. Light rises in the darkness for the Ryan and his household; for the Lord is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with Ryan for dealing generously and lending, who has conducted his affairs with justice. For the righteous men like Ryan Faaland will never be moved; they will be remembered for ever. Ryan is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady, he will not be afraid. Ryan has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever; and his life is exalted in honor. (Ps. 112:1-9, ever-so-slightly paraphrased by the m-i-l from the RSV)**

Now – In Jesus’ Name, I ask Him to bless you with the blessings He gave us in the Word, birthday-boy and mighty man of valor.  I ask the God who is delighted by you to be as full of joy over you as you were as a groom taking your young bride…and continue to be!  Trust God all your days, Ry, and walk in the integrity of godly royalty.  Just put aside what man thinks, don’t let people’s poor opinions ever weigh you down,  just obey the voice of God.

Ryan-it’s clearly evident you possess the character of a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord, so keep His gates and be a man of rest.  Be increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man!  Be strong and brave and valiant and God will see your works and hear your prayers and answer you in the day of trouble.

This is the blessing promised to a man who respects the LORD:

“You will enjoy what you work for and you will be blessed with good things. Your wife will give you many children, like a vine that produces much fruit. Your children will bring you much good, like olive branches that produce many olives.” Psalm 128

So enjoy – find great joy in the things you have worked for and joy in your family.  Again I’ll tell you, channeling my inner Paul the Apostle: Joy! Rejoice!  Be joyful!

You have my love and great respect.  Happy Birthday celebration!  With love from the {m-I-l}! 

**NOTE: This is the traditional Sabbath even blessing a wife speaks over her husband.   Just in case, Dessa.  :)


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