Happy Birthday, Stephanie

It is your birthday, dazzling daughter~

Really?  Is it possible that exactly 28 years ago today you were born?  That 28 years ago this morning I awoke to the certainty of my baby arriving on. this. day. even though you weren’t due for at least 5 weeks and the whole sha-bang had been started on a ridiculous carnival ride where I taunted the operator for it being too tame and he, in turn, decided to show me how rough it could be and our course was set?  Oh…I was young and stupid.  Can you imagine, Stephanie?  Can you forgive me from jolting you from the safe place too early?  I was only 22, naive, untested, and very ill-equipped in my mind – and yet, God was about to place the most fragile, tiny amazing head-full-of-hair, cutie-patootie ever in my arms.  He trusted me. With you!  I am still awed.

I want you to be remembered as the girls who sang their songs for Jesus Christ

Who were willing to lay down their lives, And do His will no matter what the price


We celebrated both Tara and Stephanie’s birthdays just a few days ago…a picture of Steph by Stormie

You’ll be singing for the deaf man who will hear about salvation through your song

You’ll be singing for the blind man who will see the light in you and come along.

So, here you came: this itty-bitty thing with underdeveloped lungs and not an nth of fat under your skin.  You arrived to a smashingly handsome and proud daddy and a big sister who’d just turned three and you were her utter delight and joy.  She took to that role like bees to my flowers and referred to you as “my baby,” when she told people about anything you’d done or happy she was.  During your extra-long 12-day stay in the hospital, we sewed and prepared and cushioned and made-ready.  I wanted everything to be perfect when you came home.  And even though they’d told me in the middle of the night, after you were born, to expect a 3-month stay in the hospital, 12 days later, we wrapped your 4 1/2 pound sweet self up and brought you to the charcoal-colored house on Armstrong Street in Kokomo.  We brought you home praising God, grateful that He heard our prayers.

“For this child I prayed and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him.”  1 Samuel 1, an amazing chapter!


And back when baby dedications were more personal, before the designated days of them, our home church allowed me the honor of singing to both you and Tara as we dedicated you to the Lord, His to use and live in and work through all the days of your lives.  And we stood there, young and naive and full of hope for our two little girls and this tiny, tiny little thing we called Stephanie May (May for the beautiful month in which you came), and I sang Evie’s song, Live for Jesus over you.

Live for Jesus, that’s what matters

And when other houses crumble, ours is strong.

Live for Jesus, that’s what matters

That they’ll see the light in you and come along.

And whether God honored my prophetic words over your tiny self that day, or whether I had just unknowingly tapped into His heart for you already, you became, along with your sister, such a songstress.  You started singing so early, I can hardly remember when or how.  You started singing as a baby and you sang your way right into the funny, delightful little girl you became.  You sang first thing in the morning and you sang while the rest of the household was going to sleep.  You sang silly and you sang well.

Well, I know you’re not the only girls who can sing His melody

But He’s chosen you to bless you

And to bring you into all that you can be

And you never self-promoted.  So when your song would go public, people were wowed (Remember high school?  His eye is on the Sparrow!?).  I can remember hearing you sing in your room and hitting those Mariah-highs and have heard you level those Kim Walker lows now and I have still never heard enough of your song. 

I laugh now because I can actually remember, when you were supposed to be taking a nap as a youngster telling you, “Stephanie, quit singing-go to sleep,” because you’d sing ’til the cows came home if we’d let you.  Well, I take that back.  Don’t quit.  Never stop singing, Stephanie.  You are dazzling and deep.  You are gifted and you are Miriam – singing the song of triumph.  Your voice was meant to proclaim: in your face, devil!  Your lungs were healed to give power to proclaim enemy defeat.  So sing, Miriam, sing!

And sweet Stephanie?

Live for Jesus, that’s what matters

And when other houses crumble yours is strong

Live for Jesus, that’s what matters

That they’ll see the light in you and come along!


The family legend is true. 

When you were 3 you’d fall asleep in the middle of singing a song and when you’d start to wake up, you’d pick that song up exactly in the place you’d left off.  You are full of song.  You are song.  And I love you.  Happy Birthday, Steph.

Love, Mom

SONG:  Live for Jesus was an Evie Tornquist song waaaaaay back in the day.  I adapted the actual lyrics for my purposes in singing it for the dedication in 1982.

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Stephanie

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Steph!! I am so blessed to share your name and your family! :) I hope you have the happiest of days!

  2. I have to stop reading these at works, I’m just a big bawl baby! I love you my little Stepher. You are blessed! I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished in your life!

  3. Happy Birthday to Stephanie. Your quiet strengths are manifested in your strong song and dance. God does not have to call out to you because you are always right by Him. I love you and am so proud of you.

  4. Happy late birthday, Steph! You are a wonderful big sister and I’m blessed by you daily. I agree with mom…sing, sing, sing! It pushes back the darkness. I love you!

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