Happy Birthday to Dessy

June 13, 1983 was this amazing day…

So, this may be the latest I have ever been in posting a birthday blog, but the added days have only made me ever more grateful for you, the day you were born and all the days since…

dessa at tea

I know, I know – I am always reminiscing about the days you kiddos were born and how those sacred, over-the-top-amazing moments changed my life forever. Maybe I see them through rose-colored glasses, but your arrivals were, to me, so monumental, so divinely, lightening-bolt powerful. Well, I mean they were like day six in the garden of Eden, the day God made man in His image. That’s a pretty big deal, I’d say.

And you own June, Tre-Tre. You own June days and purple irises and rose bushes in full bloom. You are the sound of cheering at church ball games and yellow layettes and a handmade diaper bag in dotted-swiss, Easter green, embroidered by Grandma with love. You are a hot summer and a headful of black hair with big, lacy barrettes that had plenty to hang on to. You are the baby girl who arrived to two of the sweetest, giggliest big sisters who mentioned you in their nightly prayers, calling you Twe-dessa-Christina (even though it should have been Tredessa Christine).

Dessa studio 818

You were born in to love, a mommy and daddy who were still newlyweds, madly in love with each other and church life and our three little girls and afternoons splashing in the backyard wading pool while the radio played, “Never gonna let you go...”

You just slipped in unobtrusively and cuddled into a little corner of our lives and hearts and then we were 5, our little tribe.  And 1983 is so special in my heart for your arrival. And June became a month I revere and romanticize for your birth. And you, my little mystery, were heaven-sent, without a doubt.

dessa and ryan

Happy Birthday to Tredessa Christine, my 3rd baby and the centerpiece of the little Rhoades familia.

Hey, Dessy-Pooh, you are an extraordinary woman, you are! I am still thanking God He sent you to us, He formed you and fashioned you in very interesting and distinct ways. You possess such strength, such deep-rooted fortitude, I’d put money on you over a tornado any day. Best of luck to the winds and waves that try to defy you, one who so deeply understands her place in God’s heart. They’d just as soon die down and whimper away than try to quench the fiery wall that is Dessa. Seriously.

Dessa and Eva right after birth

Intrigue and espionage, power and war

You, my sweet (hasn’t the whole family always known?), could run America with your brain and mighty valorous heart, the wisdom of God and your anointed insight! The FBI or the CIA would be in good hands with you at the helm, if you decided against a bid for the White House, that is. :)  I leave nothing outside the realm of possibility, for you, an Esther, a Rebekah, a Deborah, for sure – you are a viable leadership option for the healing of this nation in the hands of God. I for sure BELIVE that! Now if you can somehow miraculously do it without becoming a politician…

But that is the thing. You could and you will do amazing things in your life (because you have already started and accomplished so much), but your strength is that you are willing and always content to wait on God’s timing in your life, for your life.  So few of us have mastered that or want to. The vision that speaks of the end (Habakkuk 2.3): Give it to me now, we demand. But not you, Dessy, you wait with a twinkle in your eye, a knowing in your heart, a calm spirit and determination in your step.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Hab. 2.2-3

And you have a wisdom beyond your years and haven’t you used it to challenge my imprisonments, to bring enlightenment and yes, even some correction to your ol’ momma? You have. I will answer that for you, you little booger.  ;)  And I take it from you.

But what else could I do from a daughter who has repeatedly, intentionally received the counsel of her mom and chosen to accept all God had for her through even me for her own life? I love that you know we were paired by God on purpose and that you have searched for the treasure in it, even when it has been hard to find at times! I appreciate you giving me credit for many of your wonderful attributes even though I know you far surpass me in most everything you put your hand to…perhaps just – everything!

I love that you still look for the things you can learn from me and call for baby advice when, like your sisters, you are a completely incredible mommy, so much smarter and better equipped at it than  I ever was, but still, you ask me, “What did you do when...” and “How did you handle..?” And the years roll back – back – back and I am in 1983 again and just so grateful to God for the blessing of you that June day you were presented to me from Creator and for the blessing of you now.

Dessa and Stormie

So, let me speak this blessing and prayer over you as we celebrate the day you came and the life you are leading, woman of God, devoted daughter, admirable human being:

God make you righteous and strong and able. May your Creator deal with you as He does with the Daughter of Zion in His Word. His patience and loving care for His people is sure and He considers it an affront to Himself when the enemy threatens His royal offspring. And so I remind Him daily to guard and protect you the same way.

May God bless you and watch over you and keep you.

I pray that not only will He see you and notice you and hear you, but that you will know He does. I pray that not only will He hear your prayers and hear your heart’s cry and answer you in days of trouble, but that you will never forget to call out to Him.

You are quiet and not given to voicing every little thing, but at the faintest whisper from your lips, I pray God is watching and will attend to you, as He promised. May He bless you, spirit, soul, body, in fruitfulness, mothering, love and marriage, may He bless you.

I pray that you will prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. I bless you on the occasion of the celebration of your birth and life with the blessing of God and His watchfulness over you.

May God shine His face toward you and show you favor and great grace.

I know your light and life make God smile. They make me smile. So, I pray that the warmth and power of His outrageous love for you and Ryan and Evangeline and all the little Faalands-to-come will just radiate like fire in you, through you, around you and for you.

Write words that will change everything, Dess. Soak in the Word of God for all you’re worth and love it and live it and stand on it for your home and marriage and life and mommying and calling and walk worthy because you are {in Him}. Bring order to chaos,  spread numbers on sheets and make accounts whole and holy (those things you do so very well) . Speak out what God tells you because your words bring life to the lifeless, hope to the hopeless, and courage for the battle.

May God be favorably disposed towards you, and may He grant you peace.

I pray God just face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball gives you His absolute approval and you have the courage and grace to just receive it and soak it in. So that all those dreams you and Ryan have –  dreaming of ways you can support the things of the Kingdom, all the plans and aspirations that are bubbling up in both of you to change the world and make a place for the Presence – may you be courageous and bold and strong and take hold of them.

{Remember the little girl whose favorite worship song for many years was “Be bold, be strong, for the Lord thy God is with you! I am not afraid, I am not dismayed, for I’m walking in faith and victory, yes…”? I do! I believe her battle cry took root!}

And may you live in peace, peace with God and with man and may your household be a place of rest and joy, refreshment and grace.

Dessa, steampunk photo shoot for work

Beloved daughter, treasured friend~

I couldn’t have dreamed you up. You are beyond anything I could have asked for or even thought a daughter should be. You have been a delight since I first laid eyes on you in Kokomo 31 years ago. You’re a peacemaker, a thoughtful friend and an honoring daughter. May you receive and reap the full benefit of all you have given and sown to be so. I love you truly, madly, deeply, my darling daughter, my girl-child.  {With love from your oh-so-thankful mom}   

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Dessy

  1. I was in tears, reading such an elegant writing about beautiful Tredessa. You, Jeannie, are quite an amazing woman and mother…..so look what a wonderful example our lovely Tredessa has to follow.
    Tredessa is a blessing in anyone’s life she touches. I could not say enough about how grateful we are that Ryan has such love in his life with Tredessa and the magnificent blessing of angel love, Eva.
    Thanking God every day for Tredessa, Ryan, and Eva…..and of course you and Dave for being the wonderful people that you are. Lots of love to you all.

  2. <3 Love this!

    Jeanie, you're an amazing writer. Every time I read one of your birthday blogs I fall in love with your loved ones all over again.

    Happy birthday, Dessa!

  3. So eloquently said, by the one who knows what she’s talking about! Happy belated birthday wonderful, amazing Tre!!

  4. Oh wow, Mom! This is beautiful and deeply humbling. It’s refreshed me and encouraged me a lot this morning. Thank you so much for your deep words of identity and your call to action for a holy life that’s worth living. It is SO true that almost all of my good qualities come from you and I’m thankful that you shared them with me. I couldn’t be the woman I am today without your encouragement, love and training. I will hold these words close to my heart like every birthday blog post you write about me. I read them more than once when I need to remember who I am and when I need to see what others see in me. Because if my mom, who has seen me at my absolute worst, can still look on and see good things, then there’s hope for me….
    I love you more than I can say and am blessed to the core of myself for these words and receive them wholeheartedly. Happy birthday to me for having such a great mom! :)

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