Today is Stormie’s birthday.
Happy Birthday, baby-girl and grown-up woman of God. Happy Birthday gentle spirit, humble and true. Happy Days always for you, beloved baby-of-the-family, but great caretaker and servant-of-all. You walk in the shadows and are a mystery to some, but not to your mommy. I see the big things. I see the heart. I see the blessing you have poured out and poured out to so many. I watch for the harvest because after casting so much bread upon the waters – in not many days, it will come rushing back in a free-fall of overwhelming-Niagara-sized blessing over you! This is God’s promise. I am watching for it.
Every day of your life you have been a gift to me. When I think about the way you choose to carry our burdens at times and how you silently work behind the scenes to lighten loads, through the large lump in my throat, I thank God for you, again and again. I couldn’t find what I really want to give you at Target or Wal-Mart, but I have some things in mind.
These are the gifts I hope you will open today:
- the great grace of God for your life, my Stormie! You were born into a powerful force of favor and have been gifted and enabled to to do what God has called you to do and to be what he has called you to be. Grace is raining over you. Let it reign over you, too. Receive it. Splash in it. Be graced! It will be your unending sufficiency.
- beauty for ashes. I know you have already felt pain so deep you could barely breathe. I know you know the sting of loss. I wish I could give you the gift of never being ripped apart, but I can’t. I wish I could save you from any and every pain and broken relationship, but I can’t. But can I remind you there is a Balm in Gilead, an oil of healing and the promise of God to exchange the things of pain for the things of life and joy and abundancy?? So, go ahead – put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Praise looks good on you, Stormkins!
- the unending love of your family. You are so very well loved in the family, Stormie. Your role is so important I cannot fathom us without you. Your nieces and nephews all know that “Aunt Stormie” is a special one indeed. Please let us love you back with the same measure you show your love to us, day in and day out – because that will be enough love to fill your life always.
- the hope of a lavish and extravagant love relationship. “He” is out there. We may not know him yet, but I look forward with you to the day that you’ll be loved and cherished by the man of God’s dreams for you. I wait with you for the moment we know that there is one who would not only lay down his life for you and love you with the same passionate, sacrificial love with which Jesus so loved the Church, but that this man will live to love you. From once upon a time to happily ever after; from everlasting to everlasting, the one God has planned for you. I am praying for him, even today, before he has even discovered you.
- the song of the Lord. I pray that His song (via your beautiful voice) will burst onto the scene very soon. I see your eyes light up and I hear your spirit rejoicing in the music and worship of the God of the Universe. Even when there is no apparent sound, your heart rising in worship is loud and anointed and undeniable. I am still waiting for you to go public with the song that is rising. Sing, O Daughter of the Living God. Lead the people in the song of the Lord for His delight, His acclaim.
- your true self as you see your reflection in His eyes as you walk ever-so-closely to Jesus. In Christ is the deepest and truest of you. May he captivate you and hold you prisoner in the freedom of His indescribable love and mercy. Who is Stormie that God is mindful of her, that He cares for her. You have made her a little lower than the angels and crowned her with glory and honor. (Ps. 8.4-5 paraphrased)
Open these today, my Stormkins and have a happy, happy birthday!…Mom
NOTE TO SELF: Bless the day she was born. Bless that icy-windy-stormy day in Sioux City, Iowa when this priceless gift to the world was born!
pictured: Stormie in 1st grade; Stormie with her little orphans in Venezuela