Tag Archives: birthday blessing for daughter

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}   

My first-born

“you’re my first born child, and the person who first showed me the miracle of this love a mother has for her child. ”   ~Elizabeth Noble, Things I Want My Daughters to Know

Tara in black and white


I know where I was at this exact minute, on this day in history in 1979. I know how I spent the day. I remember everything leading up to its’ culmination at 7:16 pm from my waking thought at exactly 5:55 am, just before the alarm would go off.

What was that? Am I in labor? Eyes widen, fully awake!

Thirty-five years ago at this exact time, I was being born. Me – this mother, now grandmother part of me was laboring to be, to become. I was shedding the skin of childhood and girlishness and self-focus and passing through the purifying pain of labor and delivery. I was walking a pathway to an unknown and unknowable destination. I was giddy and excited, scared and alone. I trembled with each deep, slow breath.

A girl woke up alone at 5:55 am, pregnant, filled with life {potential}. At 7:16 pm, she was born – a mommy, a full-grown woman.  They placed this perfectly round-shaped, blond-fuzzy-headed baby girl into her arms, the fruit of her labors, a tiny baby girl was born {potential}, too. Now they were two.

when — naked, soaked in sweat and blood, and a heart thumping from a marathon — you are squeezing onto your bosom ‘the whole universe wrapped in harmony with your soul’ and realize that this is the tiny body of your own baby.  Mytyr, Mana, Mater, Muter, Madre, Mother, Mamma, you are the circle of life; heaven and earth pass through you.” (Eleftheria Mantzouka)

Yes. Today is Tara’s birthday.

Tara leading prayer and worship

Thirty-five years she has walked this earth, which is hard to believe when you look at her, overwhelmingly stunning, her spontaneous smiles so youthful, so nineteen! It’s the celebration of Tara, it’s her birthday! Her arrival changed everything! The entire course of my existence was altered right there on the spot. This is a bit of her story, her glorious entry, as I recall it.

When I’d arrived at the hospital, just 30 minutes before she was born, I was {quite unknowingly} in deep, transitional labor, my entire focus on cooperating, breathing, bringing my baby forth. I asked the ER attendant to wait before wheeling me upstairs.

“Oh honey. You’re never gonna make it, ” the sassy girl said. “You’re going to be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you’re acting like this now, you’re never going to make it.”

I had never wanted to hit some one so badly in my life (transition!), but I was on a mission to birth a baby. I closed my eyes to shut her pointless babble out and breathed, {inhale} in through my nose, slowly, to maintain some control, {exhale} out through my trembling lips.

She rolled me onto the elevator and her negativity became a drone, the sound of the “adults” on Peanuts cartoon specials, like unseen teachers talking to Charlie Brown, “Wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah-wahhh.”

Could she not see that I was bringing forth perfection – and soon?

In their defense, apparently hospitals work with first-time moms who freak a little too soon in the game, but I’d been laboring, working hard for this since 5:55 am.

I was wheeled into the laboring room at about 6:50-something, given one of those magnificent gowns to don and left to my devices. I swayed, I breathed, I called this baby (boy? girl – my secret dream?) forth. I braced myself for 20 hours of this hard work, my reasonable service.

When nurses returned a few minutes later, they were surprised to find that my royal child, this gift of God, was ‘crowning.”

Tara and her family in Kai's room


Tara was born.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

She was born at 7:16 pm, just about a half hour after we’d pulled up to the hospital doors and no one there really had anything to do with it. It was me, my baby and the God of the Universe.  The Creator – He was there, having just applied the finishing touches on a life so uniquely formed and perfect, His own (full and complete) delight splashed all over her, perfuming the air with His very Presence, His absolute love. I inhaled the scent of the heavenlies from the top of her tiny head.

Alone with my baby a little later in a dimly lit room, this exquisite girl-child and me, she slowly opened and closed fawn-shaped eyes. The holiness of the moment, of the realization of the redemptive work of God and His total love lie swaddled securely in my arms, as irrefutable proof of Him. He was here – He was with me, for me. Proof!

Tara's selfie

Tara was a gift to me from God Himself. To me.

I’d awoken a girl, filled with questions and wonder and trepidations. I was going to sleep, having been ushered through the courtyards of the Lord, arms and heart filled, into motherhood. A daughter!

I am ashamed to admit I still sometimes struggle to truly, really, wholly trust God. That is terrible. Especially because He has actually completely shown His trust in me – 5 times!

Do I even need to tell you that a gift from God is good? That He gives beauty for ashes, a garment of praise instead of a spirit if despair? Do I need to remind you? And He sent the healing oil of joy for mourning. Our good friend once called Tara, “Liquid joy.” And it’s true, because oil is poured out and nothing it touches is ever the same.

The enemy tried to take her from me once {from God’s great plan for her life}, but the full-force of heaven  stood with a mom, born that day, May 9, 1979, who said, “Give. my daughter. back!” And what could hell do but whimper sheepishly away?

Tara smiles


So, Happy Birthday, Tara, and happy {joyful} day you made me a mom

You have grown up to become a compassionate, loving woman. People are drawn to your smile, your sincerity, and your gentleness powered by strength. You are a star in the darkest of nights and a voice for your generation. You’re a wonderful mommy, the fun-nest kind and such a devoted wife. Your house, all interesting and textural and colorful and serene absolutely looks like you. The lyrics are in you, the melody pours forth sweetly, and you, my most darling and beloved first-born, are such treasure on the earth, let alone to me.

And baby girl, I can tell you this about God’s gift of you to me, for these words could not be truer in any situation,

“Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).”  Ephesians 3.20-21 Amp.

And so, as your momma, you need to understand how desperately I pray this for you. And how deeply I KNOW God is hearing you and your heart’s cry.

And because I witnessed your birth, felt you emerge straight from the hidden place where the Hands knitting you together delivered you into my arms and into your bright-light existence, because I understood His delight and joy in having created you and written your story, I KNOW He hears you now and that this same God, His power at work in you (in your heart, in your body, in your womb, in your reproductive system) is able and will carry out His purpose so far beyond anything you even dare to ask or think or imagine or wish or hope.

Beyond your highest and most powerful prayers or your wildest dreams, infinitely more than you may even have the courage to ask or think, God can do anything, anything.

It’s not too late, my Tara-girl. And I once fought hell over you. So believe me when I tell you, I am believing, petitioning, agonizing, asking, reminding and staying put before the throne for you, for your life, for your deepest, wildest dreams to come true. Because I was born that day, too. And this is what mommies do.

Tara in the car

God has given you so much love in three adoring fellas. From you to them, from them to you. But you have more to give, more love, more joy. So sing, sing in the Spirit and with the understanding. I’m joining in your song {Tara’s song}. Let’s see what will happen. :)