Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's our last family birthday of the "birthday season" so today I am honoring our third daughter.
We were coming out of a very difficult few years of college and seminary with two young daughters. School was finally done and the life we had spent years preparing for lay before us, a bright and shiny promise of our future. We were on top of the world and could hardly wait to find out where our first pastorate was going to be. And then we arrived. I won't say where the city was, but suffice it to say that it was in an area of the country where Christians were looked upon as an oddity. We moved into a very small apartment attached to the church with a postage stamp sized yard. That first night in our new home we looked at each other and cried and wondered why we had worked so hard and so long only to be rewarded with "this". And God decided at that time to give us a gift. Very unexpectedly, I realized I was pregnant and it couldn't have happened at a better time. As I was overwhelmed with life and bordering on depression, God gave me the gift of a new life to look forward to. And how I looked forward to this baby. I sewed for her, I prepared a nursery for her, I dreamed of her, and I planned for her. And finally the time came for her to make her entrance in to our lives. We went to the hospital, my husband and I, and we labored all night long. It was a Saturday night and she finally arrived early Sunday morning, all nine pounds of her. My husband had to call the church and let them know that he wouldn't be preaching that morning and they were very sweet and understanding about it. We never did hear what they did that morning! Our little sweetie was a beauty and we named her Andrea. This labor was different than any of the other three births in that it was the most spiritual birth experience I ever had. The presence of God was so evident in our room. In fact at my six week checkup my doctor commented on it and asked me about it. He wanted to know if I had noticed it and if I knew what it was. I told him that we were Christians and that God had been with us. He kind of brushed that off, but he told me I should consider writing a book about it someday!

Andrea was a wonderful perfect baby - she never cried at all. Even though she was born big - she stopped growing and was the most petite and pretty little girl. She was definitely "all" girl and loved clothes and makeup and girl stuff right from the start. She truly was a gift from God during a difficult time in my life.

As she grew, she developed into a lovely young lady. She has always had strong convictions of right and wrong. One time at a parent teacher conference her teacher (public school) told us that Andrea had given quite a dissertation in class on why abortion was wrong. He suggested that we "help" her by teaching her to keep her thoughts to herself. Of course, we were very proud of her and did no such thing! To this day she strongly knows what she believes. When Andrea was in high school her once good friends began making poor decisions and Andrea was very lonely. We prayed and God provided a way to send her to a Christian high school where she flourished.

Today Andrea is a married young woman ready to begin her senior year of college where she is majoring in elementary education. She will be a wonderful teacher. She still loves fashion, jewelry, hair, and makeup! She wears stilletto heel everywhere - even shopping! She is definitely princess material! She is married to a fine young man whom we admire greatly. Once when Andrea was younger I was teasing her and her younger sister about who they would marry. I told them Jess would marry a math teacher and Andrea a youth pastor. Today Andrea's husband is our youth intern at our church and is seriously considering a call into youth ministry. So now she and I share a special bond as pastor's wives. She teaches the kindergarden Sunday School class in our church and all her little students love her.

God truly blessed our home with the gift of Andrea. Her dad and I enjoy watching her life as it unfolds. Her husband Jayson's birthday is only two days after hers and so I want to wish him a very Happy Birthday too! We are so blessed to have this princess in our lives. Happy Birthday Andrea!

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