Tuesday, October 21, 2014

happy birthday, Jenny!

We met Jenny exactly 10 years ago at Taylor University's parents weekend. I eyed her carefully as we ordered ice cream at Ivanhoe's. My son Dan was smitten, but she'd momentarily broke his heart over the summer. Early in sophomore year, they seemed to be "an item." Jenny was smart, cute, forthright, light-hearted, but I was suspicious of her devotion to my son Dan. She was the first love interest of any of my boys, so I didn't really know much about the girl part of new love. But I was fiercely protective of my son's heart.

Within a month or so, Dan brought Jenny home for a weekend. She fit in comfortably right away, cooking with us and making bead bracelets with Katie, who thought the idea of a big sister was totally cool. And Jenny won me over, too, mostly because I saw her heart for God and for Dan.

So here we are, ten years later! Dan and Jenny married in 2007 and now have three wonderful children. Though young adulthood didn't play out as she planned, Jenny has grown into motherhood (and wifehood, is that a word?) beautifully. Her get-it-done personality is still evident, but so is a spirit of flexibility and acceptance that evolves in mothering three small children. Jenny is devoted to her family and her God and is passionate about educating the children creatively. Perhaps best of all, Jenny recognizes and appreciates that each child is different, created uniquely by God. Also, I don't know what Dan would do without her!

Today Jenny turns 30 so I'm wishing her a very happy birthday. Jenny, I hope you'll embrace this season of life. Oh, how I know its intensity, exhaustion, and frustrations: how overwhelmingly hard the days can be. I pray you realize that with each passing birthday, you've acquired experience and wisdom for the tasks before you. I admire you for mothering well with love and humor. I love you like a daughter and thank God for you. Happy birthday!

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