30 Reasons Why You Light Up Our Lives
(It was hard to stop!)

  1. From early childhood you have loved God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
  2. You were the sunniest, most joyfully enthusiastic preschooler I’ve ever known, full of smiles and laughter.
  3. Your positive, happy attitude is, and always has been, quickly turned to wrath in the presence of perceived injustice, to others at least as much as to yourself.
  4. You love your family intensely, all generations and collateral branches, and work sacrificially to promote family relationships.
  5. All your life you have maintained a close, loving, and respectful relationship with your parents.
  6. You were a totally delightful, respectful teenager, growing more and more independent without ever rejecting your parents and their values in any important way.
  7. You have always found learning to be the “best game of all,” whether begging for math lessons as a preschooler, crafting your own educational program as a teen, or reading and researching voraciously as an adult.
  8. You developed the most important skill needed to fuel a lifetime of learning (also useful for excelling in ordinary academic life):  the ability—and desire—to teach yourself using whatever materials are available, from textbooks to teachers to life experiences.
  9. Your favorite mode of education has been what you call “learning to swim by drowning”—throwing yourself into a new situation, a new instrument, a new language, a new country; putting yourself in a situation where the alternative to learning is failure.
  10. Your razor-sharp intellect and grasp of logic can be counted on to ferret out faulty or slip-shod reasoning.
  11. Likewise, you readily admit when you are wrong, if presented with a clear, rational argument.
  12. You are always asking thoughtful, important questions. (And always have, much to the annoyance of certain Sunday school teachers.)
  13. Unlike most of us (your parents being chief offenders), you can never settle for plugging numbers into a formula or regurgitating the answer expected by a teacher, but with a dogged determination you wrestle with your studies until you truly understand the material.
  14. Equally determined in your relationships, you will not gloss over problems, but wrestle with yourself and others to understand and resolve difficulties.
  15. You are a very creative thinker; being self-taught in so many ways has made thinking outside the box second nature.
  16. You also live outside the box:  You have become the "granola mom" I never knew I always wanted to be.
  17. You never conform for the sake of conforming, following the crowd only if convinced by the evidence that the crowd is right, and  unhesitatingly taking the road less travelled if the evidence points in that direction.
  18. And you are happy to blaze a new trail cross-country if there is no road at all!
  19. Your sense of adventure and love of new experiences have taken your from an (unauthorized) solo exploration of the docks of Key Largo at age three, to travelling through Italy on your own, to spending a year in Japan teaching English to high school students, to graduate school (and eventually a home) in Switzerland.
  20. You are a talented, skilled, and highly-trained musician who demonstrates with your life that music comes alive when it is made with and/or for others.
  21. You waited patiently until God revealed the right man to be your husband and the father of your children;  you love him intensely, respect him enormously, and delight in being the “helper suitable for him.”
  22. You have made your home into a place of hospitality, welcome, grace, beauty, joy, and peace (even though your lovely and lively children ensure that nothing is ever too peaceful for too long).
  23. You are a loving, giving, thoughtful, disciplined, and inventive mother.
  24. You have proven that you have the nerve and determination to push through physical and emotional pain for the sake of those you love and what you believe is right.
  25. You are a great teacher, with a demonstrated ability—rare in someone for whom understanding often comes quickly and easily—to see a problem from the student’s point of view, whether helping kindergarten students as a third-grader, tutoring high school students, inspiring Japanese students to enjoy the English language, coaxing enthusiasm out of young piano students, showing your mother the virtues of a “tickler” system, or feeding your own children’s “happy hunger” for learning.
  26. You have a good eye for seeing work that needs to be done, and a good will for jumping in and doing it.
  27. You are honest and trustworthy in word and in deed.
  28.  You are careful and wise in financial matters.
  29.  At the same time, you are generous and giving:  of your money, your time, and your emotional energy.
  30. Your heart’s desire is to become more and more like Christ each day, and to demonstrate his love in all you say and do.

What more could parents desire?

Happy Birthday!

With lots and lots of love,
Mom & Dad

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Edit
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I am honored, and pray your opinion of me is not too much inflated. One thing is sure, I would not be any of those things had you both not been quick to do whatever you could to fulfill my many needs as a child and through adulthood! Thank you so much for your kind words. I love you very much!

Posted by IrishOboe on Saturday, April 07, 2012 at 2:03 am