A Birthday celebrated in Heaven

bevbday6 years ago, I wrote this on Bev’s birthday. Pardon my sentimentality as I re-publish these words that help me to remember the kind of woman she was. That day it seemed that we had forever. But, the Lord chose a much shorter journey for her on this planet.  Were we perfect together? Ah, time has a way of airbrushing the flaws out of the picture and I know that.  What I can affirm is that we loved Him together, and His love kept us through the up’s and down’s that are a part of this human experience.  I am remembering her today,  her 63rd birthday.  May the life she lived inspire us to love better, serve faithfully, and be ready to enter the Joy of the Lord as she did on 12/29/2015.

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Today is my wife’s birthday. Were you to guess which one after seeing her, you would probably miss it by at least a decade. God and DNA have been much kinder to Bev than me but I don’t mind, not even a little bit. She is a gift from the Lord to me, more treasured with each passing year, my complement in every sense of the word! I sang “Happy Birthday” softly to her in the darkness this morning and reminded her that we are a team, inseparable, stronger together by far than we could ever be apart. In that moment, all was right with my world: God in His Heaven, my love at my side.

To watch her in her work- be it teaching her first graders, leading a chapel worship session, or conducting a woman’s Bible class – is to see grace in action. Her diligence is phenomenal in every season, no matter what’s going on in her life. She loves me quietly with steady affection. She’s not one to hang all over me in a crowd, but she will rise to my defense like a lioness. She prays for her family and is my able advocate before the Lord. She offers counsel to me that comes from a place of reflection and submission to the Spirit. And, she’s beautiful.

The familiar passage in Proverbs describes her accurately. It says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” (Proverbs 31:25-32, NLT)

She’s tender, still given to tears when overwhelmed by life’s sorrows; and she’s tough, resilient in the face of critics and the stormy times that blow through every life. She’s sometimes thought to be fragile, but she’s actually quite strong like steel covered with velvet. She’s not perfect, but she knows her weaknesses and let’s God work in those very places. I am blessed and thankful that the Lord gave me this gift and today I say, “Happy Birthday. The world was blessed when you were born!”

This was our song …

I’ll always remember the song they were playing,
The first time we danced and I knew.
As we swayed to the music and held to each other,
I fell in love with you.

 Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner, every night?
When we’re together it feels so right,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?  – Annie Murray

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