As an adult, sometimes special days like a birthday can get buried by real life. They get buried by bills, appointments, unexpected life events (like a baby with cancer)....
Ben Hester. We live a crazy life. We have seven kids and we are doing the cancer thing, and the homeschool thing....
Your birthday day is not at all how I would have planned it. I never would have planned to be across the country with Elijah, going to the hospital, while you and the kids are back at home.
But this is real life. We live a real life. It is messy, unexpected, often unplanned (much to my chagrin), and beautiful.
I remember one of our anniversaries early on...maybe our 2nd? Anyway, I was throwing up, you weren't feeling great. I thought somehow that we had missed out on getting to celebrate such a momentous occasion. But then I realized...This is the real celebration of marriage. It's not always pretty, or fancy. It's not always fine dining and having a babysitter. Really, it's celebrating what God is doing in the midst of the chaos we call life. And by His grace, He makes beautiful things.
Amidst all our differences, we share the most important common things: we love Jesus, we need Him desperately to rescue us, and by His strength, we desire to love people well.
For your birthday, our boys have been at work for weeks on a special project that they weren't able to complete just yet. But they have worked so diligently, because of their great love for you.
Our sweet girl made a piñata for you and filled it with candy because she loves you (and knows what a sweet tooth you have!).
I'm so thankful that we were able to celebrate together a little early.
But today, even though we are apart, even though it doesn't look like I wanted it to.
I wish you the happiest of birthdays.
38 looks great on you. Thank you for doing this crazy life with me. And especially today, thank you for trusting me to get Elijah what he needs.
And most of all....thank you for loving Jesus. It is the thing I treasure most about you.
Happy birthday. Today, may you know and feel how much God loves you. May you be inspired by that love to love others boldly and courageously. I love you, Ben.