It seems like only yesterday that I (mom) anxiously welcomed my bundle of joy into this world. I was unprepared, scared, and excited all at the same time. She arrived at 7:09am and her dad, instead of saying push, was encouraging me to wait another three minutes so her delivery time would be 7:12am as we were married at 7:12pm on 6/1/85 and his fraternity number was 712. However you made a grand entrance beating your own drum and you were a born to be a leader.
The visions I had for you back then gradually but drastically changed as we aligned our will to His ways. Your dad and I were only eleven months into our faith so we had a steep learning curve. One of our first bible studies was on biblical parenting I wanted to be the perfect mom. I know that was such an unattainable and lofty goal. I recall us writing in your baby book “that you would fear the Lord.” Looking back I can see how God truly answered the desires of heart.
It is with great joy that we, your family, find ourselves here in Detroit to honor you on your birthday. Part of our mission statement has been that as Werner’s, regardless of how old we were, we would enjoy being with each other. There are so many fond memories that we have cultivated over the years.
Today you are 25, in May I turned 50 and in six months ago your grandfather became 75 thus this called for a Werner celebration. Life is about making the most of every opportunity as no one knows what tomorrow holds.
So SURPRISE!!! Yep the past few days have been full of surprises as we all decided to join you in Detroit for the big 25. I do hope that when you look back on this birthday, you will realize the incredible love we (family and friends) all have for you. It truly does my heart good to see you surrounded by such a great community of friends. I feel more connected to you and team Detroit now that I have seen where you all live and have visited some of your favorite places.
Below are 25 ways that we have seen you love others well and more importantly how we have seen you love Christ. Of course this is not an exhaustive list as it’s impossible to encapsulate ones life into a list.
- Love begins in the home and we so appreciate how you have loved and honored us, your family, well.
- It means the world to us that you and your sisters are best friends.
- You light up a room when you enter it and more importantly it’s amazing how so many are drawn not to you but to our Creator because you shine brightly.
- Your smile is warm and your joy contagious.
- You have always enjoyed pouring into the lives of others.
- You assume the best of others and don’t take up an offense. I love how quickly you forgive and move on.
- You are a hard worker and give 100% to whatever job you are doing. While working at Rudy’s and Chuy’s you showed Jesus’ love for your co-workers. Even today when we go to Rudy’s folks ask about you.
- Amazing how your passion for photography began at 14 and quickly blossomed into a successful business that continues today. Your talents capture the beauty in people and God’s creation.
- You are adventurous and fearless. At 18 you flew alone to South Africa to spend six months working and being trained by Operation Mobilization. You were with folks you didn’t know and in a foreign place, however, no one is a stranger to you.
- You have such incredible humor which brings laughter wherever you go.
- God has granted you lots and lots of favor. When raising support to travel with Operation Mobilization you collected twice as much needed allowing you to return to Namibia to take photos for OM promotional use.
- God’s favor follows you and has been seen most recently in collecting all funding needed for your upcoming mission trip on December 26.
- You have such incredible faith in regards to trusting God to provide for your needs. I love how you share the various ways He has provided.
- Adventurous nicely sums you up. There are so so many places you have been.
- Not many people can say they have started a church. You and others pioneered a home church on the UT campus to reach those who would never step foot in a Church.
- You have incredible faith allowing you to travel everywhere/anywhere knowing it’s safer to be in God’s will than any other place.
- You have made countless friends internationally and locally allowing you to sofa surf when you get the itch to travel.
- Traveling alone with Courtney on two “sister trips” in Europe in 2007 and 2013.
- Living life fully and with so much zeal.
- Seeking to give God all glory.
- Assuming a leadership role within the home church.
- You are a counselor to many. Because of how well you listen and the wisdom you have, many turn to you, including me.
- Graduating from UT December 2011. Hook em’ Horns!
- Moving to Detroit to be part of what God is doing there. So many stories surrounding this God adventure.
- You speak life into others as you search for the good in others seeking to excite them in their God given identity. And the list goes on and on…
We pray that God will grant you many more decades. We are so proud of the beautiful God fearing Woman you have become.