Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Twenty-nine reasons I am glad Ryan was born (29 years ago yesterday).

The list could go on, but suffice it to say, we love you, Ryan Faaland.  We can scarcely recall a life before you, so well-fitted you have become to us.  You were a dream, a longing in Dessa’s heart and I am pretty sure you fulfilled her wish list except that you were even more wildly handsome and athletic than she was expecting and I love that that fact sort of upset her {very ordered} fruit basket.  God sees even the deep-secret lists we make, Dessa.  :)

So, while God created you for her, He knew you’d be getting us all and He fashioned you to be a man we’d all fall for.  So – here is the short list, twenty-nine reasons I am glad you were born, or 29 things I love about you and there is one for each of your years so far…

29.  Because *poof!  Two years ago this very week you appeared in Tredessa’s world and all sorts of lights in her turned on high, energy-sucking, power-zapping, beaming-brightly radiance and it was good to see something besides work and ministry get her blood rushing.  :)

28.   And then *boom!  Eight months later you bravely married her and became one of us officially.  That takes courage, my boy.  And you are brave.

27.  And you are brave-hearted.  You are really living a life of your own courageous choices.  People might have seen the oldest of 4 blond-headed brothers bounding down the Florida beaches, boyishly tormenting his brothers, or jumping to hit an overhead sign and thought, “Oh boy, there goes trouble.”  But they’d have been so wrong, so-so-so wrong.  They might have missed the lion-hearted young man who’d answer the call of his Father, etched into his being before he was born.  And they might not have understood all it would mean to answer that call, to pursue that depth of righteousness.  You are brave-hearted.

26.  You are humble.  I like that when you feel you aren’t an obvious choice to be entrusted with a “position” or God-type-appointment, you humbly receive it, thankful for the opportunity to serve in the Kingdom, and do it with your whole heart.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5.6 NLT

25.  You are whole-hearted and I think everyone knows how much I value this trait in life.  Being wholehearted is so well portrayed through the life of Hezekiah who so threw himself into obedience and pleasing the Lord, God was pleased to grant him great success

Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. 2 Kings 18.5-7a NLT

24.  I love that you love Tredessa.  You have no idea what proof this is of your emotional and intellectual intelligence.  She is a world-changing tiger and we knew the man who had the confidence to marry her was going to be strong in spirit, ferocious in heart and the smartest man alive.  So, there you go!

23.  I love that you unsettle Tredessa a little, too.  Because that girl can handle anything to the moon and back and really should become our first woman president, for goodness’s sake, but you have a way of de-fusing her in just small, sweet ways that keeps her on her toes and she loves the mystery of that.  No matter what she tells you!  Keep it up, Ryan!

ryan 2012

Last year’s birthday “card” for Ryan…holds true!

22.  So glad you were born because of my first-ever memory of you.  I was in the front of a hotel meeting room speaking at a press conference.  It was nerve-wracking, but this whole line-up of you twenty-something guys had come in to pray us through it.  And even though now I know many of the other guys, you were the one who stood out to me, because the sun was shining through the window and hitting your blond head in halo-like radiance and you stood there are muscly- and strong with your arms folded decidedly across your chest and I could have sworn the leader of the angel-armies had swooped in with his troops and it brought such peace and I knew I was safe.

21.  And I love that your first memory of me wasn’t even at that press conference (I suppose because you were praying), but a few months later at Heaven Fest where you claim I almost ran over over you with a golf cart, but that I smiled and was so apologetic.  And you thought I was nice.  Or crazed.  One of those, which was it?

20.  And I am glad that you finally let me know that I wasn’t even the one driving, but that I was still apologetic and concerned.  Thanks for knowing I wasn’t trying to kill you or take my rights on the road.  I really appreciate that.

19.  The fact that you are pretty ornery actually does make me thankful for you and glad you were born.  As long as you are being ornery with some one else.  Not me!

18.  After almost every family dinner, you just head into the kitchen and make us all coffee.  You are a prince among men.

17.  Right away, you loved my grandbebes.  You became their uncle.  You look for ways to know them and relate to them and speak into their lives.  You treat them respectfully and with care.  PLUS they just think you are so much fun!

16.  I am glad you were born because you make us healthier.  Your fresh-fruit love has changed every family dinner since you came along.  I never want you to miss Florida so much you’ll leave here, so I promise to keep the pineapple coming.  And the strawberries.  And the kiwi and mangoes and oranges.  And whatever else it takes.

15.  You not only speak well of everyone, you actually think well of them, too.  And that is a rare gift and I am thankful to be on the receiving end of that, mother-in-law or not.

14.  You are such a good big brother in the fam, now, too.  Especially with Stormie and the shepherd.  Your watchful care and protectiveness about Stormie’s life (even to taking care of her giant dog so she can have one) is so sweet.  You (like Tristan and DP before you) have set such a high bar on the quality of man who dares enter her life, that this momma’s heart is satisfied it will go well with her.  You have added to this family in love and in care.

13.  My love affair with salt notwithstanding, you like my cooking.  I like that you like my cooking and always let me know.

12.  I like that you want me to teach you certain dishes or things I do in the kitchen.  How flattering!  :)

11.  I praise God for your life because it is full of life and hope and promise and you dream dreams that you want to fulfill because you want to bring Him glory and I am excited I will get to see these things happen.

10.  You are so in tune to spiritual things and discernment and righteousness.  I love that you never try to generate that but you don’t dismiss it, either.  You can read things that are right on or “off” in the spiritual realm. So wise.

9.  And you call it like you see it. I have never seen harshness nor judgementalness in you about it, but you are bold to say what you see, no pretense.  You’re direct.

8.  I love seeing you laugh with everything you have and your eyes squinting up when you throw your head back in complete joy.  You’re such a joyful person.

7.  You are such a worshiper.  I love how you love musical worship and just flat-out worship your life out before the Lord.

6.  I love that when I find some amazing worship, soaking-in-the-Presence music and want to share it with you, it turns out you already know it and had told me about it.  You are amassing quite a collection.

5.  I peeked into your workout room and saw prayer books beside the weights (even though you also have a prayer room!).  You’re a Nehemiah – a man of prayer and a man of action.

4.  You honor us.  I know when I walk into a room and see you, I have an ally.  And please always remember, you do, too.

3.  In your young-heart-in-the-Lord, you are such an example of the believer, for the believers.  You just love Jesus completely and all the way.

2.  I am thankful for your life because you have seen the worst of mine and you have pressed in anyway.

And finally

1.  I know you pray for me.  And I know you have prayed for me when no one saw or knew the depth of the need for it.  And I know you jumped in headlong and called out my name to the Father  when if you had not…?…and He heard you and He is answering.

Thank-you, Ryan for being not only a son-in-law, but family-in Christ and one in heart.  Thank-you for being family-in-Rhoades, too, however messy that is sometimes and for protecting and championing the unity of this big, crazy group of us.  You were born to be one of us and there a million reasons I am glad for that.  But these are the 29 I share on the occasion of your 29th birthday.

I have you in my heart, for certain!  {mom}

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Ryan!

  1. Wow! Yes and Amen, Honey! Ryan you are all of those things and more. We love you and I’m thankful to be your dad too. Happy Birthday! I am blessed with four great sons! xxoo-dad

  2. Mom, this was SO good! I was just smiling from ear to ear the entire time I read it because it’s so dead on and it speaks of who Ryan is to a T. Thank you for taking the time to put these thoughts down and loving him so much. He’s very deserving of that love, obviously. Love you, momma!

  3. Wow how would I have known. This is right on and exact. I love you mom and am really glad the Lord put me in the path of tredessa. Dessa and I were talking about how I bring her to simple truths. I feel that it is a gift that the Lord for sure gave me. I just wanted to let you know. Thank you for speaking all of these things over me:)
    I love you Ryan

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