Tag Archives: blessing

Happy 30th Birthday, Ryan!

It’s a red-letter year for you, Ryan!

Dear son-in-heart, holy man, my daughter’s forever-lover and husband, wholly-qualified daddy to my 9th grandbebe (and a bunch more of those, if you please), and an honoring son to me…

What a fruitful, blessed and rewarding year you are living! Good heavens, my boy – let’s take stock:


You became a daddy just before Christmas to a baby girl whose cuddles and laughs and coos and smiles are generously bestowed on all passers-by and her divine jabbering remind us that~

“God, brilliant Lord,

yours is a household name.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;

toddlers shout the songs

That drown out enemy talk,

and silence atheist babble.” Psalm 8.1-2 The Message

You have this happening in your household.  We’ve got us a little worshiper in Evangeline Lilly.

the faaland family march 2014

Could you ever believe you’d have such a lovely daughter? Way to go, Ryan! This baby is so sweet, so so so sweet and happy.  She is joyful, safe in her daddy’s household!


Then – you have this wife who loves you so much she prayed for God to give her three ways to party you up for your 30th birthday, one for each decade!  That is love and you are celebrated.

ry and dess

When I see my daughter’s clear, smiling eyes, I know she is well-loved and she is loving well.  Aren’t you the luckiest guy? You got Dessa!

“Tredessa is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. …” ~From Proverbs 31 (may or may not have been paraphrased by Dessa’s mom)



Plus you got ordained last Sunday, you and Dessa ~ recognized as church leadership!  God has seen and watched and smiled and He’s been making a place for you in His courts, a place to serve alongside Steve and Missy Crowder and serve the Family of God at Highway Community in Boulder.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.'” Zechariah 3.7

This is a good thing and you are up for it because of how you love people, how you support the lead pastor and his family and because of what God created you to do and to be.

1984 and 2014, both very good years

So grateful for the day of your birth and for all the days that led you to us, Ry.  And so thankful to see all God is doing in you and through you as you turn 30 years old, with so much life ahead!

I want to pray a blessing on you, but I want to tell you, first, my favorite Ryan memory from this past year.

I bet you think you know what it is.  But I bet you don’t know.

happy birthday, ryan

It was just an ordinary weekday, almost a year ago.  For some reason you were off work and came here during the day and you came and sat and talked to me about the hard things and decisions, and you, ever-so-gently, challenged me on some things – just the way God does.  The way He does it when He corrects, but you actually leave feeling better because you know He straightens you out because of His great love towards you, His zeal for your heart.  And you were asking me thoughtful, thought-provoking questions and you were so careful with my heart, so careful not to bring pain, and you listened to me (gave me the gift of time) – it just blew me away.

When you left, I was more aware than ever that you truly love us as your family, and you actually take the time to pray for us and think about us and check in on us. God has given me another son in you, Ryan.  I am so grateful.

That other thing…

See?  I bet you thought I was going to talk about how amazing you were in the birthing room, didn’t you?  And how can I talk about this past year without saying: yes!  You were an incredible labor coach and support and excited daddy at Eva’s birth.

My mom always talks about the way you danced with Tredessa at your wedding, how she saw your delight just surround your bride and she tells me, “I’ll never forget how he danced with her with such love.”


And while that wedding dance was joyous and romantic and beautiful and love-filled, it pales compared to the dance in the birthing room, as the time drew near and the labor intensified, to see you reach for Tredessa and say, “Let’s have a contraction,” as if you’d just asked her to dance.  And she’d lean in to you and the two of you would sway to music that had welcomed the Presence of God right into that room and Eva’s arrival was just a little closer each time.  It was a beautiful way to welcome your darling baby girl!


Very first daddy-daughter cuddle

Ok, I love both those things.  And everything about you.   Aren’t we the lucky ones to have you?

Blessed is Ryan, who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! Ryan’s descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in Ryan’s house; and his righteousness endures for ever. Light rises in the darkness for the Ryan and his household; for the Lord is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with Ryan for dealing generously and lending, who has conducted his affairs with justice. For the righteous men like Ryan Faaland will never be moved; they will be remembered for ever. Ryan is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady, he will not be afraid. Ryan has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever; and his life is exalted in honor. (Ps. 112:1-9, ever-so-slightly paraphrased by the m-i-l from the RSV)**

Now – In Jesus’ Name, I ask Him to bless you with the blessings He gave us in the Word, birthday-boy and mighty man of valor.  I ask the God who is delighted by you to be as full of joy over you as you were as a groom taking your young bride…and continue to be!  Trust God all your days, Ry, and walk in the integrity of godly royalty.  Just put aside what man thinks, don’t let people’s poor opinions ever weigh you down,  just obey the voice of God.

Ryan-it’s clearly evident you possess the character of a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord, so keep His gates and be a man of rest.  Be increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man!  Be strong and brave and valiant and God will see your works and hear your prayers and answer you in the day of trouble.

This is the blessing promised to a man who respects the LORD:

“You will enjoy what you work for and you will be blessed with good things. Your wife will give you many children, like a vine that produces much fruit. Your children will bring you much good, like olive branches that produce many olives.” Psalm 128

So enjoy – find great joy in the things you have worked for and joy in your family.  Again I’ll tell you, channeling my inner Paul the Apostle: Joy! Rejoice!  Be joyful!

You have my love and great respect.  Happy Birthday celebration!  With love from the {m-I-l}! 

**NOTE: This is the traditional Sabbath even blessing a wife speaks over her husband.   Just in case, Dessa.  :)


Joyous Birthday to the firstborn, my Tara Jean~

To the girl who was deemed Liquid Joy {or Joy-bear} while she was growing up~

As the music at the banquet

As the wine before the meal

It was 5:55 a.m. The sun had just broken through bright and I felt the earth move.  Actually, probably less the earth moving than having that first, distinct contraction – that sign for which I had waited, wondering if I’d even know when you’d be coming.  But there it was – a new sensation, so marked and unambiguous, I knew everything was about to change forever.  I drank in the sun as it rose through my window.  I looked at the clock and my heart palpitated with wild excitement.

Today is the day.  This child for whom I have prepared and waited would arrive.  Today – this baby that had caused me to exercise daily and eat so many vegetables for its’ health – now we would see.

Boy or girl?  I didn’t know, but I was praying for a baby girl with blond hair and rosy cheeks (like the baby of one of my college Bible teachers).  I had a vision in mind…

No one but Grandma and I even knew.  It was our happy little secret all day as we went here or there.  I wrote down contraction times and when asked by friends and church family, “When are you going to have that baby?”  “Oh, maybe today, I’d tell them,” smiling so big inside about the best secret in the world.

5:55 a.m. and the clock spun wildly around until 5:55 p.m. when I told Grandma, “I need to go to the hospital now.”  I am not sure how I knew it except that I was packing my bag and when a contraction would come, I’d have to stop what I was doing to breath through it.  I was giddy with anticipation, feeling out of control.

But grandpa.  He wanted us to wait and drop him at the church.  So we left at 6:15 and drove {the almost opposite direction} to drop him at his office around 6:30 p.m. and then we were off to the hospital.  Okay-maybe I am being dramatic, as it was only about a 10 mile trip, but when you are in transition…

We pulled up to the doors at emergency so my mom could drop me off and I was met with a wheel chair at 6:48 p.m.  As we went over the bumpy grate going in, I said to my wheelchair-pusher, “Could you stop for a minute?  I am having a contraction and need to breathe.”

Oh, honey,” she said with great disdain.  “You are never going to make it.  This is your first baby and you will be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you are acting like this now, you will never make it.”  I figured she was the expert and I thought if what she was telling me was true I would never be able to do this for 20 more hours. I was not going to make it.

But I also kind of wanted to hit her.

She delivered me to labor and delivery and you were born at 7:16 p.m. – just 28 minutes after my mom had delivered me to the door.  I have never gotten over the fact that I didn’t get to smack that wheelchair pusher.  I just never have.

As the firelight in the night

So are you to me

At two

And like so many other things in your life

You surprised me and showed right up and it was beautiful and mysterious and awe-inspiring and magical and spiritual and breath-taking and it was you and me, just us. And you looked at me, and I couldn’t quit looking at you and though we’d only just met, I felt so at home with your warm, fuzzy head. The smell of you, the contour of your face in the barely-lit room: proof of God’s love for me.  A gift straight from heaven!  I knew I was undeserving.  I knew no one, no one, but God could have, would have entrusted you to me.

At three

As the ruby in the setting

As the fruit upon the tree

Oh, love story of love stories – my baby, my own, a sweet tiny, pink-bundled girl.  Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, joy of joys.  I wondered if I was actually allowed to feel this happy –  because I was sure some one would take you away if they knew.

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

 Read about Kai’s adoption story here

And now, joy-child, beautiful woman with two sons of your own {I learn so much from watching you mother them, love them} – it is a day to celebrate your birth, to remember and recall that day thirty-four years ago with gratefulness and thankfulness to a loving God who drew my heart to His with the most loving-kindess imaginable in the form of a girl, tender and sweet, now a woman – wise and lovely.  I do thank God for you.  I do.  So I wish for you (a prayer-wish, of course):

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

So are you to me

Happy Birthday, firstborn and namesake.  Happy Birthday, daughter and friend.  I love you.



A Sign

I am receiving this as a sign: this one floppy sunflower is fixed my direction.   The others continue heliotroping  vigorously  or fixing themselves toward my neighbor’s deck (the east), but this one, scraggly and wind-tossed, looks me straight in the eye, and makes itself shine upon me.

The world has  gone mad, but the sun shines on.   The sunflower, too.