Celebrating Life!!!

April 14, 2006

Today I had the privilege of taking my Mom to her surprise Birthday party. She has really played down her birthday this year and is even leaving town the day before it to go visit her Sis. BUT. . .her friends would not let this time pass to throw a big “Celebrating Life with You” sort of Birthday.

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It was wonderful. There were 32 women that came!

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Some were from distant past (like before I was even born!), some were her hangout, eat-out, cruisin’ friends, some were work friends and then some were new friends!

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What an honor to see all these women gather to praise God for my own Mother’s life, her testimony, her legacy, her grace and friendship.

One of the neat things they did was to take her name, J-U-D-I-T-H, and then several of the ladies gave a tribute to Mom using one letter of her name.

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When it came to H, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place, when Jane announced that along with all the other “h” words Mom was her “Hero”! What great moments of blessing this was to her and to me as I listened.

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Generations!

As I sat and watched all this play out in front of me, I reflected on my own life. I wondered when I get into my retirement years and if I had been in Mom’s shoes, what sort of people would have come. Would there have been 32? Would there be even 10? Would they be able to get up and say all the magnificent things about my life that they could hers??

This was not a selfish moment. I just found it to be one of those moments in life when all the “stuff” falls away and you see everything clearly. You see what is important and what is NOT! You see that relationships with others, the way you conduct yourself, your testimony of a great and powerful God. . .all these things are what is important in life. It challenged me to do better, to present myself to others as a living testimony, to strive to pour my life into others and not to get caught up in only me. I hope that I may live life as well as my Mom has! That my life will at least speak of the depths of God’s love, like hers shouts it.

How blessed I am! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you very much and I am very proud to be your daughter.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

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On another note. . .Evely of course made quite the lovely impression on everyone! Here’s a couple of photos of the lovely little lady at her first ladies only party! Sorry, I just can’t resist!

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Peek – a -boo!

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Yes, I’m cute even without a nap!

Karen

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11 responses to Celebrating Life!!!

  1. Happy Birthday (early) to your mom! What a wonderful tribute. 32 ladies! Hope you had a bigger cake than the one shown in that picture! I wish your mother a wonderful birthday and a safe and pleasant time with her sister.

    Evely makes me giggle!

  2. Yeah, there was a bigger cake that went with it. They didn’t even get to cutting that one. They had the best food, too.

    She makes me giggle too!!

  3. It is said that if you want to know what your wife will be like in the future, look at her mother. I heard this when I married Karen and through the years, at least in this case, it is true. Karen has become the woman that other women admire and men wish they would have married. Sometimes in a restaurant I think other people think what’s so special about him? Both of these women live exemplary lives whose legacy’s will be embodied in many future generations.

  4. Tom, I agree. I am so very blessed to call Karen my friend. She is a very special gift in my life and always will be.

    Judy you are an AMAZING woman! I am not surprised that so many women came to honor you. You are my hero, too.

    Evely is the ultimate doll baby.

  5. Karen-
    That was beautiful! How wonderful that 32 women came to celebrate with your mom. That in and of itself speaks volumes!! I don’t even think I know 32 women well enough for them to come to a birthday party for me. Your mom really is a beautiful women inside and out :-).

    I can’t let this post pass without also letting you know what kind of person I think YOU are…

    *You are wise beyond your years.

    *You possess the kind of upright integrity that is rarely found in people today.

    *You are perceptive beyond what is “normal”…I believe that is a gift of God!

    *You have a contagious laugh

    *You are humble in spirit.

    *You ALWAYS have just the right words to speak (again, that has to be another spirit-led gift)

    * You honestly care about others. You don’t ask questions like “how are you doing” because you are just trying to make small talk….you REALLY DO want to know how others are doing. You also take the time to listen when people answer.

    *You are probably the most honest and sincere friend I have ever, or will ever have.

    -How’s that! Sometimes I think it is really important to know how others view you. We can be way to hard on ourselves at times & forget that we are our own worst critic. You are an amazing women, Karen. The more I get to know your mom the more I see where you get it from. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in your family :-).

  6. Oh My My My! I am so humbled by all your words!! This was supposed to be about my Mom and it ended up being quite the blessing to me! Thank you all from the depths of my heart – and it’s pretty deep! I love you all dearly and I’m humbled to have you as my friends – and Tom that includes you, too. You are such a friend to me, too.

    Amber, thanks so much for all of that! I will remember your kind words and store them in my heart. You are an awesome friend to me too!

    I thank God that I was raised by such Godly parents that have instilled so many wonderful traits in me and even introduced me to Jesus! Where would I be without Him! I give Him the glory for anything that you all see in me! Praise His Name!

  7. Well said, Amber. I couldn’t have said it better!

  8. Karen this is a very moving post, thanks for sharing.
    Happy birthday Judy, and many more.

    Karen, on my husbands casket I put on the flowers “My best friend” I think that is the best sign of a strong marriage. I feel sorry for people who don’t feel this way.

    What wonderful friends your mom has to do this for her. Great pics.

  9. This celebration was truly the biggest SURPRISE of my life. I had no clue what was going on until I saw some friends arrive at the same time we were. I hope this is no indication that I’m not not as alert due to the fact I’m another year older. HaHa. No, I just believe it was very well planned and everyone kept the secret.

    “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3

    How many wonderful friends there were to share my “celebration of life,” and what a special day to add to my treasury of memories!

    My daughter and granddaughter’s presence, my dear friends who came, the gifts and cards given, the words of love and kindness spoken and written will be carried in my heart for years to come. You all are a blessing to me from our Lord. The party was such a happy occasion and yet so humbling. It is difficult to express how deeply I was touched and blessed.

    Jane, what an example of gracious hospitality. Thank you friends who helped with the delicious lunch, what hearts of gold. Karen, I am the one blessed to have you for a daughter. My highest praise belongs to my Lord Jesus Christ who gave me life, health, and strength to enjoy such a happy, blessed day.

    To my son-in-law, thanks for your kind words for Karen and I in your post. You are special to Tom and I, and we love you.

    I love you all and praise Jesus for the grace and mercy He has shown to me.

  10. Hi Karen & Judy,
    Carol gave me this website and I have been following Judy’s progress.
    Thank you for inviting me to the Birthday Lunch. I am sorry I couldn’t make it. It sounded like a wonderful surprise and a great time.
    Karen, I have enjoyed watching your children grow through your blogs and pictures. They are such adorable kids. I pray for you and your family.
    Judy, I have been praying for you too. I am so happy that you are doing well.
    This site has been a real blessing to me, even though this is the first time I have written.
    God Bless You.

  11. Hi Shirley!! We missed you at the party. Thanks for visiting and posting. It really is nice to know who is out there reading. Every so often I have people tell me that they read my site and I don’t even know who they are. It’s amazing what we can do now via the internet. Glad you are doing well and hope you are liking your new job. Thanks for your prayers!!