Well, 2023 is here, but I already have a throwback to 2022.
Levi and Zoe celebrated their 16th and 11th birthdays in October, and Silas celebrated his 12th birthday in November. If you are wondering why you never get invited to birthday parties at the Drake household, it is because our birthday parties involve sitting around the table as a family and giving each other a hard time. We do celebrate birthdays, but they are simple, low-budget family affairs in the Drake family.
Here are a few pictures from the fall birthdays (except for Marsha’s (October 3), as she is not much for being the center of attention, even on her birthday)…
Well, I suppose we will not be able to call him the birthday boy again next year, as he will officially be a man. What?!?! Yes, Noah turned 17 last week.
We thank God for Noah and for the ways the Lord has blessed Noah over the years! Per usual, we did not do much to celebrate, except Noah picked out the delicious meal Marsha made (chicken spaghetti) and his birthday cake (DQ Reese’s ice cream cake). We enjoyed time together as a family and shared things about Noah for which we are thankful.
Praise God for Noah and for the rest of my family! I am beyond thankful and blessed!
Our third son, Silas, turned nine on Sunday. Like pretty much all nine-year-olds, he was pretty excited it was his birthday. He was happy to talk about it and thrilled to get some gifts, his choice of supper, and his favorite (and my favorite) dessert – cheesecake. No one who spent any amount of time with Silas this past weekend would have failed to realize it was his birthday. He was too excited to hold in that good news!
Really, is this not the way it is for all of us? I do not mean that we all love and talk about our birthdays like children do. What I mean is that we all talk about exciting, good news. If something is important to us, we are compelled to talk about that something.
So, what is important to you? What good news are you sharing with others?
If you have believed and experienced the Good News – the gospel of Jesus Christ – then you will long to talk about this Good News. Advent – the Christmas season when we Christians celebrate the arrival of Jesus Christ our Savior and longingly anticipate His Second Coming – begins Sunday. Do those who know you see in you a love for the Christmas story, the gospel story? If you have placed your faith in Jesus, the answer is surely yes.
On Sunday morning, I will begin a new Advent sermon series – The Light Has Come. Jesus, of course, is the Light of the world, and He came to our dark world to bring salvation to all who turn to Him. In this series throughout December, we will be considering the Christmas story according to the gospel of John and challenging one another to respond rightly to the Light.
If you respond rightly to the Light by turning away from your sins and trusting in Him for forgiveness and eternal life, is there any better news in all the world to share with others? What would a close examination of your life tell others about your greatest convictions, commitments, and passion? Is new life – eternal life – in and through Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, at the center of top of those priorities?
Again, I sincerely believe that if you have experienced new life, the answer surely has to be yes. When you have new life in Christ, you are either passionately talking about Him, or you are convicted that you need to be talking about Him.
Today is Noah’s eighth birthday. Wow! “Time flies” is an incredible understatement. God has been so good to our family, and Noah is a great example of the Lord’s blessings in our lives. Happy birthday, Noah! We sure are thankful for you!
Hard to believe our little girl is already one year old! One year ago today we had just finished all our adoption application paperwork, and less than four months later we were given the shocking news that we had a referral for a baby girl.
The shock was two-fold. First of all, all of our home study paperwork hadn’t even been submitted yet. It was supposed to still be at least two more months before we received a referral. Second of all, we did not specify a preferred gender for our baby, so we were told that meant we’d be getting a boy. Well, an early referral came, and it was a GIRL! God blessed us with an incredibly smooth journey, and we brought Zoe home 11 months after starting the process. Wow! God has been so good to us, and now we have this precious little girl. Happy birthday, Zoe! We praise God for you!
Levi will be six years old tomorrow. We praise the Lord for the six amazing years we’ve had with Levi and prayerfully look forward to many more years to come. Levi is a sweet kid with a great sense of humor and fun personality. What a blessing he is to our family!
Today is Marsha’s birthday! As she gets her beauty sleep (it’s 12:20 a.m. here), I want to tell the world how much I love and appreciate my amazing woman. She’s a SUPER wife, a SUPER mom and a SUPER person. And, when I say “super,” I mean SUPERHERO-like. If she is apart from our family for just one day, we do well to just survive. Marsha keeps us strong and keeps us together, and I praise God for her!
Over the past couple weeks, our sleep has been anything but regular. In fact, we haven’t had a decent night of sleep for nearly a month. Yet, Marsha’s love, patience, compassion and kindness are beyond incredible. Lately, I find myself feeling like we’re barely surviving, and Marsha can look at our lives and say, “Things are going really well.” While I’m sometimes not sure what she sees that I don’t, I find great encouragement and joy in my wife’s attitude and outlook. Furthermore, I’m reminded of how much we have to be thankful for and how much God’s goodness is evident in our lives. Praise the Lord for my amazing wife!
Marsha, happy birthday! I hope you have a great day and realize how much you are loved and appreciated by our children and me!