Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sarah

This morning before I sat down to read my Bible, I lit a scented candle and set it on the table next to my chair.  And I thought of my oldest sister, Sarah.

Sarah has the ability to create a relaxed atmosphere wherever she is, no matter who's around her.  I've watched her.  She lights a scented candle, pours her favorite drink in a fancy goblet, sits down amidst 12 small children, and relaxes as if she were in an expensive beach resort.  And in doing that, she sets a calming effect on everyone around her.

Today is Sarah's birthday.

From her baby book

Sarah is 22 months older than I am.  Although she is my oldest sister, she has never been bossy.  She was always the perfect playmate, and she was my best friend.

We did everything together growing up.  We graduated from High School together and went to Bible College together.  We took the same major, so we were in every single class together and spent our free hours together.  We studied for our tests together, and after our exams, whoever finished first waited for the other in the hallway to "see how you did."  She was a great source of strength and encouragement to me during those years. 

We graduated from College on the same evening and returned home to help Daddy in his mission work.  We were married the same year and had our first babies a month apart.

Although the Lord has led us to live in different cities (7 hours away), we still keep in close touch and our hearts continue to be knit together. 

Sarah and her husband are missionaries in the southern state of Veracruz, Mexico, in a very small town.  She is the mother of six children (very close in age), and yet she finds the time to be involved in their mission work.  She homeschools her children, is an excellent house-keeper, and is a loving wife.  She has a discipleship ministry and reaches out to lost women in her little town.  Her quiet time with the Lord in the mornings is a priority to her.

She is such a godly example to me.  When we are able to spend a few days together, I am always inspired and encouraged just by watching her.  She calls her children into her room individually every morning to brush their hair.  After they're dressed and ready, she prays with each child, that God would watch over them and protect them, and that they would be obedient.

Sarah and her family are surrounded by danger.  They are at risk physically, due to drug gangs and constant kidnappings (that usually end in death); their health is at risk, as typhoid and dengue are rampant in that area of Mexico; and there are spiritual dangers because of the witchcraft and demon activity.  Some of the stories that Sarah has told me have literally made the hair on my neck stand up.  I know there have been times that she has wanted to gather her precious family and flee to another place.  Yet they remain faithful, serving their Lord where He has placed them.  And they are starting to see the fruit of their labors.

Sarah lives in a small corner of the world, never demanding attention or recognition.  But since today is her birthday, I wanted you to know about her, and I want to let you know how blessed I am to have her as my sister.

I love this lady, I admire her, I respect her, and I thank God for putting us in the same family.

When I have done wrong, she has never been judgmental, but has stretched out a helping hand, lifting me up.  She's never harsh, but quietly and sweetly encourages me.  She prays for me.  I recently was having a hard time with something and sent her a message, asking her to pray for me.  She replied:  "I will be praying that God will send you a blessing today."  I prayed to the Lord, "Thank you for my sister.  Please help me to recognize the blessing when you send it."  Later that night, there was a knock on our door.  My husband said, "Anna, you're wanted at the door."  When I opened it, Sarah's youngest child was standing there with a beautiful red rose in her hand, and a smile on her face.  Sarah told her husband, "Anna needs encouraging," and she packed up her children and drove to see me. She spent over one week with us. To me, that shows an unselfish love. 

I have a treasure in this lady I call "sister".

So to you, Sarah, may your day be special.  I hope you're made to feel special, because you are.



Pamela said...

Love you both so much! Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Jolene Sloan said...

I loved this, Anna! Sarah IS special, and so are you! I am so blessed to have both of you as sisters now!!!

Anonymous said...

Anna, this is a sweet and truthful tribute to Sarah. I am thankful you have her for a sister.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to Sarah. You both are such an encouragement to me. Thank you for your faithfulness in serving the Lord, Anna!

Deborah Cartmell

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Sarah!! I pray that when my girls are older they will have a relationship this beautiful!!!!!

Felicia Ross

Anonymous said...

How precious! I hope she has a great birthday!

Raylinda Flores

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Anna! Happy Birthday, Sarah!!

Sara Bascue

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah! What a beautiful story of your love for her!

Pam Horton

Anonymous said...

I love it. Happy birthday, Sarah. This was encouraging to me.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah!! Thank the Lord for allowing me to cross your family's path while serving Him!!!! God bless you and your family. Love you!!

Pam Fisk

Anonymous said...

Feliz cumpleaños, Sarah! Te recuerdo justo como las palabras de Anna te describen.

Claudia Dominguez

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah!! Hoping ad praying God has blessed you today.


Anonymous said...

Tell Sarah happy birthday from a fellow Melody!

Sarah Litson

Anonymous said...

What a precious post about Sarah. I'm writing this through my tears. Can't imagine what it will do to Sarah! She'll love it!

And I love you.
Nahum 1:7