(Way) More Than a Birthday Celebration



“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

I’m a little bit belated.

Frank’s birthday was in September.

This writer girl desired to pen some fresh words to celebrate his life and what he means to me.

Then, my days got detoured, life got crazy, and here we are a month away from Christmas!

Good grief.

But, instead of letting it go until next year, I took a look back at last year’s post.

Not much has changed.

Yet, so much has changed.

The days between his birthdays have brought sorrow through a seemingly endless revolving door.

They have also delivered beautiful joy through moments filled with sweet memories and one another love.

I’m guessing the past year has brought some changes your way as well. I see you, dear one.

Life is a gift, beloved.

Birthdays are to be celebrated.

Even in a belated sort of way.

Especially in a daily sort of way.

Who can you celebrate with gratefulness right now?

I’m grateful for my dude.

I’m grateful for my life. (and yes, that includes YOU!)

And, most of all, I’m grateful for our God, who loves us more than words can say.

Way more. XOXO

(So, here you go…a rerun of that post I wrote for Frank’s birthday last year…it’s about lessons I’ve learned…ones that I’m STILL learning…I pray it encourages your heart, friend.)


“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

“I’ve already lived longer than my Dad.”

When my husband spoke those words, I nodded in agreement. Both of our Dads died too soon.

But, as he continued, everything changed. Instead of relating, what I really wanted to do was close my eyes, put my hands over my ears, and “nah nah nah nah nah” until he stopped talking.

“You know, I’ve had a good life. If it all ends today, that’s okay.”

Being the calm quiet chick that I am (not), I immediately reacted with a high pitched “Is there something you’re not telling me?!”

I mean, who says those things?

He does.

Tomorrow is his birthday. He turns 61 and he’s good with it. He’s cool with his age and his life and his eternal home. And, although it freaks me out when he gets into the deep zone about things to come, like death, I love his transparency.

I love his example of how to live life free.

So, in honor of his special day, I’m celebrating with three lessons that he’s taught me over the years, with actions more than words.

I’m still learning. Maybe you are too?

Stay hopeful in the wait. I should have known when Frank (aka: Gibby) pursued me 8 years for a first date that waiting wasn’t a big deal for him! In his job, he’s patiently persistent, as he builds relationships with trust.  At home, he ponders our decisions, while I pace the floor with a “let’s just do it” attitude. Yet, as I observe his hopefulness in seasons of waiting, it gives my impatience more hope. Go figure.

I’m realizing that patience isn’t an overnight sensation. It’s more like a rock star in the making. So, my kindred spirit, will we remain hopeful in this process called life, trusting that our Heavenly Father has it all (like the whole world) in His hands?

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 NIV

Laughter is legit.  There is funny and then, there is Frank-funny. Seriously. His laughter is recognizable and contagious and daily. It’s better than chocolate! It has jolted me back to joy, when I would have preferred to pout. Living around his laughter has reminded me to lighten up and let it go, even when my inner grumpy girl would’ve gladly held a grudge.

Dear one, laughter makes us better. It expands our hearts, making room for love to abound. What a way to live!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV

Just be you. Frank wore jeans and tennis shoes when I met him…and still does. He isn’t concerned about stylin’ the latest trends (although I did secretly pitch some stuff from his closet…shhh, don’t tell!) or covering his grey hair with anything, but a Buckeye cap.  He is comfortable in his skin, whether belting out Springsteen tunes around the house or tearing up and choking up while talking about his love for his family.

God made each one of us unique and special, beloved. We aren’t suppose to be a copy of another soul…we’re suppose to shine ours to the world…or, as Gibby would say: JUST BE YOU.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14 NIV

On this day that God made my one-of-a-kind dude, I am bubbling over with grateful. Grateful for the man that he is. Grateful for who we are together.

And, grateful for the opportunity to celebrate his life and lessons learned with you beautiful people!

Happy Birthday, Boyfriend, with all my love. XOXO

Spread your joy,



  1. This is another one that made me teary eyed! You have a God given talent with your words! Pictures of you and Frank always make me smile because of the way you look at each other. Thank you for being you!! Love and hugs my friend!

  2. I loved the article. We remember Gibby’s laugh. It’s contagious and heartfelt!!! Miss hearing it. Y’all must come visit us in the spring, take in some games and laugh with us! 🙂

  3. Tina, I love this. You touched my heart with your words. Happy Belated Birthday to your “Dude”. 🙂 What a special couple you are. Wish you still lived in Ohio. God bless!

  4. Hello, ‘Big Sis or a.k.a. Cousin’
    Beautiful!!! Love the photos of you two! Your love for the Lord & each other, is contagious!!!
    Thanks for the reminder to ‘love’ deeply from the heart! To not be afraid to ‘show it’ & to ALWAYS praise the Lord for “every good & perfect gift”, He bestows.
    Could you write my Christmas letter for me???!!!
    Much love to you both!

    1. Love YOU, Susan…so grateful to be your “Big Sis/Cousin”…and your Christmas letter will be fabulous, just like you!!! XO

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