Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, Shanna!

Shanna is my daughter-in-law who is married to Zach.  The funny thing about her birthday is that my first three kids were born within a week of each other (and due within 2 days of each other).  We usually celebrated their birthdays together.  Zach felt a little left out with a January birthday--but then he marries a girl whose birthday falls within the birthday week!  We love it!  (Zach may still feel left out--I'm not sure.)  Shanna recently attended a pastor's wives retreat that I led.  Who does that?  Who would subject themselves to their mother-in-law's teaching--and even receive?  Someone with a heart like Shanna.  I was so blessed.
Let me tell you about Shanna....

  • Shanna has a very pure heart.  She loves God with all of her heart.  She is constantly seeking new ways to pursue God.  God loves that.  Shanna is probably very hard on herself because she's an overachiever--even in her relationship with God.  She pursues hard!
  • Shanna loves others deeply.  If you are blessed with a friendship with Shanna, you are truly blessed.  She's loyal, faithful, and gives great effort to her relationships.  She's very intentional in pursuing those relationships.  She's not afraid to put her heart on the line.
  • Shanna is hysterical!  She's not afraid to insert one-line zingers into an intense conversation just to make people laugh and lighten up.  And then she has the cutest giggle--it starts out with a little snuffle with her hand over her mouth and develops into a belly laugh when everyone else begins laughing.  Her humor is so unexpected--which makes us laugh all the more!
  • Shanna is a beautiful mother.  She cares about big...and little things.  She's developing some very caring, helpful, and funny little people.  She's lost a lot of sleep in the past 5 years but will still bring out the play-dough, art materials, and science projects to stimulate the minds of her little ones.  She gently disciplines and guides them.  And again...Shanna is much harder on herself in this area than she should be.  Her heart is fully invested in her children.
  • Shanna loves my son.  She's had an unconditional and sacrificial love for him.  She encourages him and wants to see him fulfilled and successful in kingdom things.
  • Shanna is very creative.  She would never call herself an artist, but she is.  She is developing her hand-lettering skills and her art.  She's not afraid to try a new craft or Pinterest idea.  She just jumps in--and it always turns out great!  Her home is decorated with her creativity.  And her kids' birthdays are always adorable.
  • Shanna loves her family.  She stays in close touch with her mom & dad and her sisters and their families.  She refuses to allow distance to make a difference in their relationships.  She does the same with our family.  I love that about her!
  • Shanna loves investing in young people.  In fact, Shanna became a youth intern at our church when she was still in high school.  And her love for young people hasn't stopped.  You'll often find her mentoring young women--and planning activities to develop relationships.

  • Shanna loves coffee!!  
  • Shanna loves missions.  She went with Andy & I to China a couple of times before she and Zach married.  And since they've been married, they've gone on mission trips together.  She loves sharing Jesus with others creatively--and as you can imagine, she quickly develops relationships to aid in that.
  • Shanna is a worshiper.  In fact, that's what drew Zach to her.  God dwells in her worship.
  • Shanna is FUN!  She is constantly coming up with fun, crazy ideas and making sure her family is in on it.  I wanted to show you some pictures so you could see for yourself!  She's a party waiting to happen and her fun spirit draws others in.  She makes herself vulnerable to make others comfortable.

Shanna's name means Possessor of Wisdom.  And she is--very wise.  She wisely pursues God and then invests what she's learned in her relationships with others.  Shanna has a very tender heart which is fertile soil in which God can plant His fruit.  It has grown and spilled over.  Looking back over this list, I'd say one of Shanna's greatest strengths is relationships.  She knows how to build them and keep them.  I'm so glad Shanna is a part of our family--she's such a gift!

I love you,

No comments: