Happy 40th, Sunny!

Today is a very special day for a very special person….it is Sunny’s 40th birthday!

Sunny and I met when we were just teenagers. We knew each other in high school, but we really didn’t start talking much until my Senior year, Sunny’s Junior year. Our first date took place on my last day of high school, so we can just barely claim the title of high school sweethearts.

That means that we’ve been together for over 20 years. I’ve had a front row seat as that young teenager became a college student, a young wife, a compassionate educator, and a mother to our three children. A week after our wedding, we moved to Kingsport, Tennessee to begin working with the church there and Sunny immediately joined me as a full partner in my ministry. I’ve seen her grow in wisdom, in quiet strength, and in faithfulness, even amid some trying circumstances.

Jesus says you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. For decades, the Holy Spirit has borne plenty of fruit in her life, but one particular form of produce has always been most prevalent in Sunny: goodness. (This is one of my favorite topics to write about each year, as evidenced here and here and most especially here, in one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written.)

Sunny, the Spirit living inside of you is painting a beautiful picture of the heart of God for all of us to see. You are passionate — zealous, even — about pursuing the goodness of God. In biblical terms, you are the embodiment of the command of Jesus to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Your goodness and your love make us better. May the next year be filled with abundant blessings and opportunities to celebrate the good things God brings our way through you. You are deeply loved.

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