Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today is Brent's birthday! We're the same age. Technically, I am 2 days older and he usually gives me grief (interesting cliche) for it but this time, thoughtfully, did not. I DO enjoy the way he teases me - it often makes me laugh or smile but I always appreciate his attention. It helps us not take ourselves too seriously, which we have a tendency to do. BJ learned a long time ago about teasing - he was a natural, just like his dad.

Brent and I were a case of what you might call "love at first sight." We met and married within 6 months; now going on 23 years. Our only defense with our children has been that we were both college graduates at the time.

I am so thankful for a strong husband that shows emotion, laughs a lot and loves me even when I do not act very lovable. I'm grateful he loves Jesus with all his heart, knows scripture and teaches it well, with words and with his life. He's been instrumental in bringing many young people to Christ and continued to be a mentor to others, some of which are now 20 something... or 30 something? Is it possible? As you have seen with his writings, he is poetic, profound and passionate. I love him more every day.

No couple wants to dare think of going through the loss of a child together, and we have been warned that it tends to tear families apart. We can see how with the different ways we grieve. So far the plan is to talk it out and pray to be there for each other, including the girls.

BJ didn't really care what they did together, as long as Dad was there: skiing, can't wait; camping, sure; hiking, OK; tree sliding, now you're talking! You see, BJ really got his "dare devil" streak from his Dad! The no fear, I'm invincible policy all the way. He also had his tendency to pick other people's noses... Or break them (Tracy, we all know it was an accident!) BJ even giggled when he was in trouble like Brent used to do when he was a boy (a nervous reaction, or so they claim.) Yes, the apple doesn't fall far...

Brent has anxiety over rushing BJ. Brent likes to be punctual; it is respectful and thoughtful to be on time. It's a parental responsibility to teach their children these things. And those who know BJ know he was on his own time table, and perhaps was a reaction to his dad in taking his time about doing everything. We're ready to walk out the door and all he has to do is put his shoes on... you can imagine, Brent and I are waiting in the car wondering why BJ is taking so long? Didn't he just have to put his shoes on? Oh how we wish we could wait on him now. The Awestar students let us in on him "decorating" his PB & J "squeezer" sandwiches with maticulous care while everyone else is finished with lunch. In Peru, BJ even continued to share with people until the very last minute and leaders are calling for him to come on before the bus pulls away without him. We are a time conscious society, aren't we? Will we learn to slow down from BJ too?

Honey, I'm rambling now and probably not making this any easier for you other than to say, you are BJ's hero and inspiration. We have written evidence in his journals. He listened to you and valued, even savored what you had to say. He learned how to share Jesus from watching you! He became a missionary because of the fervor for Christ he saw in you. You set the standard, you were BJ's human example. Have a wonderful birthday,
Your bay


At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love seeing Christ's love shine through you like it does.. and I'm praying for you. Have a great day, I love you guys.

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing birthday blessings for Brent, too. What beautiful tributes you two have written for each other!

I'll be praying for traveling mercies (and the weekend activities). It's a route we are very familiar with, as we have some adorable grandchildren living less than an hour from Winston-Salem.

Lauren, as I drive slowly through the student traffic at IWU on my way to work, it reminds me to pray especially for you these days. May you finish strong.

To the rest of the blog family, I don't post often or in much detail, but please know that as I read your prayer requests I do lift them to the Lord, and am always glad to hear updates on them.

Anne (Marion)

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Brent!

Thank you, Deanna, for sharing from your heart all the things that make Brent special. You mentioned his teasing. When we were at your place on July 4, Katya was struck by Brent's teasing and the joyful banter between family members. There's a lot to be said for a family who laughs together, but it's also evident the power of the family that prays, worships, and serves together as you do. I have been so excited to hear of the missions trips that you all have taken in the past several years.

As pictures of the past flash on the memory of my mind, there are numerous moments I cherish with fondness. But one that stands out, Brent, is the comfort of your presence. As you and your entire family walked through the doors of the Breathitt Funeral Home in April 2000 and you enveloped me in a tight bear hug and shared in the tears when my father died. You were supposed to be in a friend's wedding that weekend, but you canceled so that you could be at my dad's celebration service. Thank you, Brent--it meant more than you know! (And thank you, Brent's friend, for being understanding!)

Your genuine concern and care for others is evidence of the love of Christ that shines through you. May He bless you today as you celebrate your birthday.

I am praying for you all as you fly to North Carolina this weekend. May God minister through you.

Beth, I'm praying for you and Dennis and the kids as well. I know you've had a load of responsibility. I wish I could get away this weekend to participate in the dinner theater with you, but my thoughts and prayers are with you even if I can't be there in person. In spite of the hectic schedule of the weekend, enjoy the time with Brent, Deanna, and Whitney and Lynae and her family. Lauren, I'm praying for you as you and I both plug away on papers, projects and exams.

Again, Brent, have a blessed birthday.

With love,

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Brent!

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing another wonderful person a very blessed birthday! You & Deanna are shining examples of true love for each other, your family & most of all, Our Father. You guys brighten the room when you walk in, with your love, through your beautiful smiling faces! We are praying for you as you travel this weekend & in all that you do! I am sure that it will have a great impact on many people.

Anita Goodwin

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent! I hope you have a wonderful day. Deanna and Brent, your love for one another and for Christ is inspirational. I pray that Johnny and I follow in you footsteps.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS....Tom & I share close birthdays too. We are 1 year & 10 days apart, so for 10 days we enjoy being the same age before Tom gets OLDER AGAIN! Oh & Brent did you order this snow for your birthday?!?


At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent!!

Deanna, Where did the fearless trait come from? Aren't you the roller coaster rider? LOL
You both compliment eachother so well.
I am so moved by your devotion.
I am praying for your continued strength and peace growing in your hearts daily. Oh, I pray your continued support of eachother.
With your deep faith and commitment,
to eachother, your family, and our Lord, Jesus Christ, your marriage should last another 23 years, at least!!! Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves. You are truly an inspiration!! And, I feel Blessed to know your family.
I am also praying your travels are safe.
I send a big hugg, love and an extra prayer to keep your spirits lifted and ask our Lord to embrace you Family and keep you comforted as you offer so much comfort to others.

Thank you Lord
Your sister in Christ
Indpls., IN

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know how that happened.
I do not know how to fix the double print either. I guess it is supposed to be twice said.!!
love to you Family

Indpls., IN

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again I am in awe of your writings! You are not only describing your husband, you are describing mine too! What wonderful, Christian men we have been blessed with. We are not only spouses, we are truly friends. May the Lord continue to bless your marriage and draw you closer together as you draw closer to Him. Happy Birthday Brent!
Your sister in Christ
Noblesville, IN

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would think that someone having a birthday would be such a huge blessing to so many others? Brent's words about his precious Deanna the other day and Deanna's words about her hero today are heartfelt and wonderful examples to all of us. God bless you, Brent, today on your birthday.

You all will remain in my thoughts ans prayers today and throughout this busy weekend. May the Lord use the 3 of you in mighty and magnificient ways and may He give Lauren the ability to focus and be effective, effecient, and productive as she studies and works on her school work.

Beth and Dennis--your prayer requests have also been noted and I will be lifting them before the Father's throne of grace. I will be excited to hear the outcome of the weekend.

A final update on my sister Debbie, she and Mikel arrived home safely after spending 2 days with David buying the "things" that had to be replaced. They took an extra day just to be together as a family. They are so grateful to God for sparing David's life. They went to the site of the accident and took pictures of what was left of David's car--nothing left but the frame. All evidence of God's hand of protection and grace. Thank all of you bloggers for your prayers for them.

Much love and prayers,

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Kim Mierau said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAPPY! Deanna, thanks for opening and sharing with us. Your marriage is beautiful - I pray that when I am married my relationship with my husband will be as gentle, loving, faith-filled, and intense as yours. It sure does seem like BJ found his heroes in his parents... and what worthy heroes you are. Love *Kim

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent !!!
I hope you have a wonderful day.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent!!!
And Deanna, Happy Birthday!!!(sorry I missed it.)

big cabin, ok

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent! From your Awe Star Family!

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Brent! Sorry I didn't get a card in the mail like I did for Deanna. Your birthday snuck up on me. I am sure you are enjoying the snow coming down right now, especially ordered for your birthday! We will be praying for you this weekend as you travel and will miss seeing you at church.
It is really neat to read about the love and closeness you both share together. You are a very special couple. Have a great time this weekend and take care.

Love, Nancy

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from not-so-sunny San Diego!

I thought of you this morning as I drove in through the Fog, and was just wandering how you were! I don't know if you know San Diego very well, but when there is FOG or drizzle or ANYTHING that Californians seem consider a natural disaster, the whole world STOPS! It can really make a girl go MAD!

Sorry, I thought you'd get a chuckle outta that story! But, really, it does make me think of our spiritual journey and how your whole family has been blessing the Lord though there is pain in the offering. How many times do we STOP walking the walk because things get hard, instead of leaving the car engine on and READY TO GO so that we can just trust in the Lord to steer?

I'm babbling - it's typical! I love you all and pray for an AMAZING birthday! I'm praying for a day filled with old memories and reflection upon the gifts BJ & God so freely give!

Lord bless you SO,

Laurel Lynn <><

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna (a little late), Happy Birthday! You are a blessing!

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Higgins!!
-- I have not forgotten you or your family.--

Peace to each of you!

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Going to read later. Just wanted to wish Brent Happy Birthday. My thoughts are always with you.I must get ready to attend a funeral of a friend.
Love always, Corinne

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Brent!

Hmmm, which would I prefer, a snow-filled, COLD day, or a sunny day of 80 degrees?????? :) :) More weather here like we had in Slidell, except the mornings are not as chilly....

Anyway, happy cold day to you!!

I'd better get to working now.

Lots of love to you all,

Deer Park, TX

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Dad! I hope that you're having a great birthday! I am so thankful for the time that I got to spend with you and Beej this past summer. I was truly blessed. Beej really did admire you a lot. He told me that you were one of his mentors and that you were a very godly man. He was right. Love you dad!


At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a place to check out a picture of the whole family. It would just be nice to see what the family looks like.

Drumright, Oklahoma

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

Happy Birthday Dad! You inspire me just like BJ did! I love you!

Speaking of PB&J's...
One night when we were eating dinner in Tumbes, everyone had gotten their bread and squeezers and we had 3 slices of bread left that needed to be eaten. BJ goes over, takes all of them and grabs another squeezers. I then watch him make a tower out of his bread a squeezers! But then he got embarrassed because everyone was looking at him and giving him a hard time about it! :) I have to say that was one of the funniest memories I have of him! Just thought I would share that!
I love you guys and I'm still praying for you.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent! Hope you all had a wonderful day.

Jonathan Haag

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Brent!

At 4:50 PM, Blogger phil4yahshua said...

Wow!! How generous of you to share your lives with us. You will probably never know how much you and your family have ministered to so many around you. Happy Birthday, Brent !!! And you too DEANNA !! I would like to share a story with you. When I think of you Deanna, my thoughts take me back to the Pageant. So many wonderful memories. As a side thought have you thought about letting people see or know about the Pageant that BJ was in? What a blessing it would be for so many to actually see BJ and Rusty together. It was magical! My memory of you Deanna is when you were singing in the Miracle scene and so many would bring the sick to Jesus. My on going problem was I was so fixated every time you would begin to sing that I would totally forget to move across the stage as John would want us to. Some one would bump into me and give me a gentle reminder the show was "in progress". Your voice was like that of an angel and brought me to tears more times than I can count. Anyway even though I haven't been able to leave you a word of love I hope you know how often we think of your whole family. Once again Happy Birthday to you both. I know the word "happy" takes on a different meaning this year but perhaps look at it this way; you are one year closer to seeing and holding your BJ in your arms again. When you both do meet again what a sweet, sweet, moment that will be.
You remain in our prayers always.
Feel our arms reaching out to hug you and love on you today and always..........
We do love you Phil & Paula

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Brent! I hope it has been a wonderful day for you filled with love and joy amongst perhaps some sadness. You are both so blessed to have each other in your lives and to share such a beautiful love. What wonderful tributes you both wrote to one another. It hit me especially hard today b/c we have friends who were going to be married 10 years, adopting a girl from China in 1 month, and the wife said she wants a divorce. Please pray for Jane and John. He wants to works on it and she doesn't. They have 2 boys. Blessings for this weekend.


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to you.. happy birthday to you! happy birthday, dear Dad! Happy birthday to you!

Happy 2 days after your birthday to you! happy 2 days after your birthday to yoU! happy 2 days after your birthday, dear Mom! Happy 2 days after your birthday to you!

I love you both so much. I remember one time before we came home, It was Mary, DJ, Me, and BJ. We were talking about what we thought each other's families were like (i think i might have already shared this w/you).. but.. wow. the way he spoke about you both was incredible, and even then it didn't do it justice.. it was such a blessing to actually put you both together w/all the stories i had heard about you!

I know that it blesses your soul, Dad, to hear how much BJ admired you. Take joy and pure delight from that. and not just admired you.. but mirrored you. He was just like you.

anyway. i love you both immensely. i hope you know that. Not a day passes that i dont spend time praying for you and thinking about you. I know the days keep ticking but your hearts still ache.

Happy Birthday DAD! happy belated birthday mom! sorry i was a couple days late!!!!

~thinkin of you in KC.. kristin

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent! You are in my prayers!
Lauren Szabo

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, forgive me for completely missing the fact that it's your birthday today, Brent! Oh well, I'll for sure pray that you have just as much, if not more, peace tomorrow than you had today. Praying for you, thinking of you, and loving you.. have a good night!

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday
Brent!! Thanks for all you do for us on a daily basis, and for you, Deanna, as well. You are all a great blessing for me.

May God bless you each and every day. Always praying in pink for you.

Linda Anderson

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent!
Rachel Burkholder

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Brent, I hope your day was filled with those that you love, wonderful memories and the presence of the Lord.
It is so obvious to so many of us the love and the passion that both you and Deanna have for one another, your family and the Lord. What a wonderful example you have given both your children and to us, your "blog family" of what it is to truely love one another and to surrender your lives to our Lord Jesus. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

In His Love

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a most wonderful birthday!!

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney,

I am up early this morning and when I looked out my kitchen window toward the east I saw that it was a cloudy morning but the clouds were PINK!!! God has gift wrapped this day for you all. I am praying for your safe travel and for Lauren as she stays behind and studies. God bless your day.

Love and prayers,

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Brent, thanks for being John's friend. He loves so

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Brent. I pray that the Lord will bless you today and give you peace. You have an amazing family.


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