Dearest Sadie Beth darling - Happy 25th birthday today!!! You are now a quarter of a century old!
(Just like me and Lauren....but don't remind her. She gets this look on her face that says "thin.ice.")
I found all these deliciously heavenly photos from back in March of 2012, when I saw you last. :) Well, I mean, when you were in FL last. Because I see you often through the wonderful world of Skype. ;)
I turned on Alison Krauss and had the sweetest time editing these for the blog....gazing into your happy eyes and seeing again how your face lights up with joy, and your hair wisps in the wind. What a joy you are!
And I'm not just being sappy, you look stunning, sweetheart.
Remember this sunset trip to Playalinda Beach? We saw Portuguese Man O'Wars, and you stomped out "Hello" on the beach in huge letters, and we laughed hysterically and teased you: "That's great! That's the first thing aliens will see. You are so friendly. "HELLO TO ALL THE ALIENS." Hahahahhahaaha!!And then we ran down the beach in the cold wind in slow motion singing the Chariots of Fire theme song. Hysterical. I would post a video if we didn't sound like shrieking 5 yr. olds. ;) That was such a fun, easy night when you were here.
And then we went to the Lighthouse .... TWICE. Because the first trip, I was the only one who took my camera, and then after we left for lunch, Rach kept saying "Man, I really want to go back up. Can we go back up? Can I take my camera up this time?" So back up we went, to my GREAT JOY. Because there are few things I love more than 2 knee workouts in one day plus being so high up in the air and getting more time to gaze at the sea and boats. Seriously. We were such happy little clams.
And I didn't even mind the drive back to the lighthouse, because we were having so much fun, and I was just glad to be making memories with you. We had some special times in the middle of the stressful ones. ;)
Daddy says "She really does look SO Irish.", meanwhile I'm thinking how fun it would be if you'd move to the States someday.....you know, if you got married or something. ;) I'd looove that!
You have such a loyal, gracious, faithful heart in friendship. Even though these have been hard years for both of us, we still make time for e-mails and Skype/embroidery dates, and you make time to listen to me, to see how I am. I've been SO incredibly blessed. I wanted to thank you so, so much for that. Sometimes I just don't know what to say, and just want to be silly and laugh, and you go right along with that. After all, I wasn't named "Plonker" for no reason. ;)
I love that you share life with me. You write me with concerns and prayer requests and worries. Oh, our worries. ;) You know worries of mine, and I know worries of yours. It is what best friends talk about, right? I know sometimes you feel inadequate, I can just hear it in your voice, or your words, and I want you to know that God is working a beautiful work in you, and how do I know? Because you are HIS, my darling. Because He will never let you go. Because He has promised to perfect you in all things, through His grace.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,
for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
You are so special to our family, and to all who know you here. We love who you are.
Sometimes you tell me you don't know how I love so well. Well, I will tell you. It has been because I have been loved so much by others, and so incredibly by Jesus Christ. I'm pretty convinced it doesn't show as much in everyone because they choose not to show it. But you know me. Hugs and cheek-to-cheek photos, holding hands and squeezes out of nowhere and wiping tears off cheeks is my heart's love. And this blog is the way I can send all of that straight over the Big Blue to you. So know I'm writing straight from my heart, and meaning every single word. From me to you. With hugs. :D
I'm so very grateful for that first e-mail, way back when we started college together. Now we are both doing separate colleges, and loving sharing life with each other. God was so kind to bring you along to me.
So before it gets too late, let me just thank you for one more thing.
Thank you soooo much for all your encouragement and love for this place. This place where I write. I love this place, and sometimes when things are particularly hard to get down in "ink", you will write me a really sweet e-mail and let me know you knew. You knew what I was trying to say. And that means the world!
And even in the times when you were here, and I felt awful and upset for not being the perfect hostess, and got mad because we got lost, and withdrew to my quiet space, and wanted to just lose it - you knew. You just patted my hand and gave me a smile and gave me some time alone. Thank you. :)
And at the end of this past May, when I least expected anything...a card came in the mail. It was a sympathy/I'm praying for you card for the hard anniversary coming up in June. I stood there in the kitchen and cried. It meant SO much to me. Nothing could have touched me more.
Your heart is shining brilliantly all the way over here. Across an ocean and a huge expanse of sky, your heart is touching mine, and your words are spilling out like a joyful rain, and you are blessing others.
I have been blessed to know you. You, honorable, precious Sarah Elizabeth .... Sadie Beth.
I loooove this photo of you, by the way.
On the sweetest days, may JOY fill and run over in abundance. May you know His face shining so brightly that everything you SEE is His hand in all things, all of His love lifting you higher and higher up that mountain.
On the hardest days, know you can rest in the love that won't ever be less - God's love for you as a daughter: beloved, redeemed, chosen to always be His, called to abide in all He is and all you are in His grace.
So Happy 25th birthday, sweet bestie. I love you so much. Thank you for being friends with me.
Much love always,
~ Jean Marie ~