Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. Henri Nouwen
EDITORS NOTE: I am departing from my typical format today to speak directly to an extraordinary young woman on the occasion of her birthday. Her amazing mother wanted me to ask you all for a special prayer for her health and happiness as she celebrates her amazing life this year. As you know if you’ve been paying attention, I believe our prayers for one another are powerful. I thank you in advance for sending up some love on her behalf, Jesus lovers! 🙂
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You are incredible! You make this world a better place. Beautiful, energetic, and wise beyond your years, you are full of potential and have so much to offer the world. You are a sparkly jar of glitter, and when you smile it’s like the lid pops off and the world around you is brighter and more fun. I know your mom told you those things at least 1,000 times, because she said them about you behind your back even more!
Today as you celebrate your birthday, there’s just no way to keep you from feeling it as a bittersweet day. That’s because we only get one mom and I know you miss her, because that is the price of love. Hang in there, sweet girl, because you can do this, and lots of other wonderful things too.
Great things are coming your way, but as you head out on the journey, don’t forget to love today. Be grateful for this moment. Praise God for the gift of your glorious kindness and compassion towards others. Be grateful for those intensely blue eyes. Be thankful for your big, beautiful family including all those goofy cousins and your two spectacular brothers, too. You are a strong woman because a strong woman raised you. Do you remember that lunch you and I had with your mom at Pizzaology not so long ago when you were home for a visit? Maybe you recall it and maybe you don’t. Here’s what I remember that your mom said to me the next day when we were talking about you, like we often did. She said, “Whatever Sam decides to do, I just want her to make sure it makes her happy. She’s the most beautiful girl I have ever laid eyes on.” Sage advice.
The world is a better, more positive place because you are in it, Sam-a-lam. You treated my “little guys” with kindness every single day they were around you in the old carpool days and on GGW over the years. I feel certain that is the way you treat others now too, and it matters. Every tiny kindness makes a difference. Thank you for the example of your goodness. Today, I hope you eat a big piece of cake and you have to lick the frosting off your fingers. Your life is one that is worth celebrating in a big way! I hope you can feel the hug I am trying to give you, Sam. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAMANTHA VOLPE!!