As a mom, you pray for your daughter in so many areas of her life.

You pray for her heart that she loves the Lord all of her days and that she knows she is loved by God and her family and friends, and you pray she makes excellent friends and finds a place in community, and you pray she is kind and thoughtful and discerning and adventurous and grateful and fun, and you pray she loves her family and friends and neighbors, and you pray sheappreciates the outdoors and nature and simplicity and sports and music and art, and you pray she finds her calling and her ministry and career and gifting and ways to help others, and you also pray for her future husband, even when she says to you — after you’ve talked to her about boys and she’s dated a bit and gone to dances and dinners — that “I’m not getting married till I’m 30, if ever. . .”

. . . until she meets this young man in 2008 when she is 18 at Bible School in Germany and the young man is 20 . . . and that young man visited us the following summer in 2009, and he hung out with us for 3-weeks and he joined our family on a two-week road trip to Yellowstone Park and he sat in our cramped van made for 8 and we filled every nook and cranny of that van with which we pulled our 1970s green tent trailer, and that young man sat between my daughter who is my oldest child and only daughter and my youngest child and fourth son, and that young man laughed and hiked and camped and cooked and cleaned and fit right in with my five kids. . .

. . . And four years later that young man and my only daughter married in a ceremony in a 125 year old chapel at an old Catholic mission and they honeymooned in Belize. And they had another ceremony in Germany with all his German relatives and friends and we all got to be there for that as well.

They have traveled to other parts of the world individually and together and they have a contest goingregarding who has been to more countries, and we met them when they were living in Africa for six months while my daughter was working on her minor in Africa studies. And they now have a baby girl and they are expecting their second child, a son, at the end of April.

Well, that young man, that future husband for my daughter if it was the Lord’s will, he just turned Three Decades old. Yep, the big 30! That young man Stefan is an amazing son-in-law, and I could not have dreamed up a nicer, neater, more amazing, down-to-earth, genuine individual than he is. But, God of course could. 

He’s adventuresome and fun and thoughtful and humble and driven and loving and smart, and he loves the Lord and he adores my daughter and he’s a fantastic father to their baby girl and he loves our family and fits right in like he’s my fifth son!

And, we are so very thankful and proud of him that he earned a position as a pediatric resident in the United States at a hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, so now he will be able to practice medicine in the United States! Last June before they moved from Germany to Hawaii, we hosted a little Luau gathering for a few of their friends and family to celebrate the achievement and to send them off on their way to Paradise, where he’s been a pediatric resident since last June. He rides his bike to work every day and his hours are 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week and when he gets home from work he is there for his family and it will continue to be long hours these three years and they are just very grateful for this opportunity to be in the States.

And we of course are also thrilled that they have the opportunity to live closer to us, because as my Rachel pointed out, basically the past 9 ½ years she has lived in Germany, so far away from her four baby brothers whom she adores.

And, let’s be honest, it’s awesome that now I have a reason to go to Hawaii a couple of times a year. Happy Birthday, to my son-in-law, whom we prayed for before he even knew it. 

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