Happy Birthday, Aileen!!

“…Faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God. Believing, then, is directing the hearts’ attention to Jesus. It is lifting the mind to ‘behold the Lamb of God,’ and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives.” — A.W. Tozer


This quote is on Aileen’s Blog.
I share it because it reflects something I’ve seen in her living — a steadfast commitment to a life of worship and obedience of the one true God. 
Aileen moved to Orlando just a few weeks after I did back in 2002. We worked in the same department, but it took us a few months to begin having real conversations. As we each grew into the roles we held and, eventually, into roles of greater responsibility, I had the privilege of working more and more often with her. 
I don’t mean to give the impression that we were merely colleagues — while all that working was going on, we became friends.
A few of my favorite memories of times we have spent together over these six years include hanging out at the Folk Art Festival at Downtown Disney, putting up my Christmas tree, and some unstructured and unhurried time on my patio.
I’ve learned a lot from Aileen. 
She listens to God. She seeks to grow and learn and stretch. She own her fumbles while easily extending grace to others in the midst of their own floundering. She’s done it for me.
She has the heart of a servant and is always paying attention to the details in people’s lives and caring for them in ways that most of us would miss because we don’t pay such careful attention.
Last August when Aileen moved away from Orlando, we thought she’d be spending this birthday in the Philippines. Her mom’s leukemia diagnosis 7 months ago changed that timeline. My faith has been expanded and my courage increased through Aileen’s example as she has navigated the uncertain waters of her mom’s ongoing treatment and the disappointment of changed plans. I’ve benefitted from her honest self-disclosure through this season as it has given me a way to see God’s hand more clearly than ever in her life. 
So, Aileen Agoncillo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 

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