Happy Birthday, Charlene

I met Charlene at church — in the choir, as I remember it — a bunch of years ago.

We didn’t begin to build a friendship until the summer we went to Vinnitsa, Ukraine on a short term mission trip (I believe she recruited me to that trip and I, in turn, recruited Beth Gabrielson).

Then she recruited me to sing in a women’s trio and that venture lasted for a year or so — with a memorable (for me) “gig” at the FMC women’s retreat (the first of many times I’ve gone on that retreat). Memories of rehearsing in the bathroom of our room at the State Park (Spring Mill, was it?) — that conjurs up a giggle or two.

Over the past decade plus, I’ve grown to love and respect and value and admire and delight in this woman. (And in this same time, I’ve been recruited by her to a number of other ventures. There seems to be a pattern here.) I could ramble on for far too many words with stories of NYE parties and Canadian Cafes, a Captiva Island vacation and a Pittsburgh weekend escape, DIY decorating projects and HCS softball games, house hunts and email marathons, Einstein’s mornings and brownie waffle nights. My memory bank is quite full.

However, today I want to focus on this one thing. Charlene sets an example for me (and by that example, she both inspires and encourages me to follow her example) of what it looks like to embrace & enjoy the diverse expressions of God’s creativity. She loves people well — all sorts of people. She takes delight in the variety offered in nature, in design, in foods, in music, in a multi-cultured world full of people and things that reflect the character of God himself. In that, she herself reflects the character of God.

I love how God reveals himself through his creation — and especially love how he reveals himself through those who choose to follow him, who choose to submit to his mission.

Happy Birthday, Charlene.

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Charlene

  1. Lipstick Bandaids & Wet Wipe Baths says:

    Happy Birthday Charlene!!

    Brownie Waffles..you must explain this merger of two of my favorite foods!!!

  2. Dave Baldwin says:

    What a great tribute to a great Christian woman! All of us who know Charlene know that the words you wrote ring tue in her life!
    I loved the reference to Vinnitsa as well.
    Blessings on you all.

    Dave Baldwin

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