Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Norwood Hospital 2-2-90 Friday 7 pounds 1 ounce 20 inches long Dr.Prout

It is amazing that today at 12:31 p.m. you turn 20! You are no longer a teenager! I can't believe it. When you were born, we lived in Walpole, Massachusetts. Daddy was on staff at Christian Life Center. We had been married 12 years and were so desirous to have you! You had been prayed for, for many, many years and we had yet to feel your life or see your face. We longed to have you, little man, in our lives.

Ryan, your name dates back to the third century and is derived from a Latin word meaning "the laughing." Although most commonly heard as a surname, from the Irish Rian, "little king," it has gained popularity as a given name in America.

Still today, Ryan is the most beautiful name to my ears. You are a Ryan, when people don't hear your name well and say Bryan, I always think, no Bryan doesn't fit! He is a Ryan. Reading the definition of your name, I am reminded that you have always been a person of laughter and certainly you have always been treated like a king!

You were the most precious baby, toddler, little boy, young man! Everybody would tell me that! From the church nursery workers to your mema, from Mrs. Canterbury to Miss Starla. You had a gentleness about you that was part of your personality. Even today you are a "gentleman."

You went on your first missions trip in 1993 to Puerto Rico, then in 1994 to the Dominican Republic, 1995 to France, 1996 to Mexico, 1997 to Paraguay, 1999 to Russia, 2003 Costa Rica, you were the youngest student to be in language school with daddy and at the graduation even recieved a certificate! 2005 and 2007 you were back in Mexico with daddy. You had a lot of ministry in Jamaica in 2009. You have always been a great travelor! I guess you learned you had to be if you wanted to be with Dad! I wish I had the car and air miles that you logged through these last 20 years!

Ry, you have brought so much joy to our lives and you are your sisters hero, example, idol (in a good sense!) and friend. Thank you for investing so much time and energy into her through the years. You are a terrific big brother!

I remember the first time I allowed Renee to take a spin with you in your first car. I was so nervous to have both of my babies in the same car with a new driver! I stood on the porch interceding for safety until you came around that corner on Leisa and Jonathan! The joy on your faces, the wind blowing through your hair, the smiles so huge, I was put to shame that I would worry so while you both were having so much fun! You have brought so much joy to your sister.....thanks!

The hardest thing we have ever done honey was leaving you, our "little king" at VFCC on August 27, 2008 to fly to Jamaica the next day for a 4 year missions term. It was and is such a struggle to leave you alone. It is absolutely essential for us as parents to let you learn how to fly on your own but it is not something we enjoy! We have watched your development close up and personal for now 20 years and you will never know the depth of how proud we are of you. Your desire to make music, your desire to worship, your desire to please, your desire to keep moving and not get stagnant, your desire to do your best, your desire to keep healthy friends, your desire to be a pastor, your desire to LOVE God and to make HIM known is something that brings your daddy and me, and your grandparents great joy.

When I was in the hospital on February 2, 1990 Pop Pop and MeMa came to the hospital and her devotion that morning was something appropriate to read to me anticipating the delivery of my first~born. I want to share it with you.

Fear not, I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13.. Sunlight glistens on his whiskers as Mr. Groundhog cautiously pokes his head above his earthy burrow. He eases to his haunches, twitches his fuzzy ears and listens for signs of danger. Then...horrors! He sees this big, black, spooky thing looming in front of him. Whoosh! He's gone. His shadow has sent him fleeing back to the safety of his den. This means, according to legend from Great Britain and Germany, that winter will last another six weeks. I, for one, like a sunny day---especially in February. How silly to let a shadow spoil it. But, I wonder, how many times have I retreated from opportunity because I was frightened by a shadow called "uncertainty" or "inadequacy"? Perhaps my fear is as unfounded as the groundhog's. I have an idea. This Groundhog Day, despite the scary shadows in front of me, I'm going to take one small step toward something I want to accomplish. Dear Lord, this Groundhog Day, give me the courage to confront my shadows. (Terry Helwig)

You, my little groundhog, born on Groundhog Day, are now 20 years old. You know how to live uprightly. You know what makes the world tick, you know so much about ministry life. As you follow HIS call, don't be afraid of your shadow!


  1. Oh Mom...how I miss you guys. You have made me into the person I am, and I am forever indebted to the time you and Dad spent on me...I love you so much!

  2. Wow Deb, I just finished telling King Ryan how I remember those missions trips and when he would fall asleep on the altars and now too see the wonderful young man he has become is awesome. May he continue to follow in the steps that went before him and put his own imprint.

  3. Ryan, I also remember your birth, how very much you were prayed for and waited for with much anticipation. I have watched you grow and mature into a wonderful man of God. Keep close to God and you will always have good success. Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Belated birthday to Ryan! I did not realize your birthday was "Groundhog Day"! It doesn't seem possible you are 20. It makes me realize my own age! I feel like it's almost time for your parents and my wife and me to move into Maranatha Retirement Village!! Ryan, several years ago when Rachel went to MO to visit Amy at Evangel she came home saying, "Ryan Seler is the COOLEST kid!" You are, but Mary Ann said it well; more than "cool" you are "Godly".
    Best regards! Glad you will never forget my "I have no brakes!" incident!