Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Valerie!!

Proverbs 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Today marks a special day for the modern world!  It is the ?? anniversary of the arrival of one very special lady.  Aren't we blessed??  I know I am and anyone who knows Valerie probably feels the same way. 

My 30th Anniversary Surprise!

Abigail Miller, Valerie, and I

Each time the Lord takes our family through a trial, He always sends special "Angels" to encourage us.  In college it was the Ortiz Family.  When Randy had his cancer, the Lord really used Dr. and Mrs Dan Siemer, and Kevin and Amy Arthur to help us through some great difficulties.  After my tumor surgery at Mayo Clinic and our son's death two weeks later, the Lord sent the Noonan family and their church in Rochester, Minnesota, and Pastor and Mrs. Abberger and Lakeview Baptist Church to our side.  This furlough there have been so many blessings, but one of the greatest is my friendship with Valerie Higley.  She loves her family, her church, and her pastor and his family.  She is always thinking of ways to be a blessing to someone and I am humble to say that I have been the receipient of many of her "gifts".  For our 30th wedding anniversary, she made it possible for my favorite singer, Abigail Miller, and our daughter, Christa, to fly to Connecticut to be part of the festivities!

Br. & Mrs. Higley

A few years ago, I met Valerie via the internet. She is a member of one of our supporting churches and when she found out we had Skype she asked to be added to our contacts. For a long time Valerie was just a little green cloud with a white check mark in it on my computer screen. One day we decided to try and "meet up", she in Groton, Connecticut, and me in Okinawa, Japan. We chatted just a short time and that was that. Later she contacted me again and asked to interview me for the ladies at her church. I was excited about it, but a little nervous. We had a wonderful time during our visit and I was glad for the contact and the interest in our work on Okinawa. After that Valerie went back to being her little green cloud on my computer. Last Fall, soon after we arrived back in the US for our furlough, we visited Valerie's church in Groton. This is when our friendship really took a change in direction.

She sharpens me, encourages me, listens to me grumble, laughs at my jokes and sarcasm, loves my daughter, and most importantly encourages my walk with the Lord in a positive direction.  One verse she recently shared with me was:

Malachi 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

After she shared this verse with me, I asked myself two questions, "Kelly, when the Lord listens to you speak to people, is He so moved with joy at your conversation that He wants to write a "book of rememberance" containing these words?  If someone were listening in on your conversations, would they see and know the love of the Lord through what you say and how you act?"  Praise the Lord for this verse, for the Lord showing it to Valerie, and for Valerie sharing her morning Bible reading with me! 

Thank you, Valerie for all you do for me and others.  There is no gift grand enough that I could give you to show how much I appreciate your love, compassion, understanding, and kindness toward me. 



Our7isheaven said...

God is so Good! Thank you Kelly for sharing this with us.

Happy Birthday to Mrs Valerie!

IslandGirl said...

Happy Birthday to Val! I am so happy that you have found a friend in her, and she in you! It blesses my heart to see someone who really cares about you, as much as Dad and I do! Thank you Val! May you have a wonderful day!