Dear Emily,

There is simply not enough space in a phone text for my reply to you this morning, so I’m going public!

Happy, Happy Birthday, dear Daughter of my heart!

25 seems like an epic kind of birthday, to be sure.  I know when I turned twenty-five, I thought maybe, finally, I would feel mature.  Perhaps I would finally feel qualified for adulthood, motherhood, etc.  And, maybe, just maybe, the wisdom I thought I had would really be wise enough to share with my peers with some level of confidence.

None of that actually happened for me.  I didn’t feel mature; I didn’t feel qualified for motherhood (I had my third baby 2 weeks before my 26th birthday, and as you know my oldest wouldn’t be three for 2 more months!); and I still wondered if I would ever really obtain wisdom!

The amazing thing about 25, though, was that I began to really comprehend the Scripture passages that told me things like, “His strength is made perfect in [my] weakness”; “He gives grace to the humble”; “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

So for me, 25 was a great year.  A year of humbling, perhaps, but mostly a year of learning to trust Almighty God, who loved me so much that “He who has begun a good work in [me] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.  A really good year!

So, now, for my Emily:
May your 25th birthday bring you much joy! 

May it be more fun than you’ve imagined (and I know your great imagination!!),

 may your gifts be abundant and good,

but especially,

 “…this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Bo and Em 2007
precious wife to my son…

Em and Arulai MN Trip (16).jpg  
amazing mother to my grandchildren…

Spring Break 10
my dear, dear friend…

 I love you more than you can know!


(BTW, you are more than welcome!  It is always fun to shop for you!)

God bless your day!



About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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8 Responses to Dear Emily,

  1. chix0rgirl says:

    D’awwwww, the Stranz-Petty family is just too cute! Em, happy happy birthday to you too! 25 has been a great year for me too in many of the ways Mrs. Petty has said. I’m not wiser, but a lot of the things I previously knew and learned are coming together in exciting connections. You are lovely, inside and out. 

  2. Abbiegirl says:

    wow… this is beautiful, you made me cry much better then my post for sure! 

  3. pettybunch says:

    @Abbiegirl – No way, Abs!!  Your post so shows your love and admiration for your “big” sister – perfectly YOU!!  Emily is so special to both of us.  She gets birthday wishes from both of us!!

  4. Abbiegirl says:

    @pettybunch –  aww thanks Mrs. Petty. it was a scary afternoon, See my Newest post

  5. Lovely post! Lovely pictures! Lovely people! : )

  6. Aww, thanks so much, Mama! This brought tears to my eyes. I so love our friendship and am so grateful for the son you raised—he is such a joy to all of us! I can’t wait to try out your presents tomorrow at my grandparents’! The pool is calling our names… 🙂 Love you SO much!

  7. momstranz says:

    Nina, The love you have for Emily is such a gift to me!!  It is a gift to share this sisterhood/motherhood with you.  Who knew when our daughter found her love in Nate that we would find so much love to share between all our families?!   Happy day to you!

  8. pettybunch says:

    @momstranz – Bill and I always hoped we would have a close relationship with “the inlaws”, but I don’t think we really knew what we hoped for, nor how rare it is!! 

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