Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
My adopted by the heart daughter turns 25 today. (She’s the one fourth from the right on the second row in this photo) I wish I could take credit for her brains, but she only carries my love, not my genes. She is one smart cookie having received her A.A. degree from our local community college at the same time she got her High School diploma. Then, she went on to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After that, she moved out of state to live with her dad and go to graduate school. In two years, she completed her Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. At the same time, she held down a full time job as an engineer with a defense company working on missiles and rockets. She is quick to point out God at work in her life. She interviewed with her employer hoping for an internship position. She watched in awe as over the course of just a few days, God opened up doors for her to interview up the chain of command with the company. In a remarkable turn of events, this young woman who asked only for an internship was offered a paid position as an engineer. I told you she is one smart cookie. She spent much of the spring finishing up her degree while in California monitoring the test launch of rocket with a payload that she can’t talk about. Too secret. She is smart about more than math and science. She is making a lot of money for a twenty five year old. Instead of going out and buying a new car and lots of clothes and stuff, she still drives the old car that husband helped her get a few years ago. She lives with her dad and is saving her wages because she is on track to pay off her student loans by the end of the year. These are not your piddly stay at home and go to community college loans. These are whopper loans. Even though she got so many scholarships, her undergraduate colleges were returning money to her for living expenses, graduate school in engineering is not cheap. She is saving her money, paying off her debt and most importantly, the very first thing she did when she got her job was to “sponsor” a Tanzanian girl from Compassion International. She sends the girl and her family as much money each year as that agency will allow. She delights in getting letters from this child who she has never met. She recognizes how many blessings she has received and wants to share them with someone else as an encouragement to look for God’s blessings as well. That is what I admire about her the most. She has not had an easy life. She has suffered some hardships and worked hard to be where she is. But, she doesn’t look back. She is not bitter or angry. She looks ahead and pours her love into helping others. Happy Birthday, dear one. You make your mama proud.