Our first-born daughter, Whitney Leigh-Anne, celebrated a significant milestone today, celebrating 30 years of life well-lived in God’s good world. Whitney’s closest friends from our church family at GCR gathered at Travis and Donna’s house last night – more than thirty of us have been lying to Whitney for at least two weeks about this – and surprised her with a birthday party worthy of a 30th year.
Some of you know, Donna never does anything halfway. No, this shindig was over-the-top in a wonderful Donna McGraw kind of way: oversized balloons and massive decorations; a feast of culinary marvel featuring Blue Sky sliders, burritos, chicken nuggets, salads, nachos, meatballs, banana pudding, and a beautiful birthday cake; and some of the very best people we’ve ever had the privilege to know.
Whitney broke down in a emotional combination laughing – panic attack when she opened the door and heard the “Surprise!” and saw so many people who love her so much. The Legg and Rampton kids who are just a small part of the Children’s Ministry with which she volunteers two or three times a week, were there. Good friends from Whitney’s small group, from our church ministry team, from her Gathering Group in the women’s ministry, her friends and peers who hang with her at restaurants, coffee shops, and game nights, and several representatives from her second family, the McGraws, were all there to wish our girl a happy birthday.
And, of course, true to GCR fashion, we needed a couple of U-Haul trailers to cart all the gifts back home.
Happy Birthday, Whit. Your mom and I thank our Lord every day for the love and the joy we’ve been able to share with you for the past thirty years. You are a blessing of genuine warmth and happiness to us and to everyone who knows you. We love you, girl.
To our congregation at Golf Course Road, thank you for the way you love our daughter. Thank you for the acceptance, the community, and the belonging with which you have welcomed her into your lives. It is a reflection of the glory of our God, it is an expression of the love of Christ for his people, and it is an answer to our prayers.