By: Jennifer Murray

Happy Birthday to You!

{This is Brad.  I have broken into Jen’s blog to bring you a post she was not expecting.  You will have her back next post!}

birthday_jen

Count Your Blessings

Remember when we were kids and our parents would make us name things we were thankful for around Thanksgiving? Maybe you do the same thing with your kids now? How about you? When was the last time you sat back and named those most important blessings?

Today is one of those days for me. I know I am supposed to say nice things on days like today, but I am telling you guys, God blessed my socks off with this woman. Every year that passes I see God molding Jen into the woman He intends for her to be. As I read these past two posts from her about “What I do” and “What I don’t do“, I realized just how much I have seen her change these past few years. When I sit back and try to think of what has caused these positive changes, it reminds me that growth comes through trials. {James 1:2}

I have had the great blessing of walking with Jen through many illnesses, infertility, a quadruplet pregnancy, bedrest, 4 weeks of hospitalization, three major surgeries, preemies in the NICU, sleeplessness, chronic back pain, too many diapers to count, child hospitalizations, and 100 other things that I could list. Yes, that’s right, I said the “great blessing” of walking with her through these things. I didn’t view them as blessings when we were in the trials, but I do now because of what those trials have built in our lives.

Great Relational Depth Takes Time

Trials can either destroy a relationship, or build it up.  God has blessed our marriage to let those difficult circumstances deepen our love and commitment to one another.  When new trials enter our lives, we draw strength from those trials that God led us through in the past.  We can now say things like, “We have endured things before, we can do this too!”  The only thing that can bring this deep and blessed friendship is to enjoy and endure the good and bad for many years together.  Nothing is a substitute for the years we have spent together.

Help Me Say Happy Birthday?

Can you guys help me today?  As with many moms and wives, the biggest thing Jen needs is encouragement.  Would you wish her a happy birthday and tell her one specific way her writing has blessed you?  Thank you all.  You have no idea what a tremendous blessing you readers are to our family.

Brad
{Husband and Daddy}

 

21 Responses to “Happy Birthday to You!”

  1. HoundDogMom (Sherri)
    October 4, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Happy Happy Birthday, Jen. I hope you have a blessed day and wishing you many more. Sherri
    HoundDogMom (Sherri) recently posted.. Wordless Wednesday – 9/25/2013

  2. Samantha brewer
    October 4, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Happy birthday. I hope that you have a truely wonderful day with your family. Thank you so much for your last post, I needed to hear that houses with dust are ok 🙂

  3. Terri
    October 4, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday! I have enjoyed your blog for years and have been so encouraged by your words. Your faith is reflected in your actions and you live your Christian values as an example for all your followers.
    I love reading about your darling boys and hope we get to hear how they celebrate you today!

  4. Emily Hasselbeck
    October 4, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Happy Birthday! Jen has blessed me in so many ways, since our time together at Butler! 🙂 Her writing is always an encouragement, and I hope to be half the mom she is! I love the transparency she writes with and the practical parts too (recipes!). Hugs and love coming your way on your special day, Jen the Hen! 🙂

  5. Crystal
    October 4, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Today is my mom’s birthday too! And like Jen, she’s an amazing woman! To Jennifer: I love reading about your awesomely quirky life and have so enjoyed getting to know you across the miles. Even though we haven’t met, I definitely consider you a friend! And to Brad: good work, sir, and way to give your wife something that EVERY woman wants!
    Crystal recently posted.. Bunn’s Unlimited (Because Isn’t That Fun to Say?) {A Giveaway}

  6. Marnie
    October 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Happy Birthday! I “just” have twins and reading your blog helps me know that if you can do it with four, I can most certainly do it with two!! Have a wonderful day!

  7. Allyson
    October 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Aw, Emily brings back good memories of Jen the Hen! 🙂 Oh how our lives have changed since that Freshman year bible study at Butler! We had such a great group of women! I am always encouraged by your writing and your honesty! You are an incredible woman of God and wife and mother! Thanks for all the tips for my little guy! You are a WONDERFUL person and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  8. Kelly from Kelly's Lucky You
    October 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Aw, now you’ve gone and made me cry… happy tears….

    Happy Birthday, Jen! When I count my blessings, knowing you two is one of them. I feel blessed to know both of you and to be able to share in your life. When that email shows up in my inbox, it tells me there’s a new post to inspire me. When I picture what I would like my daughter’s life to be – I see you and Brad. And that is the highest complement of all……

    Have a wonderful day – you deserve all the best of luck (and God’s blessings!).
    Kelly from Kelly’s Lucky You recently posted.. Coupon – Save Up to $2 on Snickers and Milky Way Bites! Chocolate Alert!

  9. Elizabeth
    October 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Happy Birthday Jen,
    You and Brad really have no idea how much I look forward to your posts. It seems that you guys NAIL IT every time I need some inspiration. It’s hard to believe that you walk through some of the same trials that I do, as well as many others. However, how you handle it and how you encourage others is so inspiring. Jen and Brad, wish I knew you in person, cuz the world could use inspirational neighbors like you.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!! Many, many blessings!
    Elizabeth

  10. DEBBIE IN GRAYSON
    October 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Happy Birthday Jen,
    Your post have blessed me and my daughter’s family. We so relate with you because my Jennifer had triplets two weeks after you had your boys. It has been such a comfort to see and hear you and your family go through the same trials of having multiples (even if you were blessed with one more than we were). Keep up the blogging cause we know there are so many more blessings and trials to come.

  11. Jo
    October 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Happy Birthday from Australia!

    I am impressed with your obvious love of home schooling your little boys- I know without a doubt if I’d had HOM I would have been equal parts delighted and sad to send them off to Kindy, but I would have sent them!

    Hope you get lots of love from your boys today- and maybe a few minutes peace and quiet.

  12. Sonya
    October 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Debbie
    October 5, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Happy birthday Jen.

    I love reading your posts and marvel how you even find the time to write them let alone the time to reflect on your life and where God is at in it.

    You seem to be an amazing wife, mother and woman.

  14. Lene Kristin
    October 5, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    Happy Birthday Jen! I look to this blog for inspiration. Like one of the commenters above, I have “only” twins and I have learned much by how you make things work with your foursome. I think it is great to hear that more people than me have had the “muscle stitch surgery” which for me still is in the future, and it was so good to read about Brad’s story when my husband found himself out of work. I relate well to Jen’s way with words, I always feel she writes to me personally!
    I hope your birthday is marvellous – you deserve that! Birthday wishes from Norway 🙂
    Lene Kristin recently posted.. Ilaparksøndag

  15. Angie @ Just Like The Number
    October 5, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Happy birthday dearest Jen!!!! Sheesh, Brad, that’s a tall order … having to narrow it down to just one way Jen’s writing has blessed me. I’m just so glad that our paths crossed and that I can call Jen a real-life friend. Jen, you have an amazing gift to write so authentically and honestly. I think your last two posts, “What I Do” and “What I Don’t Do” are perfect examples. They inspire me so much to be content with who I am and to realize the blessings I have and appreciate the people who love me for me. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!
    Angie @ Just Like The Number recently posted.. Always a Football Fangirl

  16. Lafayette Grandma
    October 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    I hope you know how much we love you. Your Birthday is a happy event for us just knowing you are part of our family. We are here saying we hope happy days are there for you all the time, but especially on this birthday. Tom and Kathy.

  17. Adele
    October 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Happy Birthday Jen. We haven’t met but I am grateful for your example of love and devotion to God and the way that you are raising your boys to know Him and feel of His love.

    Thanks! I hope you have a great day!

  18. Diane
    October 6, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Happy Birthday!! I am so blessed by your sharing and inspired by your creativity. It’s so fun to get to peek-in on your life. God Bless you!!! :)Diane

  19. teresa
    October 8, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Happy Birthday Jen! Your blog is a blessing. I appreciate that your strength and joy comes from the Lord. God bless you & Brad as you raise your 4 sons for His glory.

  20. Deanna
    October 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    What a blessing you and your family are to mine. I love being a mamma and enjoy reading about your family and how you navigate motherhood with 4 boys. I have also passed on your blog to teacher friends at school who also have children and you have blessed them as well.

    Happy, blessed birthday!

  21. Mel
    October 16, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    I’m just catching up on my reading and wanted to wish Jen a very happy birthday. Your boys are about the same age as my oldest and I always enjoy reading your posts you provide encouragement and tons of fun stuff to do with my boys. I love that you are constantly stepping out in faith and taking on more stuff (homeschooling foe example).

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