trips, new beginnings, and celebrations

Today I am flying (thanks to the generous gift of airline miles) to North Carolina for a retreat with Ann Voskamp! She wrote One Thousand Gifts.  It will be a small gathering at a beautiful retreat center. I am so ready and filled with anticipation of hearing from God.  Ann, I can’t wait to meet you face to face!


Between the time the retreat ends and my return flight departs, I will be spending the night with a dear friend that goes waaaaaay back. Back to when I was an awkward middle school (7th grade) missionary kid home for a year of furlough with Mom and Dad. Sharon was my carpool to and from school. Fast forward a few years to the year after high school and before Mark and I got married. Sharon and I worked together at Tropicana in the “microfilm” department and became good friends. That goes back to 77-78! I really don’t recall the last time Sharon and I saw each other, but thanks to the FaceBook connection I know we are going to have a wonderful time catching up! Sharon, do you think we will get much sleep? Put the coffee on…


Today is also a very BIG day for my baby girl, Veronica.

After seven years, today is a new beginning… her last day of working at The Met. Bittersweet I am sure, but she has much to look forward to. Afterall she has a baby boy to prepare for! Veronica, as your mom I am so proud of you, your work ethic, your loyalty and trustworthiness, the way you have used your gifts and talents and the way you and Mike have trusted God as you made this decision. I know you will be greatly missed by your boss and co-workers, but I for one am sooooo excited for you to have some free time… let’s do lunch!!


Today a special and beautiful young lady and friend is traveling to Kenya on a medical mission trip.

beautiful sisters... Molly is in the middle

Molly has traveled a lot, but as she says it has been mostly for pleasure.  But this time God is working in and through her in a special way. I know she will come backed amazed at the things God has done.  Anytime we step forward in obedience to something God has called us to, there will be obstacles and attacks. This has been true for Molly as well. Will you pray for her this week.? Thanks! Travel light and expect big things Molly! Godspeed


Tomorrow is Mark’s birthday. Yes, I left town… just a payback for the fact that every year on my birthday he is at the Daytona 24 hour race. But it’s okay with both of us.  And just because I am gone does not mean I can’t wish him a happy birthday.

So Happy Birthday Mark! You are one of a kind and I appreciate so much about you… you can go here and here to see what I mean, because I still feel the same today, but deeper still. You are my superhero. Thank you for the mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength, faith and laughter you give to our relationship. May God give you the desires of your heart as you walk with him so faithfully through this not so easy time. I love and respect you (even though I fail to express it well). Happy birthday and don’t party too much without me!

Happy weekend everyone!
May it be filled with the beauty of God’s gifts.

6 thoughts on “trips, new beginnings, and celebrations

  1. Happy Birthday Mark David DeJong,
    In my almost 17 years of knowing you, you have been a person of many talents, patient, understanding, a great mentor, a boss that is to be honored because of his commitment, integrity, honor, trustworthiness, and loyaly to God, Family, work and friends. Mark you mean so much to those around you, who know you and even those that know of you, that you are a man of his word. But, I think most of all you are committed to your Lord and Saviour because you have sold out to Him for the long haul, which is evident by your actions, speech, and love for all, even in the tough times, you lean on the Lord for your provision and that is most honorable in any person, especially since you have now gone over the 50 hill to adventures beyond your wildest imagination because of the man that your are and will become. So it bears repeating HAPPY BIRTHDAY brother in Christ and to the best boss a person could ever have. I love you and look forward to the coming years with you and your family. God richly bless you, stay true to your Father in heaven, and all these things will be added unto you. Both Janet and I wish you the very best!


  2. Wow, great blog Ruthie! God is out there doing so much! We have so much to all be thankful for! Happy Birthday Mark! I very much admire your walk with our Lord and always welcome hearing your testimonies.
    Have a wonderful day! Jeff & Terrie


  3. Thank’s to my Babe, she the best! and to my many friends for thier kind words. I am really not that good ….. just a bloke trying not to eat the pavment , mainly cause that really hurts :{ As life goes on I realize more and more that it takes us all working togeather, cause on any given day “somtimes your the windshields and somtimes your the bug.” HERE’S TO A WINDSHIELD KIND OF DAY! ;}
    Love ya guys, me


  4. This day reminds me of 50 years ago today when you entered our world. You have always been such a joy to your mother and me. In your very early days, you were called my shadow, because you were always following me with your little blanket. After losing your blanket you graduated to a teddy bear, which you eventually lost in Europe, as we were on our way back to the states in 1965. As you became a teenager, we had the opportunity to be together a lot – in Africa, Europe, Minnesota, Texas and NC. Finally, after several years of our working together, a young lady at Ben Lippen School won your heart. What a joyous life the two of you have had for these many years. Because you accepted the Lord as a young boy, I have seen you develop and grow in relationships and skills to be the man you are today. Thank you for being a son that I am very proud of. With much love, Dad De Jong


  5. Hi Mark. Happy Birthday. It sounded on the phone like you have a special evening planned with some family and friends. Please know that you are always in our prayers for God to give you wisdom and provide all that you need to live a life of faith. These are hard times but His resources are limitless. Love you Mark. Mom De Jong (Sylvia)


  6. Enjoyed your post and pictures, Ruthi! Happy Birthday, Mark! Rejoicing with you all for Veronica and baby boy’s good progress! We are praying for your family, along with Uncle Art and Aunt Evy, on a weekly basis this year. Hope you enjoy the conference, Ruthi. I checked out the author’s website and it is wonderful. Her list of ‘good books’ includes some that we appreciate, too, and love the music! In His love and faithfulness, Tricia, for family


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s