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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Beloved Sistah,

When Mama and Daddy told Steve and I we were going to have a new brother or sister, my joy knew no bounds! You were loved, from the start, by all of us. If all children were as wanted and loved as you, this world would, indeed, be heaven on earth. There was even a chance you'd be born on my birthday! The news was totally overwhelming and I said my prayers and, probably, kept my fingers cross for all those many, long months. 
You were born on April 13, two days after my birthday, and share Abraham Lincoln's birthday, which seems, somehow, fitting although I'm not sure why. smile
In those days mothers and babies stayed in the hospital for a week or more. Just imagine, an entire week of laying abed, being fed and tended to and cared for...and that was just the Mother! When Mom and Daddy brought you home, your new bed was waiting and I just beside it. We shared a bedroom and, that night, after everyone was asleep, I crept to your crib, picked you up and took you to my bed. From the first night, we shared a bed and you owned my heart.
Over the years, you've grown into a woman, lovely in all ways that matter. Yes, you have physical loveliness but it pales to your kind heart. You share and care and give, sometimes to your own disadvantage, but God always works it out; He knows.
When you and your first husband had your two boys, you became Mother Extraordinaire and your sons now call you blessed. When you and your first husband separated, your sons never went without anything although you went without often.
When you remarried, his sons became your sons and never did you say step-sons; always sons. When Matt was killed in that tragic vehicular accident, you were knocked to your knees and stayed there...praying.
Today, in honor of all your birthdays to come, I am sponsoring a little girl named Rocio whose birthday is April 13. She's six years old and lives in Peru with her mother; for whatever reason, there is no father. 
Compassion International is the host organization, and has been around since 1952, before you, or I, were born. Rev. Everett Swanson, an evangelist in South Korea was preaching to American troops fighting in the Korean War, and his heart was broken by so many war orphans. When Rev. Swanson returned to the USA, he started Compassion International by supporting 34 orphans in South Korea. Now, there are more than two million sponsored children in 26 developing countries. 
Beloved Sistah, Rocio has a better chance at life because of you. Each month, on the 20th, I'll give some money and throughout the year will send little gifts as well as remember Rocio on her birthday and at Christmas. Each month and each time, Rocio will be tucked into prayer, alongside you.
You and I have been so blessed and I wanted to share, in a tangible way, some of those blessings. What better way of sharing than with a single mother and her little girl who shares your birthday?
Happy Birthday, Stephanie; love and prayers, now and always.

Blessings ~ Stephanie, Beloved Sistah ~ Rocio ~ Compassion International ~ Rev. Everett Swanson ~


  1. Well now, this has gone and made me cry first thing this morning. How precious this is, and what a blessing to that new little girl in your life.

  2. What a wonderful wonderful story. Thanks for sharing, and for the compassion you share with the world.

  3. Anonymous8:02 AM EST

    A beautiful post and an example of what Christmas giving is all about.

  4. What a beautiful post!! I love the picture of you tiptoeing to her crib and taking her to your own bed for all those years. So sweet!

  5. I love Compassion International's mission and work! And what a wonderful story of love in your family; it is fitting to share it as you are doing.

  6. Oh goodness you have brought me to tears! What a wonderful story and tribute!


  7. Sandra-- I can think of no better gift than what you are doing for this little child-- a wonderful tribute to a sister who is beloved-- a gift that will surely change the life of a child. That little girl is blessed to have you in her life--

  8. You're a real treasure and you REALLY need to quit making me tear up! :) That's a lucky little girl that gets you for a Sponsor. What a sweet post.

    Merry CHRISTmas y'all! ~:)

  9. Oh~ this was precious, Sandra.... Happy Birthday to your sis!

  10. I just teared up like everyone else. You are a special woman Sandra. Hugs!

  11. Sandra, this is a wonderful tribute to your sister Stephanie! Wishing your Sister a wonderful birthday and thinking of you this Christmas~

  12. Sandra, this is a wonderful tribute to your sister Stephanie! Wishing your Sister a wonderful birthday and thinking of you this Christmas~

  13. That was a beautiful tribute to your sister! THank you for sharing!

  14. Adorei seu blog.
    Estou aguardando a sua visitinha:
    Feliz 2013 Leila ( Brasil )

  15. Beautiful, just beautiful ...


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