Happy Birthday, Melissa!

My Darling Baby Girl, Happy Birthday!

We miss you so much today! I have you know that Colin Fitzpatrick is the only man on earth I’d love and trust enough to move you off indefinitely without a small fight, especially on your birthday in a family where birthdays are king. Not only do all the Moores and Joneses miss you today, all your coworkers feel like confetti with no place to blow. You are the only one on our staff so far away that we don’t get to observe an official LPM annual celebration lunch. But, we’re all grown-ups here so call us the epitome of flexibility and understanding, as long as you rest assured we’re feeling the absence of your infectious and delightfully fun self.

I’ve already sent your wrap-able gifts and they should arrive right on time today so this is a minuscule ring-box of words to set beside them. Just a few things from the last 24 hours of life as we know it that I think might make you smile on your birthday:

A. Annabeth was dressed so cute at church yesterday that I honestly could not bear it. And when I asked your sister where she’d gotten that plaid skirt with suspenders and a white blouse in such a small size, she said “Her Aunt Melissa sent this to her!” Score, Child. Score. You’ve still got it. And I’m relieved since you are missing your two chief shopping cohorts.

B. Jackson was riding in the car with me from church to lunch yesterday like he usually does, but on this occasion he said something for the very first time: “Bibby, turn that up!” It was a praise CD. A monumental moment in a life, if you ask me. When I turned up the volume, I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw those little wheels rolling in his head and his big blue eyes cut over to the side, brows drawn down, trying to figure out whether or not he knew that Tomlin song. He’s starting to sing along with all sorts of different songs and guess who he requests most of all? David Crowder. Isn’t that a kick? You ought to hear him say his name. So precious you can’t stand it. And, by the way, he’s outgrown his shoes AGAIN. His feet are huge. (Jackson’s, not David Crowder’s. I don’t know if David has big feet or not. I’ll glance at them in January at Passion.)

C. We sang “Before the Throne of God Above” yesterday in the worship service. Knowing how much you love it, I could hardly get the words to come out of my mouth. I kept thinking of the lyrics in reference to the genuine trial by fire you’ve had this year with health issues attacking that little frame. Persevere, my sweet, sweet Child. I pray with all my heart that this is only a season and that God is going to bring you out of it twice the warrior that entered it. Please hasten to the finish, Lord Jesus. Restore Your young servant completely and bear such a harvest that she will one day look back on it as a gift in disguise from Your faithful hand.

Just in case you’ve forgotten any of the words:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

D. Abigail walked the aisle yesterday with her Mommy and Daddy and gave her heart to Jesus. She came up to me just before the service began and said, “Miss Beth, guess what I’m doing today??” And the rest is history. We had the sweetest baptisms yesterday and, all the while, I watched her and her Daddy elbowing each other with anticipation. You would have loved it. I was about to laugh and sob at the same time. I had a feeling she was on the verge of making this decision. You know what a people watcher I am. Last week we took the Lord’s Supper and Abigail was sitting right in front of me. She stared at that tray so hard when it passed her by that she nearly bored a hole in it. I knew something was up. She will stand in that same baptistery where you and your sister were immersed and right at about the same age. Is there anything like growing up in one church? Would we trade those folks in our section for anything on earth??

E. Mr. Parker finally squeaked up the coyote that’s eaten both of their beloved cats and one of their neighbor’s cats in the last few days. The rabbits are so scared of it that they’re nestling right up next to the houses. Geli stares at one out our front windows constantly. Don’t tell me you don’t miss Texas. Where on earth but here would that happen in a suburban neighborhood?

F. Dad and I made homemade buttermilk pancakes and bacon for supper last night. Yep, from a real live recipe with fresh buttermilk and eggs and baking powder and…well, I don’t remember now…just stuff. No mix, is what I’m getting at. It was so good! Dad even told me not to tell him again that I wasn’t a good cook. I’d dang well proved otherwise. How about that? OK, well, I might as well strut my stuff and share the recipe. I got it off the internet and it wasn’t attributed to anybody. I guess there’s no copyright on pancakes.

Beth’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes
(Oh, that made me so happy. It’s a lie though. They’re not mine.)

Makes nine 6-inch pancakes
The key to fluffy pancakes is not to over-mix the batter; it should not be beaten smooth. If serving these pancakes with bacon, reserve half a teaspoon of bacon drippings to grease the griddle instead of butter.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle

1. Heat griddle to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

2. Heat oven to 175°. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.

G. Dad’s getting new glasses. These are not from Walgreen’s. I helped him pick them out, praise You, Lord. These should actually sit straight on his nose and we will no longer have to tilt our heads to look him in the eye. He is too handsome for $11 spectacles.

H. (This is Amanda now. I get one letter.)

For my sister on her 27th birthday…

Today we will eat cupcakes in your honor.

And be sad you’re not here to share.

We hope you’ll spend the day doing everything that’s fun and nothing that isn’t. Maybe some home redecorating? Fort building?

Don’t stay home. Grab your car keys and go somewhere fun!

I’m thankful for the day you made me a big sister. I was just about Jackson’s age.

Hopefully I was better at holding you than this.

We’re all wild about you, Melissa! We love you more than we could ever say! Have the happiest birthday ever.
Your family


201 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Melissa!”

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  1. 151
    Meghan says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa! I love your posts, you have added a great dimention to the blog family. May God's love and joy shine on you today and the rest of the year.

  2. 152
    Following my King says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa! I hope that your next year is just WONDERFUL and filled with joyous surprises!

    Much love from this siesta!


  3. 153
    Jerry, Kim and Elijah says:

    Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!
    I hope Amanda got some pants on that little boy before they went out. It's a boy thing. You might not understand. But Mom's of boys understand!
    Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!
    Kim Feth
    Apex, NC

  4. 154
    Georgia Jan says:


    I.love.this. It is so sweet and funny – just like Beth, AJ, and Melissa!

    I feel like we all leaned over Melissa's shoulder and read her letter from home…because that's what I was just privileged to do!

    Melissa has brought so much to this community of women, e.g., the song "Before the Throne." She introduced it to me, I introduced it to my husband (who is a worship pastor), and now a congregation of 2,000 sing it…THANK YOU MELISSA! Your influence abounds for good! Happy Birthday!

    Beth: I printed your recipe and I'm making those buttermilk bad boy pancakes this coming Saturday morning with some fresh blueberries thrown in for the good they are supposed to do for my memory – heaven knows I need it…

    This morning I went all the way back to January 1st and said all my verses, but got "stuck in April," (unstuck back in May/June/July) so I'm hoping the blueberries will help! 🙂

    Love hearing about your grandbabies, isn't it wonderful? I had Zeke again tonight – and he was dancing to "I am a Friend of God," and swaying to "How Great Is Our God." He is 11 months old and I could squeeze him – in fact, I do!!!

    Love y'all so much,

    PS: "Feeling like confetti with no place to blow…"

    YOU CRACKED ME UP! Where do you get this stuff? Did you make that up???

  5. 155
    Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!!

  6. 156
    RS says:

    I used to be 27


    Chocolate and lot's of it is the B'day thang don't ya know.


  7. 157
    Chris in PA says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa! We're wild about you too! Hope you got some great perfume for your bday!

  8. 158
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa!

    Thanks for making me THINK on this blog this past year (yikes! Beth and Amanda – you make me think, too!!) I only meant that I love how Melissa dives, headfirst, into Theological Land, and invites all of us to join her. It's so fun – and if I could just have an endless supply of coffee I could just about close my eyes and pretend I'm back in my college days where there's always plenty of time to talk things through – and no diapers and dishes to distract.

    (Not that I don't love the diapers and dishes stage of life).

    Anyway, Melissa – you are a blessing to all of us and I hope today you feel especially blessed yourself!

    Celebrating you,

    Warm in Alaska (and I promise you, I'm not kind of stretching the truth with my online moniker right now – I am actually SITTING OUTSIDE ON MY DECK, trying to get myself a little tan).

  9. 159
    Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday,Melissa!!

    Hope your day is a special one and that this year is filled with many blessings!

    Anne in MO

  10. 160
    Kristy says:

    Happy, Happy Blessed Birthday Melissa!!!

  11. 161
    Shawna says:

    Smiling Melissa — because as loved as you are – by your Momma…and your sis…Your Daddy and Colin…it pales…pales…is but just a small reflection – for how much God loves you – and on this day, He shared you with the world, but He's smiling right now, knowing that you have always been and always will be His.

    Know you are loved today Melissa — not for what you do, or who you are…but just because… of Him.


  12. 162
    Jill_in_AL says:

    Happy day to you! I love your posts and even your cool accent on the LPM anniversary videos. Great to put your writing with your voice or vice versa.

    May God bless you with surprises for the heart and soul, Jill

  13. 163
    valerie says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!
    Today is my 30th wedding anniversary too. 🙂
    Hope you had a great day.

  14. 164
    Cindy in Ferndale says:

    Happy 27th birthday Melissa!

  15. 165
    Patti says:

    Hope you had a very blessed and fun birthday!

    Patti, Kissimmee, FL

  16. 166
    happymcfamily says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!

    This post just made my needlessly grumpy day happy. It helped me to get out of that "funk" mood that really had no foundation to begin with. I don't know why it helped… I guess there are enough items on the list to relate to that it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Or maybe it is because it is a list, and I am a little type A… which consequently means that I like lists a whole lot. So although you don't know me from Adam, humor me as I share my corresponding list. Because again, lists make me happy 🙂

    A. I love shopping for baby girls. When mine was a baby she never went anywhere without a bow and a bracelet… we wouldn't want her to have been mistaken for a boy, after all.
    B. That baby is now an exuberant 3 year old that sings loudly from the back seat (no matter how much I try to convince her to use her "pretty" voice, loud is much more fun). And when I was pregnant with her she always "danced" (a.k.a. kicked me) the hardest while listening to David Crowder, especially live.
    C. Before the Throne of God Above- one of my favorites. Possibly THE favorite. Reading it on the blog was almost like a virtual corporate worship. Thanks for that. Really.
    D. I just had conversations yesterday with my daughter about baptism (which she has seen a lot) and communion (which she has never really seen since she is always gone to children's church). She accepted Christ earlier this year at the time of the presidential inauguration. She said the sweetest thing. "When I get bigger and I get baptized and I come out of the water, Jesus can wipe the water off my face." She always talks about wanting to give Jesus a hug. All I can think to say is that I want to, too.
    E. Not Texas, but Tennessee. I get it.
    F. I made zucchini bread for the first time ever today. Does that count? I haven't tasted it yet.
    G. They aren't glasses, but my mom just got a pacemaker/diffibulator combo, and I am amazed at what a perky person she is now. (I guess it always helps one to be perkier when one's heart doesn't frequently stop beating). It's like her whole body can "see clearly". Her mind has never been so sharp. I am in awe.
    H. I won't be 27 until October, but we had cupcakes today too. Not for my birthday, they were leftover thank-you's to some of the college students that came over and did yard work and housework to help out my husband before I came home yesterday, just so he could get to come and play basketball. It was one of those, "I'm so proud of the love of Christ maturing in you" kind of moments. They are my BIG kids 🙂

    Thanks again for the list of joy. I apologize for the long-windedness. I would blame that on type-A, but I think that's just me. *sigh* 🙂

  17. 167
    Katie says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!
    Love you, KT

  18. 168
    Kristib says:

    By this time it is the end of your special day. I hope it was everything you wanted it to be and more! I know it is hard being away from your family who you can tell miss you so very much. I am sending an extra big hug your way today!
    Happy Birthday!
    Love ya!

  19. 169
    Carol in Georgia says:

    I can relate to much of Beth's sentiment today, because it's my youngest son's birthday also. I have two sons about the same age differences as Amanda and Melissa. Happy Birthday Melissa, from Vince Garrett's Mom.

    Carol in Georgia

  20. 170
    Kimberly says:

    Happy Birthday!!

  21. 171
    Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!!!!

    and by the way Beth, is there such a thing as whole buttermilk? I can only find fat free buttermilk in the grocery stores?

  22. 172
    Casey says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa!!!!

    Hope you feel great and enjoy this day God has given us!

  23. 173
    allboys4us says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa! You guys always make me smile, laugh and cry…somethimes even all at the same time! I feel so blessed to be sharing in your thoughts, hearts and beautiful family through this blog…always pointing us to Jesus!

  24. 174
    Aubrey says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa! What a great post. 🙂

  25. 175
    Melanie Miller in Idaho says:

    I knew down deep that I liked you for more than your intelligence, beauty, humor and mom. We share the same birthday!!!! That excites me more than I can say. Although, this day was a big one for me, I turned 40! gulp. Please note, though, it was the exact year that the first man walked on the moon. Anyways, I hope you had as blessed a day as I did. Happy Birthday, Melissa!

  26. 176
    stockdaleE says:

    Happy Birthday to dear Melissa! Can you believe it's been almost SEVEN years since we both started at Moody?! Unbelievable. Love you all!!

  27. 177
    Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    Happy Birthday…to one of the funniest, most beautiful gals I know…well I know you though your writing….that counts doesn't it?

    Hope it was a great day…

    Teresa P

  28. 178
    anareis says:

    I am doing a campaign to raise money to mount a minibiblioteca Community and other activities for children and adolescents in my community here in Rio de carente janeiro.Cansei to wait until today that the government or asphalt placed, children may not be so abandonadas.Preciso the aid of all people of good heart. I ask only that I send a letter to A $ 20.00, or 5.00 euros in. This money will be used for purchase of books, shelves, tables, chairs, baskets Basic (food), etc.Quem can help me send me an email to: [email protected], I give the address for shipment. May God protect us all.

  29. 179
    Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday, God bless you abundantly. More than you could think to ask.

    We love you.

  30. 180
    Anna says:


    A belated Happy Birthday. Being far from your mom and family , I still hope Colin made it a sweet and very precious day for you.

    Melissa, I am certainly no doctor–but I read an earlier post of yours and I felt I should write this to you then. I did not. But now after reading your mom's post and feeling she MAY BE talking of your migraines–I think I shall say it.

    Melissa, I guess comfort food for you is crackers and chicken noodle soup. Both are really really high in salt which will raise your BP and I have to assume give you an increased migraine. The next time it comes–maybe you can try and see if staying away from soup and saltines helps even a wee bit. Once again I am not a doctor but I think this MIGHT help. Seriously hoping it WILL help.
    Your friend, Anna.

  31. 181
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~

    YOU are "SHOCKING" with those gorgeous eyes!!! I have enjoyed our new found friendship and look forward to hearing about your special "27th" Birthday!!!

    Happy Birthday !!!!
    With "Heaven bound" blessings,
    Kim Safina

  32. 182
    Anonymous says:

    wow. happy birthday sweet sister.

    jackie tabor

  33. 183
    karensk says:

    Happy belated birthday, Melissa! Hope your day was awesome and hope your birthday week continues to be super-special. Though we've never met, you've definitely been a blessing to me.

    May the Lord bless you richly with His extravagant love!

    Karen K.

  34. 184
    Values Mom says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa! You are a gift to the body of Christ (just like your Mom!)

    Mansfield TX

  35. 185
    Rhonda says:

    This is the sweetest thing I've ever read! I'm sobbing here in San Antonio! Especially the line, "I'm thankful for the day you made me a big sister." GEEZ!!!

  36. 186
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa, Happy Birthday!!! This is belated but heartfelt. May you be blessed with health and healing and peace in this coming year. And may your amazing knowledge of God's word continue to grow. In Jesus' Love Kathy Knoblock

  37. 187
    ginny says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa !!

  38. 188
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Happy Birthday to Mrs. Melissa!!:) All these B-days here lately is calling for some celebration!:) There's been a lot going on in your family lately! I do love your song, Before the Throne of God Above. It is an overwhelming song when you really think about the words:) Your fam loves you much, Mrs. Melissa, and God is bringing you through to that other side with all those things your momma said!! Your own adventures with God in Atlanta:)

    Blessings to you, ((HUGS)), Love in HIM today:)


  39. 189
    Anonymous says:

    Happy belated Birthday Melissa! So sweet of ya'll to post your personal stuff on here! Wish you knew us as well as we knew you all! We've got all of eternity to catch up.

    I thought MY 15month old son was handsome! He is, but Jackson is a looker!

    So where's the picture of Annabeths outfit???

    Oh the joys of growing up in a church that has generations. Where'd they go?

    Random thoughts.
    Have a great day-

    Heather G
    Charlotte NC

  40. 190
    Amaris in Wonderland says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa!!

    (This is actually a belated birthday wish)… but i hope it was very special!! I know how hard it is to be away from family, on a birthday…

    I can't wait to see what God has in store for you, this year. One thing you can be sure of: it's somethin' special. 🙂

    Love in Christ…

  41. 191
    Tracey says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa!

    Beautiful post, Beth & Amanda!

    So great to see families involved in ministry together!

  42. 192
    Janan Kash says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!

    Feel loved today!


  43. 193
    Barbra says:

    Happy Birthday, Melissa! You are a blessing to me and so many others!

    Barbra in PA

  44. 194
    Darlene says:

    Happy Birthday Melissa!

  45. 195
    Isaac's Mom says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    You are a darling woman and I love to read your posts here. Blessings to you on this day and everyone here after. I pray also for your health and Praise God for your endurance.

    I am also in love with the song..what else could be sung??


  46. 196
    Groovewoman ♫ says:

    I hope that you had a FANTASTIC one!

  47. 197
    Annalou says:

    Melissa, I hope your birthday was a lovely one! May I just say how thankful I am that your family has included us in wishing you a Happy Birthday?!

    I just love you all! ( I'll be praying for whatever health issue is challenging you right now.) Isn't crazy how much love & affection one can feel for someone we've not yet met face to face?

    Many blessings to you in our Lord Jesus.


  48. 198
    Helen says:

    Hi Beth and everyone,
    Believe it or not, I have coyotes on my street in suburban northeast Connecticut. They haven't killed any cats that I know of. However, some raccoons cornered a cat and killed last fall. I'd never heard of raccoons killing animals before that. Just a little trivia for y'all!

  49. 199
    Jami says:

    random question:)…in the third to last pic, does Jackson have on an Appalachian State University shirt?!! I was looking through the pics and leaped for joy HA cause thats my school!! Maybe he will be smart and grow up to be go to ASU and be a Mountaineer in Western North Carolina! 🙂 If he wears that shirt again, maybe you could say a prayer for the 15,000 students here in Boone, NC…ever want to come to a good football game? Come to Boone! Blessings on your family…and happy bday Melissa!

  50. 200
    Kelli says:

    Just tried to make these YUMMY pancakes and I made it a disaster! Is it really 3 cups of buttermilk to 2 cups of flour? Love you girls! 🙂

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