The Happiest of Birthdays to Mom & A Celebratory Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners of the birthday drawing! Your names are posted below. Watch your inbox for an email from Living Proof later today so that we can get you your gift!

BONUS: The wonderful people at AMG Publishers have extended a 50% discount to any of you who would like to order a Key Word Study Bible! Click here to get more information, or to order your Bible. AMG Publishers

#523 – Carole Germain             #4348 – Karen Quinn
#2282 – Merissa G.                    #4399 – Anna Bunch
#2321 – Marilyn Riley                #4430 – Nancy Beeey
#2756 – Merissa Ury                  #4813 – Myrlene Darnell
#2876 – Beth Longar                  #5648 – Nan Smith
#3937 – Dani Turner                  #5798 – Rachel C.

A few nights ago I walked my buck wild new puppy around my neighborhood, watched the sun sink deep down into the horizon, and then settled in back at home. I flipped on my favorite season of the West Wing and I ate an entire bag of tortilla chips and ¾ a jar of my favorite salsa for dinner. What is it they say again? The apple does not fall far from the tree. Or something like that?

You see when we were growing up Mom would throw us kids in the back of Brontosaurus the station wagon and haul us halfway across the city to her old favorite Tex-Mex joint. She ordered a pint of salsa and a gigantic grease-stained brown paper bag of tortilla chips for take-out and she would eat all of this and only this for her dinner. Her own dinner. I can’t remember what we kids even ate, or if she fed us at all. I’m only kidding about that last part.

My mom was born at high noon in a fierce thunderstorm, my grandfather said. Her presence still shifts the atmosphere. A few weeks ago Mom left for a week in the hill country for a time of writing and solitude. The second she got back home, I loaded up my stuff and headed out to spend a night with she and my Dad. You see, for me, going to hang out with my parents isn’t really like going to hang out with the parents. Far from duty, it’s one of my favorite things to do. We caught up on all the life stuff that night. And then in the morning we drank our coffee in our pajamas and by 8:30 a.m. at the latest we had already covered topics such as the theology in Ephesians, the New Testament canon, the Holy Spirit’s role in the interpretation of Scripture, and the Festal Letter of Athanasius.

I have to say, this woman utterly dazzles me. She is the sweetest in the land. She is gracious and sanguine and loving and kind, no doubt, but she is serious and intense and focused and courageous. She has opinions and perspective and boldness and wisdom from the ground like no other. For all her awesomeness she is not self-righteous or squeamish, and God knows I have pushed her limits.

Mom is deeply committed to our family and I’ve always known that full well but I’ve also seen that she’s preoccupied with something a whole lot bigger than us. Probably the most important thing I have learned from her is that being caught up in Jesus and what He is doing in the world is everything. It is the ultimate priority and a family committed to His work in the world will get the privilege of making sacrifices together.

The four of us

Mom and Dad

Over the past few years in my own journey I found myself in an unknown place, a place where a heart could break deeper and wider and in more directions than I could have imagined possible. Mom has walked alongside me on this road further than any human could be expected to walk with another. She would have had good reasons to just sit out a while and catch her breath. But she never left my side. The road has been bumpy but also tedious and repetitive. When the landscape didn’t seem to change for a long, long time, she kept plodding along with me, carrying my burdens and helping me shoulder the grief that felt too much to bear.

Mom & Me Walking

Mom is tender and she is strong and she is not afraid to look pain and grief and loss dead in the eye. Even more, she is daring enough to hope against hope. To see in others, even me, the beginnings of life and growth and health and wholeness where others might only see brokenness and death. She has shined the light of Jesus on me more times than I can count.


She can fry a chicken and whip up mashed potatoes and gravy with the best of the Southern cooks. Her pleasures are simple: the reading of books, sitting on the front porch, walking her dogs in the woods, eating dinner with my Dad, playing games on the floor with her grandkids, and drinking tea with Amanda and me. But make no mistake she is wicked smart and complex and multifaceted. She is so much more than even the best caricature of her could ever hope to be.

Mom & AB on Piano

I love her.

Punting the River Cam

Yes, I love her. If one photo could capture the light and color she brings to my world, this is it:

The Color She Brings

It is my joy and honor to be her daughter and also to work for her at Living Proof. This blog giveaway is just one of many ways I celebrate her beautiful life today.  The first three gifts are from Living Proof and the last two gifts are personal gifts from me.

First and foremost, we are giving away eight Key Word Study Bibles. My mom gave me one of these Bibles many years ago. It was one of the first Bibles I ever really remember being excited about. It helped me become familiar with various Greek and Hebrew words before I ever took a Greek or Hebrew reading class. Every time I read it I was reminded that the Scriptures we hold in our hands in English are a translation. Remembering this often is a good thing and will take a person a long way in the study of the Bible, I think.



Second, we are giving away an assortment of several pounds of favorite Houston coffee beans. My mom is a serious coffee drinker, so this is just an obvious addition. This package will include but not be limited to one of my current favorites:

Temporada 2

Third, we are giving away an arrangement of fresh flowers Mom loves. And, really, who wouldn’t like these?

Olive & Cocoa Floral Bouquet

Fourth, we are giving away a crossbody saddlebag. Mom and I both carry versions of this crossbody bag over and over again until one breaks and we have to buy another one.

The Savannah Saddlebag

Fifth and finally, we are giving away a small bottle of Flowerbomb. Mom wears lots of different perfumes, but she most often travels with this one.


So, if you’re interested in our giveaway please do pop on and say “Happy Birthday” and show Mom some love. Your comment becomes your entry into our random drawing. Comments will officially close 24 hours after the post is published, and please only one comment per person. The names of our winners will be posted at the top of this post at some point on Thursday.

I hope you all are happy and well.


And, Mom, I love you!

The best is yet to come,



5,867 Responses to “The Happiest of Birthdays to Mom & A Celebratory Giveaway”

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  1. 5401
    Jacquie Sedor says:

    Happy Birthday my Sweet Sister in Christ. You have been such a blessing to me and so many others. You do not know me by name, but I promise you have touched my life in so many ways and my faith and love for Jesus is oh so much deeper because of your faithfulness and obedience. I will keep you close in my heart today and pray for you throughout the day. I will pray for much love and many blessings and that you will feel His loving arms holding you all day long. Love you Sweet Sister!

  2. 5402
    Pat Philley says:

    It is my honor to wish you a Happy Birthday, Beth! You give generously of yourself and help others want to be closer to the Lord. Through your live Tuesday night classes and numerous small group Bible studies, I have developed a greater love of the Lord and His Word. I thank you.
    I know God delights in you. May He continue to bless you.

  3. 5403
    Sandra Hanna says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! My favorite study of yours was Breaking Free. What a blessing you are to the body of Christ. Enjoy your special day and revel in the blessing of our Lord!

  4. 5404
    Megan says:

    Happy Birthday!! Mrs. Beth, you are truly an inspiration!

  5. 5405
    Kathie says:

    Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest people I wish I could know more personally:) I have always listened/watched your Bible Studies and can’t praise God enough for how He has used you in my life to grow and understand His Word. Thank you for being so transparent in your teaching and making us feel like we knew you personally. You are such a gift.
    Sweet Blessings to your week!

  6. 5406
    Kathryn Todd says:

    Happy Birthday! I just started CHILDREN OF THE DAY and it has already been a blessing. God meets me right where I am with each study; thank you for your dedication and your writing and for keeping it all “real”. You are amazing! Thank you for letting God use you in such a mighty way!

  7. 5407
    Jo Hedeman says:

    Happy Birthday. Your Bible studies have inspired me to continue to grow in The Lord. Thank you

  8. 5408
    Kim L. says:

    Thank you for giving of yourself to help others grow closer to God and thank you, Melissa, for sharing her.

  9. 5409
    Kristen Ottens says:

    Happy Birthday, Beth! Thank you for sharing your gifts with me over the years. God bless you on this special day and every day!

  10. 5410
    Elyshia says:

    Happy Birthday, Beth! What a beautiful tribute Melissa shared! We had the privilege of worshiping with you this past weekend in Tampa and singing Happy Birthday with Travis and with rest of the wonderful members of your praise team. I am so grateful for your ministry. I have grown so much as a disciple of Jesus through studying the Word along with you over the years. Thank you for sharing your life, your family and your love for God’s Word. Because of you, so many of us have a real, authentic relationship with Jesus Christ! Hope your birthday was wonderful and filled with much love and celebration! May God richly bless you!

  11. 5411
    hannah says:

    Happy Birthday Beth!!!

  12. 5412
    Stephanie Wells says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! Isn’t it funny that even though we haven’t met, I feel I know you from taking your Bible Studies? We may never meet till we get to heaven, but I want you to know you have blessed my life and best of all helped me grow in my spirit, drawing me closer to God by opening so much scripture to my heart and mind! Getting to go to one of your events is always wonderful for me! GOD BLESS YOU dear Beth♡ Philippians 4:4-9 one of my favorites! To God be the glory forever and ever. …amen.

  13. 5413
    Tammy Drake says:

    Happy Birthday Beth!! I hope you have many many more.

  14. 5414
    Autumn McCafferty says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! May today and everyday be filled with love, laughter and His many blessings!

  15. 5415
    Jackie pope says:

    Happy birthday! Thank you so much for all you’ve done for our Savior!

  16. 5416
    Dru Maples says:

    Beth, wishing you the most happiest of birthdays ever! You are truly a light in this world. I just thank the good Lord for you and the way you use your God given gift of teaching and ministering to the body of Christ. YOU are so real with us, how could anyone not think God is real when they hear you speak! Thank you for being you and sharing your obvious joy and delight when sharing the word of God. May God bless you with many moore birthdays! 🙂

  17. 5417
    Monika Ritchie says:

    Happy Birthday to a beautiful lady – inside and out:) — You surely inspire me to be a better person… a better Christian, a better studier of the scriptures, a better wife and mom. You have done a lot for Christian ladies and our walk w/ the Lord – whether you realize it or not. Can’t wait to see you in SC next month! Be blessed my sister in Christ!

  18. 5418
    Amanda Miller says:

    Happy Birthday! What a special, special tribute to your momma!

  19. 5419
    heather vanhanxleden says:

    What a birthday salute! Happy Birthday Beth 🙂 What an honor to have your kids say that about you–you have touched so many, I hope your year is full of abundant blessings.

  20. 5420
    Judy S. from Wheaton says:

    Happy Birthday, Beth! What a glowing tribute to you from your daughter!! What else would you want for your birthday!
    God has so definitely used you in soooooo many lives, including mine. I remember visiting my daughter in Houston and sitting in on your Sunday School class one Sunday. I left in tears because of the joy I felt from your lesson that day. You are so faithful in studying God’s Word, including the original languages of the Bible. Thank you for listening to God and blessing so many of us as a result.

  21. 5421
    Kristin Dry says:

    Happy happy birthday! I praise God for you and your willingness to be open to what the Lord is doing through you!

  22. 5422
    Beverly Franks says:

    Wishing you a most happiest of birthdays Beth. You are loved by so many and a true inspiration to be a better person on a daily basis.

  23. 5423
    Sonya Duren says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! Can’t wait to see you next month in Greenville! Thank you for all you have done for Christian women – Bible Study wouldn’t be the same w/o you!

  24. 5424
    Carrie Joslin says:

    Happy Birthday, Miss Beth! Thank you for allowing God to keep stirred up in you a passion and desire for Him and His Word. You have greatly inspired me to allow Him to do the same in my heart. Unlike Alice, may you never lose your “muchness”! 🙂

  25. 5425
    Audrey says:

    Melissa, I am so thankful for your relationship with your mama-and that you treasure it so much! It is obvious that you bring her such joy!
    Beth, the happiest of birthdays to you! May our Lord continue to draw you nearer to Him and keep your eyes focused on Him-the blessings that pour forth from the love and devotion you have for Jesus overflow on us all and inspire us/me to keep pressing in-thanks for the frequent reminders that He is so worth it!

  26. 5426
    Stephanie davis says:

    Happy birthday Beth! You have inspired me to be more in Jesus than anyone on the face of the planet!! I hope you have a blessed birthday with many surprises!! Stephanie

  27. 5427
    Kelly says:

    Your kind words have brought me to tears! Happy birthday Beth! I love my mom more than I would know, but she is no longer with me but the father. She was the light in my life for 18 years… I miss her so much (I am now 40) but will always be thankful for her gifts of grace and the fathers love. Thank you for this wonderful blog. I ask you to pray for me to let go of wildly things and to be used greatly by the Father.

  28. 5428
    Crystyl Human says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! Love your Bible studies! Love your teachings! Excited to see you next month in Greenville, SC! May God bless you in the coming year!

  29. 5429
    Tammy kapavik says:

    Happy birthday Beth! I hope this is the best one yet. Your joy for the Lord is contagious and you have inspired me to dig deeper. I too have a daughter (13) who is just precious to me and it makes me tear up to see your daughters love for you. I hope and pray we will have the same! Oh, and God bless chips and salsa for dinner!!! We Texans believe that is a complete and nutritious meal!!!! ❤️

  30. 5430
    Naomi says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! You have been an inspiration in my walk with the Lord. May He continue to use your gifts for His glory. You a loved!

  31. 5431
    Louise says:

    You are such a blessing to me. Am in the middle of “Children Of The Day” study and am loving it. HAPPY birthday and many more!

  32. 5432
    Emily says:

    Happy Birthday, Beth!! I’m weeping thinking of what a legacy you’re leaving to your daughters and what motivation you’re giving to me to do the same for my daughters. I pray that my daughters feel a fraction of the admiration, love and respect that yours feel for you!

    You are a prize and the apple of His eye!

    Love, hugs and blessings……..Emily

  33. 5433
    Gail Ramesh says:

    Happy Birthday to the most influential woman in my life!!! I am a changed woman head over heels in love with Jesus because of YOU!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETH!!!!!

  34. 5434
    Pam N says:

    Happy Birthday, Beth! You are truly a delight!

  35. 5435
    Angela Brown says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! I love the way you love the Lord! It is so inspirational? Thank you for being an exclamation point!! You are a God send to me right now. Blessings to you!

  36. 5436
    Stephanie Nichols says:

    Happy birthday, Beth!!!!

  37. 5437
    Karen says:

    Happy Birthday Beth! I’m so thankful for your love for Jesus and that you are willing to live you life out loud for Him! What a wonderful blessing you are to your family and to all women who gathered in different places to participate in your bible studies. My prayer is that God will continue to use you to reach others for Him and that we will all would have the passion for His word that you do! Hope you have a blessed day and many more birthdays!

  38. 5438
    Dawn Eood says:

    Happy Birthday! What a beautiful blog . While I lay here drinking my coffee and reading these beautiful words , I felt as though I was walking down a quite trail and around every turn was a breath of fresh air. Thanks for a wonderful start to my day. Happy Birthday .

  39. 5439
    Barbara Duncan says:

    Happy birthday Beth! My daughter, Lindsie, and I attended LPL in Tampa a few days ago. It was awesome and much needed. We’re in the picture that was taken of the Tampa area SSMT. I’m blonde in grey and white and my daughter is in dark blue/dark hair. I, too, am walking through a hideously painful divorce with her and my 6 year old granddaughter. Nothing hurts more than seeing your children in pain…except seeing your grandchildren in pain. My heart goes out to all of you for what you’ve been through. Blessings to you and your entire family!

  40. 5440
    Marcy Hays says:

    Happy birthday, Beth! I have been so blessed by your Bible Studies that I have done. Thank you for answering God’s call and sharing with all of us. May you have a wonderful day!

  41. 5441
    Terry Frazer says:

    HaPpY BiRThdAy Beth! As I read your daughter’s blog it reminded me of how important our role as mothers are. You have set that example for your daughter and generations to come. I hope that you truly have a blessed day and thank you for sharing the love of Jesus with us through everything that you do.

  42. 5442
    Verna Bass says:

    Happy Birthday Beth!!!!

  43. 5443
    knewb Newby says:

    The most happiest of Birthdays to Beth! You and your girls have impacted my life and ministry over the last 15 years more than any human on the planet. Thank you for sharing your life and journey with us. Didn’t realize we shared the same birth month! Makes it a little sweeter.

  44. 5444
    Amy Beth says:

    This post may truly be one of my favorites I have ever read, especially the part about her walking beside you through grief. We have had our foster daughters for 15 months now and have been walking alongside them in deep grief. I feel so inadequate so often but maybe, just maybe, we can do a little for them of what your mom has done for you. Maybe we won’t give up or give in when the road seems repetitive. Beautiful post.

  45. 5445
    Jan Warner says:

    Happy birthday, Beth. You were my first introduction to Bible study even though I have attended church my whole life. I share your deep love of God’s Word and His amazing wisdom. Thank you for enriching my personal relationship with Him through your anointed teaching. May your heart overflow with blessing on your special day.

  46. 5446
    Marcy says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! Lots of hugs and blessings. You are amazing 🙂

  47. 5447
    Megan Woitovich says:

    Happy birthday! I’ve had the privilege of walking through many of your studies (in Thessalonians now) with a wonderful group of women and we are so thankful for the insights God gives you to share with us. Thank you for your obedience to Him and your honesty – for boldly sharing your gifts. Best wishes for a healthy, happy day – and many more to come in the upcoming year!

  48. 5448
    Jeanne says:

    I am just in awe of Beth! There are no words to describe the depth of influence she’s had on my heart and life. She’s raised two daughters just like her. I love you dearly and so indebted to you. Happy birthday, sweet Beth.

  49. 5449
    Janice Khan says:

    Happy birthday Beth! I hope your day is very special and best wishes for many happy returns of the day. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your bible studies and simulcasts. Thank you for sharing your gift which is such a blessing to so many of us! Blessings to you!

  50. 5450
    Francie Foster says:

    Happy birthday, beautiful Beth! Thanks so much for all you do. Have a blessed day.