This is my other first-born daughter, Sarah. (Her identical twin is Hannah...) She's the one who went to Cambodia recently...and the picture you see above, perfectly captures her spirit ~ "I Love Fun!" and "Have Backpack, Will Travel."

This girl of mine lives for adventure. She is known in these parts for outworking the men on many-a-job-site. Currently, she is learning the ropes of the home construction industry, with hopes to one day have the skills to build (or oversee the building of) homes and churches and simple structures, in any nation on this spinning earth.

But she's all girl, too. She can't stand to wear her hair too short, and if you open her closet, the shoes...pairs upon pairs upon pairs....come tumbling out in colors and styles galore. Yet, day after day, she leaves the house in old tennis shoes, and all that hair slapped up into the cutest messy bun you ever saw. You see...for all the shoes, our Sarah isn't overly fashion forward, a trait her family takes great delight in teasing her about - which brings me to another of her defining characteristics: her thick skin.

Sarah can take a joke, a correction, and even a personal afront with a greater amount of calm and class than most young women I know. She simply will not get her knickers in a knot over small stuff, and to Sarah, it is almost all small stuff. She's courageous, that girl is. Strong. Tough. She can travel to the other side of the world, eat what is set before her there, ride elephants and motorcycles, and scrub nasty toilets in foreign lands without batting an eye. High maintenence, she definitely is not....well, when she doesn't want to be.

She has a laugh that can charm the meanest snake, and a smile that makes her eyes disappear, the corners of them crinkling in contagious delight.

She's recently begun classes at Trinity's College of Ministry ( ) with an eye towards completing the missions track....these days you often see her with a book or her laptop, puzzling over Old Testament geography, or the meaning of grace. This, I love. As I watch God form her (often in the fire) into who He has planned for her to be, my heart cannot help but swell with Motherly Pride.

I know she'll be leaving us one day - either for Timbuktoo or a man. Or both. But "won't you smile awhile for me, Sarah?" Being your mom has been pure joy....
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