Sunday, November 6, 2016

20 Amazing Years!

I can't believe it! 
Our quadruplets are turning 20!
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"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace."
Numbers 6:24-26
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
2 Corinthians 9:8
When they were little,
we'd get all kinds of comments from strangers . . .
"Just wait till they are teenagers!!"
was one of the most common ones!
I'm not sure what they were talking about?!! ;-)
Wait for what?  
We definitely didn't have to wait for anything . . .
as time has marched on SOOOO fast,
we can't believe they are already through their teen years! 
Maybe they were talking about all the joy and fun they would bring us?!!!
That is definitely true!  
It has been such an awesome, amazing life with these four!
We have enjoyed every single day of nurturing and loving our four-at-once blessings!

Helpers pictured here are Mrs. B. and Meemom.
We had so much help from family and friends!
Raising the quads in the early years was definitely a huge team effort!
We are soooo thankful for all these helping hearts and hands! 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Which leads me to the other most common comment we would receive . . .
"Better you than me!"
Hmmm . . .well, it wasn't always easy . . .
but God says children are gifts and blessings! 
So who wouldn't want four at once?!!!!   :-)
God has been soooooooooooo good to us to bless us in this way!
We still can't thank Him enough!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I actually had a few folks tell me,
"You poor thing!!!" and "I pity you!"
I would kinda chuckle, and then say in reply . . .
"Oh, no need at all to pity me or feel bad for me!! I am living my DREAM COME TRUE!!!
God has BLESSED beyond measure, and we couldn't be happier!"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And then there were the doctors who wanted to lower the risk of carrying all four of you,
by eliminating two of you.  We can't even go there . . .
We just praise the name of Jesus and all glory to Him for saving us,
 and giving us His wisdom and the grace to trust Him with what He had created and was doing.
He was so faithful every step along the way. 
Thank you, Lord!
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father . . ."
James 1:17a 
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now for my open letters to my very precious quadlets! : -)
(So sorry for their lack of grammatical correctness (Kyle ;-) and also for lacking in completeness. 
Life is sooooo crazy right now, that time to write is so sporadic and limited. But I wanted to write at least a little and what I could!)
(Photo courtesy of John Hainline!)
Dear Kyle,
Daddy and I are so proud of the Godly young man you have become!  We are so pleased with how you have hidden God's word in your heart, and strive to live it out day-by-day. We are also thankful for your desire and dedication in meeting with older Godly men, so that you can learn from their life-experiences as they have walked with God and grow in God's wisdom that they share with you. Your humble, teachable spirit is pleasing to the Lord! Don't ever lose that!  And I really believe the Lord will be giving you increasing opportunities for you to teach and mentor other young men, as you daily walk with the Lord, and seek to serve Him and others with the abilities and gifts He has given you. 
We are also very proud of you for taking on manhood so seriously and pursuing it with a passion.  You have shown great self-control in many areas, and much diligence and hard work in your pursuit of becoming a man!  And we believe you are showing great fruit and God's blessings from all your efforts!   
I just love who you have become in so many ways.  (You remind me a lot of Daddy, which of course, is just pure awesomeness!)  You still have your easy-going temperament (And even when the going gets tough, you still stay even-keeled and keep your cool!)   I love how you are able to help us recover from stressful moments and situations. We are so thankful for your willingness to always be there for us, as a shoulder to cry on or to give words of encouragement or to make us laugh! 
We really love your wit and sense of humor that keeps us all laughing, and from taking things too seriously! Thank you so much for that!  But we really love your serious side too, that can discuss great Biblical truths and make good, solid decisions and lead in the right things to do, and sometimes do the "hard things" in life that are required of a Godly man!
Thank you for being such a blessing to all of us in so many ways!
We love you so much!
P.S.  Thank you so much for all the lattes, chocolates, breakfast dates and other outings, and all your sweet cards and notes of appreciation and encouragement!  It all means sooooo much to me! And also, on another side note, I just love that you're a writer.  You are the writer I have always wished to be.  And God has given you such an amazing gift!  Keep using it for His glory!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  
Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14
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"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?"
 Micah 6:9
A combined photo of Kyle and Caroline . . .because he is often with them, whether at home talking, or taking each sister out on a date.  Kyle has been so close with his "wombmates" all these 20 years!  He is such a blessing to them, and they are to him!  (Especially with all the food and goodies they make for him! : -)  And it is a great picture of the two of them! : -)
 Dear Sweet Caroline,
Oh, how thankful we are for your super sweet and gentle spirit!  You bring us so much JOY with all your beautiful smiles, piano music, and all the ways you bless us with your thoughtfulness and thankful, servant's heart. 
We are so thankful for how you are always pursuing a deeper relationship with the Lord,
and are always looking for opportunities to serve Him and others.  There is truly no greater JOY for us as your parents to see you loving the Lord and others with all your heart.   
Thank you for being so cheerful, patient and forgiving each day, and for all your encouraging words and notes. We don't express nearly often enough how much this all means to us!
You inspire us so much with your selfless love for others, and how you are always looking for opportunities to give of yourself and your time.   Your compassion for people is especially inspiring! Thank you for being such a Christlike example!
("We are never more like Jesus than when we serve and lay down our life for another." :-)
Thank you for making us laugh with all your funny stories!  (Just remember we're laughing with you!)  Keep on being your wonderful, super-friendly self!  You are so cute!!!
(Even when it means having another embarrassing story to tell! : -)  We love this about you so much!
Thank you for serving our family so faithfully with all the cooking, cleaning and special projects (making beds, lunches, helping with the little siblings, etc.) you do so routinely and with a cheerful heart!   Again, we don't express often enough how much this blesses our lives each day! Daddy and I are so thankful, too, for how much you honor us in every way!  Thank you!!!
Thank you for being such a super sweet blessing to all of us!
We love you so much!
"But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious."
1 Peter 3:4
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The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
Psalm 28:7
Dear Sweet Valerie,
You are SO special with all the ways you bless our family!  Your cute sense of humor, dimpled smile, and giggles bring much happiness to our home!  (Even though you think you aren't witty, you definitely have a cute way of making us laugh!!!)  And your willingness to drop everything to help however needed sure lightens our loads.  We are so blessed by you each day!
You amaze us with all the various tasks you have to do, and how you keep track of everything! You have such great organizational and administrative skills!   You work SO hard at all the Lord has given you to do with ministry, your business, family, etc. and all with a cheerful, can-do attitude!   You do everything as unto the Lord, and are such a great example of  making each day productive and fruitful for Him!  We are especially inspired by how you have given so sacrificially of your time to bless other families with wonderful child care! And we are so grateful for how you have faithfully taken on our worship team responsibilities.  This is all such a huge blessing to us and to our church family!
Daddy and I are so grateful for how you have made the Lord number one in your life, and how you daily pursue a deeper relationship with Him through the study of His word and other good books that help you grow spiritually.  And to see you striving to walk by the spirit and live out your faith in all that you do is so inspiring to us!  We see and enjoy this fruit in your life, and it spurs us on to do the same!
I am so grateful for the tremendous blessing you are in helping so much with your younger siblings. Thank you for all you do in this way!  I couldn't do all that I do without you, my right-hand helper! Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to be there for me . . .physically, emotionally and spiritually!  You always seem to know just the right thing to say or do to help save the day! : -)
We are so very thankful for all that you are and all that you do!
We love you dearly,
P.S.  Thank you for feeding the family so well, too, with all the time and effort you put into your healthy cooking!
"With Your counsel You will guide me,
         And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
         And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
         But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:24-26
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"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love . . "
Psalm 33:18

Dear Sweet Victoria,
Oh my, how thankful we are that you have "nine lives!" : -)  We just can't imagine life without you!
You bring sooooo much fun and joy into our lives each day with your awesome sense of humor and ability to share life stories in such a way that keeps us all smiling and laughing! (And also your ability to quote perfect lines from movies at the just the right moment!)  
You are so beautiful, inside and out!  Your huge smile brightens up every room you enter and every life you touch.  You shine with the light of Jesus overflowing from your abundant life in Him!  We are thankful for how you seek to follow the Lord in all His ways, and to please Him in all you do.  The fruit of the spirit is alive and well in your life, and is enjoyed by all who know you! 
We all just love how graceful you are as you go about life and relationships,
and your calm, cool, collected : -) personality is so soothing to our souls when life gets crazy! 
And what would we do without your "life skills" counseling services?!!!!   Thank you for always being there for us as you lend us your ears and listen to us so well.  This is a rare and precious gift/skill that we treasure!  Thank you! 
Thank you for all the ways you serve our family in so many ways.  You are always so good about being willing to do whatever the need may be . . .especially if it involves being a driving buddy on a road trip with someone, or running an errand, etc.  Which brings me to how much we love your adventurous side of life!   You have always loved going on adventures, and are so fun to have along! (We could do without the stunt riding on Sky, though! ;-) 
Daddy and I have loved watching you blossom with your Boer goat business, and what you made of it with all your hard work and networking with others.  We have especially loved watching you thrive as an awesome 4-H judge! : -)   And then, we are so proud of you for the decision you came to with selling out for all the right reasons.  That took lots of faith and courage!  And I think God must be so pleased with your heart to put Him first in everything!  Keep it up!
We love you soooo much!

"A happy heart makes the face cheerful . . ."
Proverbs 15:13

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"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future." Proverbs 31:25
Happy 20th Birthday, dear Kyle, Caroline, Valerie and Victoria!
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:16-21
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So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.
Colossians 1:9-12a


Teresa B said...

Happy, happy, happy, happy birthday to a sweet group of special people! I love you!

Meemom said...

Our hearts burst with pride as we think of our quad grandchildren. Each of you have such a heart for God and you definitely show that in your daily walk. Each of you display a kind and caring
attitude toward everyone you are associated with. Even though you all have a serious and ambitious side, you also have a fun loving side and we have such a great time when we visit with you!!! We love you dearly and hope that life showers you with the happiness you so deserve.

Papa Bob and Meemom

NaSa Frazer said...

May the Lord richly bless you all on your birthday! It must be so incredible to share a birthday with three of your siblings!!!

AZDonna said...

I have such special memories of those first weeks with your beautiful quads. From the day you called to tell me you were pregnant with "Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR babies!", I was hooked ... drawn in ... obsessed with those little darlings. Watching them grow up through pictures, emails, Christmas newsletters, blog posts and occasional visits has been a real blessing. My recent visit was just the absolute best. Your individual letters to each one was more meaningful to me as I got to know them better this past summer.

Happy happy 20th birthday, Kyle, Caroline, Valerie and Victoria!!! Sending all my love and huge hugs your way as we celebrate each of you and your Godly lives. xoxox

Evan Smythe said...

Happy Birthday Kyle, Caroline, Valerie, and Victoria!!!!

It's been a huge pleasure to get to know you guys over the past few years. I greatly have appreciated and been blessed by the way you all have matured in SOOO many ways. To see where you once were, and now are, is truly a work of the Lord. You each have taken on a different personality that contrasts the other so well. Keep using that togetherness and strength for the furthering of the gospel. I can't wait to see how the Lord will grow you guys this next year. Lord willing look forward to the good times ahead. :)

May the Lord bless you all this year with a furtherance of His word being add to your hearts. May you continue strong in the race that is set before you, and endure with patience. Don't remove your eyes off Christ! Keep looking unto Him as the author and finisher of your faith.

You all are such special people to me and my family! :) Thank you so much for inviting and including myslef and my family in the festivities of your birthday celebration last weekend. That was so fun!

Happy birthday again!

Evan Smythe said...

Mrs. Bowes, such a sweet article and notes. I was so blessed by all your words you wrote to them. Congratulations to you for raising such wariors for the kingdom of God. You are amazing to have raised and continue to raise these adults for the glory of Him. Thank you for sharing this article! :)

Ted and Karen said...

They have progressed from the (4 in diapers +Lydia = 5) kids we called the "Fearsome Foursome"
to the Fantastic Foursome, Fun Foursome, Fabulous Foursome, Famous Foursome, Faithful Foursome
and Future Families of their own.

God has richly blessed us all. Love, Papa and Grammie

Taylor Smith said...

Happy birthday you four!! May the Lord bless you this coming year! Can't wait for another year of getting to know you guys!!

Diwakar said...

Hello Bowes Family. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am so glad to come across your profile on the blogger and the blog post. Let me as a stranger but a servent of the Lord from the other part of the world bring special belated birth day greetings to Kayle, Caroline, Valarie and Victoria May the Lord add many more years to their lives and may they grow in the knowledge and likeness of Jesus Christ. JERMIAH 29:11. I am truly blessed and feel privileged and honored to know you as a godly family and also get connected with you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I love getting conencted with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with the love of Christ to bring healing healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with during during their vacation time. We would love to have your young briged come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. Looking forwsard to hear from you very soon. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my anem is diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon.

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