A nice round number for all to see,
Happy birthday to you, you are now 30!
You are no longer a teen, not even in your twenties,
You know this because of your many health quandaries!
Yet much has taken place in your short thirty years.
Many lives you have inspired through happiness and tears.
Family and friends all celebrate your God-given goodness,
To wayward Christians and lost people, you have been a witness.
There are the bus kids that used to sit on your lap,
The kindergartners who donned their graduation caps,
The P.E. students who complained of running too much,
The teenage girls whose life you touched.
Then there’s the teacher who just needed some advice,
The single lady who needed encouragement once or twice,
The struggling wife seeking to keep herself afloat,
The mother who simply needed an encouraging note.
How about the little children that you’ve led to the Lord?
And the relationships you have, with God’s help, restored?
And the young person that no one believed could make it
In whom you instilled God-confidence, ensuring they wouldn’t quit.
And there are your leaders, to whom you give reverence and respect to.
Submitting to God’s will, accomplishing what they believe He would do.
By faith you followed, by faith you obeyed.
In the face of opposition you were hardly swayed.
To your pastor and his wife you truly have been a blessing
By simply allowing yourself to continue to be serving.
Even when others seem to grumble and complain,
You continue on, even if it involves some pain.
And how about those who love you dearly?
Those you would call your “Southern Family!”
Your Dad, your Mom, Jeni, and Tim,
Have been influenced by your life yielded to Him.
Your grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, too
Have seen the real you, whose love for God is true.
College friends, church friends, and visitors alike
Thank you very much for being so Christ-like.
Then there’s the nephews who we love so dear,
Spoiling them rotten, whether there or here.
Trevor, Brayden, and Isaac are such sweet boys
Always laughing and playing with their toys.
Not a day passes by that they are not in your thoughts,
They are growing so fast from being tiny tots.
Praying for them daily, that they would be saved,
From the love of God may they not be depraved.
With all these people who will one day thank you in glory,
There is yet one more person who loves you ever so dearly.
Whose life you’ve changed through the power of God’s love,
To him you certainly are and without a doubt a gift from above.
Amy, my life has meant so much more these past six years
Because you have been by my side, alleviating my fears.
In times I feel weak you give me, through God, strength.
No matter what the trial at any time and at any length.
There have been times when money was tight.
You remained content, refusing to fight
About the silliest things that a lack of money can bring
You just kept reassuring me in every single thing.
And there’s the heat which we love so much!
In Arizona, it could be such a crutch
To keep people from being truly happy.
When it’s over a hundred degrees, they get grumpy!
But you followed, from Vegas to Phoenix, because it’s God’s will.
From the urban heat of Liberty to the increasing heat of Gilbert still.
“It’s only for a few months, then comes the perfect weather,” you say.
You have proven this to be true because here with me you still stay.
Spiritually I am a better man because of all you do
You pray, you submit, and keep me accountable, too.
As a Christian I have grown because of godly people’s assistance
But you have helped me the most determine to go the distance.
You love me when I am unlovable, stubborn, and mean,
Without retaliating, you allow me to blow off some steam.
The concept of bringing up the past is foreign to you
Even as I continually the same offences accrue.
Then there’s my happiness, which is beyond compare
Because I know that you will always be there.
To have and to hold me, always and forever
My future has never looked any brighter.
So today, on your 30th birthday, this is my poem for you.
I once again promise to love, honor, cherish, and be true.
For greater love can no one experience on this earth
Except for the gift of godly love, immeasurable is its worth!
That same love you have bestowed upon me
And it has given me such liberty
To love God, you, and others, too.
My love is greater, it is stirred anew!
So, thank you, for being the person God wants you to be.
You have changed my life, for God’s best you see.
I now can do the great, yea the impossible for God
Because of Amy Michelle Zarate, whom I personally applaud.
Dedicated to and written for Amy Zarate on her birthday, September 11, 2006 by her husband, Juan Zarate.