On a Birthday – Many Years!


Please indulge me in a personal post – I will be in Murfreesboro, TN, visiting with my youngest daughter who is in Governor’s School this summer on Saturday of this week, and on Sunday, my family and I will observe the birthday of my wife. My wish for “Many Years!” is for my wife for whom I give thanks to God constantly. I will be back to blogging regularly come Monday morning.

My wife and I met in a small prayergroup in her freshman year of college. I can say without fear of contradiction that she has been my closest spiritual friend since near that day. The journey we have made, we made very much together. I have trusted both her judgment and depended on her ceaseless prayers.

The joy I have in my children, I credit to the mercies of God, my wife’s prayers, and the tolerance they have all shone to me – and in that order. For her I credit the mercies of God and the ceaseless prayers of her parents and their godly example (may her Father’s memory be eternal)! “The prayers of parents are the foundation of a home.”

I am a man whom God rescued and has blessed beyond measure and surrounded me with godly advice and counsel and delivered me from the pit times without number. I do not deserve the life I have and so I say, ‘Glory to God for all things!’

A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 

She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar. 

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 

She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong. 

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 

She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. 

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 

She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 

She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant. 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-31 

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.






14 responses to “On a Birthday – Many Years!”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    The photo is from Zion National Park on a trip we took last year.

  2. Nancy Avatar

    A beautiful tribute. Many years to your lovely wife.

  3. Alyssa Sophia Avatar
    Alyssa Sophia

    Many Years Matushka!

  4. Elizabeth Avatar

    May God grant Matushka “Many Years” indeed !

  5. handmaidmaryleah Avatar

    God grant you many years Matushka!
    Well done Fr. Stephen!
    Btw, I tagged you in a meme, forgive me, I barely know eight people, LOL!

  6. Ian Avatar

    Many, many years to your dear wife.

    And what a beautiful tribute indeed.

  7. David_Bryan Avatar

    Wonderful. Many years, Matushka.

  8. Rdr. Eusebios Avatar
    Rdr. Eusebios

    Amen, and Many Years!

  9. Barnabas Powell Avatar

    Many Years, Matushka! May God bless you for caring for father and children!

    Father, a man who has found a good wife is richer than any billionaire. I know whereof I speak because God has recued this fool by blessing him with a good wife! They are more precious than rubies!


  10. Fr. Philip Avatar
    Fr. Philip

    Thank you for that post! I too am grateful for the birth of Matushka Beth Freeman and for her constant prayers for her children (and their husbands). I would like to publically say how grateful I am to have such a wonderful mother-in-law who has been nothing but supportive and welcoming since I was blessed to join the family three years ago. May God grant her many years!

  11. fatherstephen Avatar

    And may God bless a woman who has such sons-in-law! May she be seen in the reflection of her daughters!

  12. Andrea Elizabeth Avatar

    What a beautiful picture, fore and background. Makes me want to swing north and find that spot if we have time on our trip to the Grand Canyon at the end of July. Many years!

  13. fatherstephen Avatar

    Andrea, The path is to the right, entering the park from the East,, just before you enter the major tunnel that takes you into Zion. There are parking places across the road. The hike is less than an hour, with a well marked trail and absolutely worth the not too strenous hike. The picture is wonderful but it cannot do justice to the view – as the picture cannot do justice to the foreground.

  14. Andrea Elizabeth Avatar

    Ooo, we love tunnels, another reason to make the time. : )

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