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Jul 18

Today Is Shannon’s Birthday

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today’s my daughter Shannon’s 21st birthday.  If you want you can bless her with your happy birthday wishes here is her Facebook page.

Lots of people get drunk on their 21st birthday.  Shannon could.  She will choose not to. 

Someone asked me, “Would you even let her drink?”  I smiled. 

Shannon has spent many years in our family listening, arguing, teasing, negotiating, following, avoiding and ignoring our rules.  Fortunately, she’s generally chosen wisely.

She does not often need us to tell her right and wrong.  She has to choose.

Blessed With A Legacy

Twenty-one years ago Amy, my wife, and I had to decide what name we would choose if we had a little girl.  I liked the sound of “Shannon Ann”, Amy didn’t. 

Amy would propose this; I would counter with that, and on and on.

The one thing we could agree on is that we wanted the names we chose to cast a vision for our child’s future.  Many cultures, societies and families had a similar tradition so we chose to find names with a meaningful definition or history.

Train children to live the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray from it.” 1

Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right.” 2

It’s not a guarantee, but it’s another time-honored principle.

Blessed With A Vision For Her Future

Back and forth we went, from this name to that.

Finally, we agreed on “Shannon” if our baby was a girl.  Shannon, a name that means “small, but wise.”

We could not agree on a fitting middle name.

Since we could not easily agree, and many children grow up disliking their middle name I proposed that we let our child choose her or his middle name at a predetermined birthday. 

I thought it was affirming, supportive, clever, and unique.  Amy cannot remember how she felt about my idea, but I know that she said, “Nobody does that.”  As if that alone would have discouraged me.  [Insert my laughter here]

As we traveled from this appointment and that — the doctor, the hospital, etc. — across the north metro of the Twin Cities we passed Victoria Street. 


Neither of us had ever proposed Victoria as a prospective name.  When we got home we looked up the name.  Generally speaking “Victoria” means “winner”.


Shannon means “small, but wise”.  Victoria means “winner”.

Blessed With Wisdom

Sure enough, as the last twenty years have come and gone way faster than I ever thought possible, Shannon has sought to become and proven to be a “wise winner”.

Tonight as Shannon becomes a twenty-one year old Shannon chose — of her own accord — to spend the night at a retreat center praying.  She’s a unique and special person.

As Shannon enters another stage of adulthood I am excited to say that she enters as a “wise winner”

Congratulations Shannon!

Happy birthday!

1 – Proverbs 22:6, New Century Version (NCV)

2 – Proverbs 22:6, Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bring on the comments

  1. […] going to re-post what I wrote last year on her birthday.  I think it will bless new readers and old readers […]

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