All of us students were sitting in the bleachers waiting for the rehearsal to begin. The director was taking his place, but we were waiting on the accompanist. The all of a sudden my eyes quickly were drawn toward the door. I watched as this incredibly beautiful girl walked into the gym and took her seat at the keyboard. I can still see the scene play out in my mind as I write about it. It was the late 80’s and she had long naturally curly blond hair with the standard “Poof” on top. She had no idea who I was, but I remember thinking how much I’d love to meet her. I know this sounds crazy, but there was something about her. Looking back, I know it sounds corny; it was like there was no one else in the room at that moment. I know now it was the Holy Spirit beginning an amazing work to bring into my life my soul mate, best friend, the love of my life, & the most amazing woman I would ever have the honor to know. Donna Little Carroll.
I didn’t get to meet Donna that day. In fact, I didn’t get to meet her for several months. But when I arrived on the campus of Central Baptist College that fall as a freshman, I finally did get to meet her, and the most amazing Journey began. Words cannot express the gratitude I have and feel for this Journey with Donna. Maybe I’ll share more about it at a later time, but today I want to celebrate what God has given us all through her.
Today is Donna’s Birthday, or as she likes to say, “The Day of her Birth.” I have had the honor to spend the last 24 years with her. I have been blessed to not only live life with her daily, but to also hear about, as well as experience, so many stories about her. With every story I hear and moment I experience, there are recurring themes throughout her life. Words that describe her are Godly, Faithful, Authentic, Artistic, Committed, Talented, Insightful, Gracious, Diligent, Loyal, Caring, Giving, Discerning, Loving, and so very Kind. I’d like to write this blog as a celebration of her life and the amazing person God has given us...My wife Donna.
Donna is the best friend you could ever have. She would never do anything to hurt you. She would bend over backwards to help you. She would give her last bit of energy and strength to assist you. She creates masterpieces of art to give you that are designed not to be just a gift, but each stroke of the paint brush or specifically placed item has meaning. Something meaningful about your life or the situation you are facing or something distinct about your personality is strategically placed on the canvass. She’s not just giving you a gift. She’s ministering to your soul as the Holy Spirit speaks to her about what you need to know from Him. She offers more than a gift. She offers more than just friendship. She offers hope, healing, restoration, peace, and joy, as it flows from the Spirit of God within her to you. She’s a true friend.
Donna is the most discerning and perceptive person I’ve ever known. She speaks wisely. She doesn’t mix words. She’s not careless with what she says. This is evident in how she writes. Whether you’ve had the privilege to receive a card from her or read\seen a Facebook post she places on her wall, you can believe that not one word or image was without a purpose. She has read it. Re-read it and read it again. Not because she’s obsessive, but because her heart is to make her Heavenly Father known and to bring glory to Him in ALL that she does. I’m so thankful to know that about her. She shares from the overflow of His presence in her life to yours. She knows things. That’s what I have learned. Not because of anything she has done, but what the Father gifted her with before time began and that is now coming out because of the redemption and salvation through Christ Jesus. She has been given such a beautiful gift of discernment. I know having such a gift has been difficult for her over the years, but the more I watch & experience the Spirit’s work in her life I am amazed by His message through her. She holds her tongue. She speaks as He leads, and when she shares, His message is heard with clarity & passion. I’m learning to listen more to what God says through her.
Donna is committed & gracious. She loves like Jesus loves. She doesn’t discriminate. She knows the grace she has been extended and she extends it freely to others. She offers healthy boundaries and pursues authentic relationships. I have been the recipient of this grace. Her forgiveness is genuine and her love is deep. I know that love and grace personally, and I am so thankful. The love of Jesus expressed through her to me. I am forever changed by His love for me expressed so beautifully through Donna. She feels her feelings and expresses her thoughts healthily. You never have to wonder what she is thinking. She’s so honest. She’s speaks truthfully and always with discernment. You can count on her to “be there.” With love, compassion, and prayer, she will stand beside you. She will rejoice with you in blessing. She will weep with you through pain. She will stay with you through the night forsaking her needs to allow the Father to meet yours through her.
Donna is talented and gifted. When she plays the piano you can sense the power of the Holy Spirit coming through every key her fingers touch. She doesn’t just “play,” she worships. She submits herself to the Spirit’s direction as she plays each note. If you have ever had the chance to be in a service where she played or sang, then you know what I’m talking about. I experienced it that day so many years ago in that gym. She loves to play. She can sit for hours and worship, write, and create. The great thing is that she’s JUST BEGINNING!! The BEST is still to come, both here and for all eternity as she shares her gift. She gives her whole heart to each word she sings and note she plays. Her art is amazing. It has been such a joy to watch the creativity flow from her and bless so many lives. Our home is a tribute to her God given talent. Paintings & art filled scripture are throughout our home. She takes the old and makes it new again. She will utilize what God has given and give it a touch that brings life to the room. Even a rundown bird feeder is not below becoming a ministry outside our home. She places paint in just the right spots and gives new life to what others would discard. It is a reminder of what Jesus has done for us, and all for His glory.
Donna is the most amazing wife and mother on the planet. Her love for her husband and children is second only to her devotion to her Savior and Lord. As I stated above, she makes our home a place of refuge. She makes it a home. Peace, Joy, and Love fill every nook and cranny. Everything she does is with purpose. Every child’s room is painted specifically with the intent of blessing their lives & celebrating how God made them. Art lines the walls and hope fills each room. She has created an environment where the love of God is expressed and the giftedness He has given each of our children is expressed by what you see all around you. She nurtures Braden, Dawson, Jordan, and Megan healthily and with the intent to bring glory to God. She speaks truthfully to them and to me. She loves her family genuinely and authentically from the deepest place in her soul…As God has loved her. Pictures are not just placed in frames around the home. Donna places photos in frames specifically made for each one. She sees things in her Spirit, and then we get to watch them come to life. The care and love that goes into everything that is hung on our walls is incredible. If I’m honest, the frustration I used to feel as she would guide me as I helped hang things on the wall has now turned to gratitude. I smile today with thankfulness for the gift she is to our family & home. She is faithful to me and our children. She is loyal. She is kind. She is patient. She exhibits the fruits of the Spirit to her family. It’s overwhelming to think about how blessed and loved I am by my Heavenly Father to have been given such a gift for my wife. Proverbs 27:17 is used many times at great men’s conferences, and properly so, but I have been blessed to experience that verse at the most intimate and difficult moments with my Godly wife. I’m so thankful that I haven’t missed that truth, as the presence of God in our relationship sharpens and creates a Godly marriage as He intended. Celebrating His love and becoming a more complete picture of our relationship with Him. By loving Him Most, above all others & needs, He then meets our deepest need first as “all these things are added unto us.” I’m so thankful she is my wife and the mother of our anointed & special children.
Finally and above all else, Donna Little Carroll loves God and her Savior Jesus. She loves Jesus! She recognizes His presence IN her. The person of the Holy Spirit is a real person to Donna. She knows where her help & strength comes from as she lives day to day. Her deepest desire is not to please her husband, her family, or anyone else. Her deepest desire is to know Jesus and love Him MOST! Love Him MOST. Love Him MOST. The repetition of that statement in our home has changed us all. Donna seeks the Father first and sees &hears His presence all around her. Things that used to be taken for granted are now noticed. A bird on a fence row, a wind that blows across your face, and trees that rustle in the distance, a song found after hours of searching, a picture, or a moment is no longer lost in our family. Because of Donna’s pursuit of Christ, we recognize God’s presence all around us as He shouts out to us through His creation. Anyone that has been around her for any time at all has been changed because of what God has spoken and expressed to her. She loves the Word of God. She reads it more deeply than ever before, and searches for the deep thoughts & Words of God. She searches& studies the scripture for hours. His Words are truly like honey to her lips as they roll out of her mouth. Her journal entries are deep and meaningful. She can reference them from many years back. It blows me away. They remind me of the deep thoughts of one of her favorite writers…Oswald Chambers. She truly lives her “utmost for His highest.” I believe that the thoughts, scriptures, insights, and revelations written in the pages of her journals are treasures from the Holy Spirit and will bring glory to her Father in this life and for eternity. The thoughts and words she has written have blessed me over, and over, and over again. Especially now, as pride falls away and I learn to LISTEN as the Father speaks through her to me. I’m so thankful.
Happy Day of Your Birth Donna Little Carroll! I could go on and on. I honestly haven’t even scratched the surface, but I wanted to express through these words & thoughts how thankful I am for you! We want to CELEBRATE the wonderful day God brought you into this world!! I pray you have a GREAT DAY O F CELEBRATION, as we reflect and praise the Father for the gift you are to us all.
Thanks for loving me. I am so grateful. Words can’t express my gratitude to the Father for you. You have been so gracious, kind, and loving to me through EVERYTHING we have faced. Beyond words!
Happy Birthday to you!! Now let’s go eat something Organic!!! I want to go to that Organic restaurant. See, you continue to be used to change my thinking. :-) Glory!!!!!
I love you!