Babies are wonderful creations. Each child is knit together in the womb by our loving God.
When a baby is born, God rejoices in that unique person, created in His own image and likeness.
Unlike the parents, God knows each child's destiny and has a plan for each child's future.
When my sister Kathy was born, our parents knew that she was a beloved child of God.
On the day of Kathy's Baptism, Mom and Dad chose Christ's path for Kathy -- as they had for their firstborn and would for all of their children.
In His image, Kathy was molded. By our parents' influence and the influence of others in her life, Kathy learned the ways of God.
A little girl gazing at the infant Jesus in the manger -- a precious memory and a glimpse into the future.
For God already knew that Kathy was ordained to hear His voice and to respond to His call.
God already knew that He was calling Kathy to be a woman of faith, to accept Christ as her spouse and to teach others the way of the faith through her vocation.
God has a plan for each of His beloved children. He calls each of us to walk with Him, but we don't all respond.
Some of us are too busy with the things of this world to hear God's voice, to feel His love, to discern His unique calling.
Some hear God's voice, but choose to ignore it. Others don't know God and can't feel His love.
Raised in an Army family, Kathy was exposed to many people with different races, backgrounds and viewpoints.
From coast to coast and across the ocean, Kathy experienced the life God intended her to have.
From a baby into a school girl, Kathy grew in age and wisdom, each day bringing her closer to her destiny.
In our big family, the kids wore red jackets when we went places so we were easy to spot,
But no child is ever lost in God's world. He always knows exactly where each of His children is -- and He also knows where each is heading.
On this day, we celebrated Christ's victory over death. We wore our best clothes and the girls all wore Easter bonnets, instead of our traditional Sunday chapel veils.
We younger kids knew we could count on Kathy to help us with whatever we needed.
Somewhere along the path, Kathy realized she had a gift for working with young people.
Teaching isn't for everyone, but Kathy had been teaching her younger siblings for years.
After Kathy graduated from the Catholic high school, she was called to attend the local Catholic women's college.
I was in my teens when Kathy took our family out one night and sharer that she'd been called to serve God as a religious sister.
I'm not proud of my reaction -- my biggest concern was what my friends would think and, as always, I spoke just what I was thinking.
Thankfully, Kathy forgave me for my words.
Everywhere she went for the rest of her life, Mom told friends and strangers alike about her "nun daughter."
While Kathy was walking her faith journey, Dad was on a journey of his own.
In April 1977, Daddy became a member of the Catholic Church.
On August 12, 1979, Kathy took her final vows, surrounded by her family and the sisters in her order.
As our family grew, Kathy served the Sisters of Charity, teaching in Kansas and Montana. Kathy has always been known as "Favorite Aunt Kathy" to her nieces and nephews.
Whether in her role as Sister Kathy or as our sister Kathy, she was always ready to pitch in and help wherever and whenever she was needed.
In the summer of 1997, we celebrated Kathy's 25th anniversary as a Sister of Charity.
During the same weekend, we also marked Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. Mom and Dad renewed their vows in a family ceremony.
As our parents aged, Kathy helped care for them. Kathy continued to work full time, but still managed to get Mom and Dad to medical appointments and keep up with their important information.
God's plan is always perfect; His timing is always right. God blessed our family when he gave Mom and Dad the little baby girl who grew up to be Favorite Aunt Kathy.
Mom and Dad couldn't have imagined the future when they held that tiny baby in their arms.
But God knew that Kathy was just the right child to add to their family.
The model of service Mom and Dad provided lives on in Kathy's life of service to others.
Service to God, family and the world around her is how Kathy shares the love of God with others.
Happy Birthday to you, Sister Kathy! We love you and we thank God for the gift that is you!