Happy 14th Birthday, Hannah! {A Gift of Favor, Grace}

In the summer of 1999 while attending graduate school and working in Public Relations at West Virginia University, I almost fainted at work.  After tests, the ER doctor smiled and said, “You’re not sick; you’re pregnant.”

A baby.

split screen dancer and little han

Me.  A mom.

me and han country shirts          me and han in la moskitia

Oh.  My. Word.
A mom?  Me?  Crazy.

I didn’t consider myself “mom material.”  Perhaps someday I’d be “ready,” but today?  Poor child.  He or she would be stuck with me.

Hannah Grace Farish entered the world at 12:06 am on March 22, 2000 {after 27 hours of labor!}.  Today, we celebrate her 14 years on this earth.  And, I am reminded that in our weakness, He is strong.  That I serve a sovereign God who decided when I would become a mom.

When we think we can’t, He knows we can.

So, God didn’t listen to a know-it-all 23-year-old.  He wove his plan as He knew it should be, gifting me with the precious gift of Hannah.

Hannah’s name means favor, grace.  And her name is so fitting.  She is graceful – physically and spiritually.  Hannah extends grace and love to others in a way that I can only admire.  She notices the leftout and the underdog.  She forgives those who hurt her, and in this day of “mean” girls, she’s intentionally choosing to not join in.

She chooses love.

Throughout her life, Hannah has been an excellent sister.  Her brother loves and admires her, and she loves and protects him – watches magic shows and learns Pokemon – just for him.

han and owen frominstagram

 han and owen very young

I most admire Hannah’s servant heart and her love for all people.  A few years ago, Hannah taught herself to crochet using YouTube videos.  She made hats and purses and flowers.  She also wanted to help others, so she combined her desire to serve with her love of crafts, crocheting cancer caps for those in the public hospital in Honduras who have lost their hair.  Hannah and I travelled to Honduras last summer, and Hannah built houses, taught teen moms to crochet, visited hospitals, and distributed food. Her enthusiasm every day – even in the hot, rainy weather with cold showers and food she didn’t like – made me proud. She genuinely loved meeting each person  – and serving them – loving them.

han w Janets girls


han w stack of hats                               han hammer in honduras

han and girl w her hat on

  han and grace

Hannah loves dance, reading, violin, and crafts too.  She spends hours each week working hard at her dance studio. Her dedication and perseverance even in the face of difficulty always amazes me.  I love to watch her dance and play  – create and serve.split screen han in HOndo and at dance

Most of all, Hannah loves Jesus.  Each night before she goes to bed, she does a Bible study.  I’ve read a few pages of her study.  Her insight into the Scripture as God speaks to her heart and the way she’s leaned into her faith and her Creator during a very difficult time in life are inspiring.

And while Hannah might seem quiet to most, those living close to her heart know she has a goofy side that is heart-warming – a side that makes me smile.  I simply love spending time with her, learning from her, and taking joy in her.

little han w a feather boa         funny face with makeup

She is a gift.  Smart, funny, and loving.  Willing to sacrifice for others.  Extending grace easily.

I am honored to call her my daughter, and thankful God gave me this gift – one I certainly don’t deserve.  And, especially during this difficult in our lives, I am reminded that God knew what he was doing 14 years ago in Ruby Memorial Hospital and 2000 years ago on a cross, so He certainly knows what He is doing today.

suego faults dance

Happy 14th Birthday, Hannah Grace.  My love for you is even bigger than this world.  I pray you continue to follow the One who made you for His glory – never mine or your own.  May your humble and quiet spirit continue to be a light in the dark – a beacon beckoning others to Him.



  1. We love you, Hannah! Your mom is so right about you. It’s a joy and honor to know you. We miss you!! Happy, happy, happy birthday!! xoxoxoxo

  2. Malinda Blevins says:

    Happy Birthday Hannah miss seeing y’all.

  3. Happy Birthday Beautiful girl! And Happy “Birth”day to you too Mom. You both are a blessing to me and to many others! You both are touching lives that you don’t realize. Thankful!

  4. Pam Childers says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful young lady. And Sarah, this proves what a wonderful mother and mentor you have been for Hanna, just as you had two wonderful parents who raised you to be the person you are today. May God’s beauty always shine through you and your family. Luv u, Pam

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