Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Tori!

Tomorrow at high noon, a birthday bash will commence at Chuck E. Cheese's to celebrate Tori's third birthday. Three years ago tomorrow, God blessed our family with the birth of Victoria Chase. I'll still never forget what to this day is the most precious of all my memories of my girls. About twenty minutes after Tori's birth, she was crying uncontrollably when we placed her, for the first times, in the arms of her big sister. Trae instinctively began to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and, as if on cue, Tori's crying stopped. In the video capturing that moment, there are a few seconds when big sis and little sis lock eyes on one another, forming a bond that has only strengthened with time.

Since arriving in our family, Tori has been our spunky one. She talks ninety-to-nothin', her motor is always running, and her sense of humor and ability to crack us all up are pure joy. Tori makes us laugh, even when her energy level is off-the-charts.

What I love most about Tori, at this stage of her life, is her desire to say the prayer every time before meals. Whether in restaurants or at home, Tori is heart-broken if Daddy starts a prayer without asking her to pray. Her prayers are always sincere and from the depth of her heart.
So, Happy 3rd birthday, Ms. Tori Chase, and thanks for all the life and energy you bring to our family.
"When the Israelites received the daily manna to meet their needs, they were instructed not to save for the future, because God would provide for them. My career in estate planning focused on getting the most money to the heirs with as little taxation as possible, but I have come full circle on this topic. My objective now is how to give away as much as possible, yet still provide an education for my children and a modest inheritance for them. If I leave them enough to live on without working, I will steal their opportunity to develop a relationship with God as their provider, and possibly get them involved in something for which their life was not designed. Passing money to future generations in foundations or generation-skipping trusts makes it unavailable for solving society's current needs.
God has provided society's current wealth to accomplish all that needs to be done in this generation. Our challenge is to see the money he has entrusted to us not as our own but as his, to be used for all of his purposes, right now" (Ralph Doudera, Wealth Conundrum, p.76-7).