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Today Janet celebrates her birthday. I am among a whole tribe of people who love this woman and feel honored to be called friend by her. One of the rare gifted people who LOVE middle school-aged kids and old people and babies equally, Janet has a following of fans reaching back through her years of teaching, mentoring, mothering, ministry and missions. She puts others before herself most of the time.

Her creativity and passion have left lovely, enduring impressions on those of us lucky enough to have relationship with Janet. Gifts designed to encourage left on doorsteps, homemade treasures given on holidays, home visits to shut-ins, community service with her students, potlucks with friends, conversations on the trail during regular runs, adventuring on rock faces and wilderness trails with her husband, and often with others who never grow too old to learn from her, and on and on…these are things of which I know. Others would tell more.

Janet is a giver. She thrives on doing random and planned and purposeful acts of kindness. The bible says, “A friend shows [herself] friendly.” Janet is a friend to many.

Through the years I have come to know her well. We are sisters and friends. Janet is the foremost initiator of  adventures with our intimate group. Our time together waxes and wanes as we all have busy lives and other commitments. But, the fact remains: we are forever friends.