My first-born turns 25 today!

Happy Birthday Joshua David Fowler!!!

Josh today - turning 25!

I longed to be a mother, way before I even cared to be a wife. I always knew it would be the greatest fulfillment of my life.

Today feels like a monumental milestone, as my first child turns a quarter of a century today. 25 years ago he entered this world and our life. After the most arduous 37 hours of labor and 4 hour in the pushing stage, because I was determined to birth him all natural, he finally launched forth into my arms and made me a mother.

I could not have adored him more, from the very first moment on, through his life, and even now. In fact, because of Josh, I became hopelessly addicted to babies and couldn’t quit having them. He was such a delightful young man. Always so sweet and mannerly.

When he was only 3 to 4 years old, he used to stand up on our fireplace and “preach” for my parents and David and I. He was so entertaining and he truly preached well. He was our greatest form of entertainment for years.

While he was in his mid-teens, the Lord spoke to us – through more than one prophet – that Father God had a unique path for Josh and his journey would not be typical, but that we were to rest and be at peace and allow Father God to work in his life as the Father wanted to without enforcing the way we thought Josh should go; i.e. college, etc.

It is so good to receive these types of instructions from the Father, you know!

After high school, Josh let us know that college was not the plan he wanted to pursue at that time. He was just going to “work” until he figured things out. And has he “worked”! He has had a few different jobs in his life. But he always stays so faithful at what he is doing – for years at a time.

Josh hanging out!

He is the most dependable person, and employee, I have ever known. He is never late and can always be counted on to do anything he commits to doing. And often, he will do what he won’t even make any verbal commitment to do. You know that passage in the scriptures about the 2 men who are asked to do something? The one says he will do it and does not do it. And the other says he won’t, but does what the boss says. I always thought that was so weird. Who would say they would not, and then bother to come back and do something? That is my Josh. 🙂 Because he takes time to warm up to every new idea, he usually rejects whatever I propose about anything, but then can be counted on to come back and agree to do it.

Josh has always teased me about being the adult between the two of us – joking with me about “When am I ever going to grow up”.

If you don’t know me very well, you may not know that I am a big kid, with my own kids especially and I love life passionately! We laugh a lot and can have so much fun – just being together. Being the first-born, Josh has such a sense of responsibility for this household.

When Set A, which is our oldest 5, were young and we used to go on family walks with them, David and I would walk along, sometimes in our own little world talking to each other, somewhat watching the kids running along side of us on the street, and Josh would get so upset and say “Don’t you care about your kids? I can’t keep watching them! Why don’t you all be the parents here?!” He really cracked us up, but he was always so precious about taking care of all of his siblings.

Speaking of cracking me up, Josh as a young teen, became the funniest person I have really ever known personally. No one in my whole life, could make me laugh as he can and still does weekly. He is so witty and full of hilarious one-liners, that he thinks up on the spot. His humor got us through what could have been a really rough teenage time, when we so rarely thought on the same page. He could always get me laughing hysterically through anything.

We never believed that because he became a certain age he should leave our home. The Bible actually says “A man shall leave his father and mother and a woman leave her home.” I believe that is the best way, unless kids go off to college. I actually wrote a blog post called “Independence – the American Virtue” back in May of 2009, if you would like some different thoughts you may have never heard.

I do believe that the older kids get, the more responsibility they should carry in the home. And my kids who are over 18, living at home, help out financially. So Josh has been a huge blessing to us through some really tough years financially.

I have told him many times, that he is welcome to move on, with my full blessing, when he has something or somewhere to go to. I don’t want him to just move out to do it. He knows I am sentimental and will cry, but that I would never want to hold him back.

He may deny this or not, but I believe he has conveniently stayed around to help us out, while we have been without a steady income. And I do know Father God would have taken care of us without Josh. 🙂 But because of his willingness to be the responsible and dependable man that he has been, and the ways he has helped carry our family, I fully believe Father God Himself will launch Josh forward at the perfect time and bless whatever he does, because of all he selflessly laid down for us. God smiles deeply on Josh.

Josh and his girlfriend Lauryn McDaniel

He is not consumed with “Doing” or achieving or performing. He is about “Being”, which is how we seek to raise all of our kids. Because of his basic temperament, he is a “tease” and can be a stinker to his siblings and even me. But he loves so deeply and is so loyal to the end. He is the greatest big brother anyone could ever have. He is exactly what I longed for all my life in a big brother, but never had.

What the rest of his life will hold – only Father God knows! But I am so proud of who he is in his heart and character and believe the world would be such a better place, if people thought more as he does – how to be true to their core and living to give and bless, rather than trying so hard to impress everyone else around them.

Lord, may we all become more conscientious and learn from his example of what matters most.

Josh, you are a most amazing son, brother and friend and son of Father God. I am so honored to be your mother and I am excited about your life.




  1. kyara said,

    April 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Wow! Hard to believe its been that long! Happy Birthday Josh! Awesome job Toni and Dave! I have known Josh for many years know every word you say is so true! But my favorite thing about Josh is watching him worship Father God! If I do.t “feel like worshipping” all I have to do us watch Josh for a minute or two and I’m totally into it! Thanks Josh for motivating me!

  2. Uncle Brad Fowler said,

    April 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Toni ~ I love this blog about Josh. You have described Josh so well. He is a very special person, different in so many ways from your other boys. Very humble and personable and Josh and I have always been close. It seems like we are on the same page and are alot alike. Thanks for sharing this blog with the world. Uncle Brad

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