Of Birthdays & Aspirations


If you've never had the chance to sit down with Lois Shaw in Kenya over a cup of coffee or glass of wine (or both; we won't judge!), you should probably add that to your bucket list right now.

All of us here at ABDS love a good party. And today just so happens to be the birthday of our fearless leader, so it seems fitting to celebrate with a little fanfare. (Get it? We're her biggest fans!) Lois has left her mark on each of our lives—and we know she has done the same for many of you, too.

Lois Shaw Hannah Teague Photography

So when I asked a few of our team members to send me a list of what comes to mind when they think of Lois, it wasn't a difficult assignment. We feel incredibly privileged to serve alongside and get a front-row seat to the powerhouse that is Lois Shaw.

We thought of words like energetic, creative, wise, joyful, kind, passionate, brilliant, selfless, daring and faithful. Encourager, student, writer, dreamer, connector—she inspires us with her insight, charismatic leadership and humble posture.

And we could go on.

I'm practical by nature. I keep close company with schedules, lists, the here and now. Lois reminds me to look up from my planner and email inbox and notice beauty and possibility I'd otherwise miss. She'll happily share her post-it notes with me, but she'll also keep pointing me to the best and truest things—the life that is truly life.

We always say we want to be like Lois when we grow up. Not just because of her spontaneity, fantastic style, or adventurous spirit, but because of the way she infuses hope and grace into every person and space. She has showed up to walk alongside us through change, our awkward stages of navigating life in Kenya, loss, celebration and even the very ordinary days. 

Lois, if we spend our lives learning and loving even a little bit as much as you, our years will be well spent.


Check out last year's post celebrating Lois' birthday!