Sep 8th, 2013

Happy Birthday Lenya


I’ve always thought she had the coolest birthday. September 8, 2007. When you just use numbers it becomes 9-8-7. How rad is that? I don’t know anyone whose date of birth is a countdown. It was always so easy to remember when filling out forms or booking airplane tickets. 9-8-7. I told her once that no matter how many kids we had or how challenging it became to remember all the different date of births I would never be able to forget hers.

Today is 9-8-13. That means Lenya would turn six years old today, if she were still in our space and time. I don’t know how old she is in heaven, or how old she will appear to be when I get there. I have heard some suggest that since Jesus went to Heaven at 33 we will all be that age. If thats true then since I am 31 Lenya would be older than me! She would get a kick out of that. Of course, we have no way of knowing.

What I do know is that I miss her so much today. My reservoir of tears which ran dry several months ago is once again full and flowing. Waves of sorrow have been hitting me in the weeks leading up to this day when I instinctively would feel the need to begin purchasing gifts for her, help Jennie with party planning or consult the birthday girl as to what the menu for her breakfast in bed was going to be.

It is such a difficult and clumsy thing to face this day without the guest of honor here. I want to tell her happy birthday. To wake her up with the whole family singing loudly in her bedroom and watching her sleepy little face beam to see everyone in on it as we march around her room with a plate of her favorite breakfast foods topped with birthday candles. I want to ooh and aah as she comes downstairs dressed to the nines in her birthday outfit. To celebrate her all day long, speaking words to honor and bless her at every turn. Watching her open presents and envelopes with checks from relatives far away. To listen to her laugh and play with her friends at her party, taking pictures of all the fun.

I love being a dad. I love being Lenya’s dad. As hard as it is to be separated from her today, it gives me great comfort to remember that Jesus is in me and she is with Him. She is experiencing fullness of joy and pleasures evermore in His presence, and I am filled with the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead — so there is a connection. She is in heavenly places, but I am seated there. I think that means my name is sitting on a space at the table. I can’t wait to join her. I have a backlog of hugs and snuggles I fully intend to deliver and I’m counting down the days. Until then, Happy Birthday Lenya!

The first time I ever held Lenya, six years ago today.

photo 1
Celebrating her fifth birthday.

Posted in family, Lenya Lion


  1. Viola Says:

    Happy Birthday to your sweet angel. I picture her partying in heaven today when one sinner receives her King. May many come to know Him today because of messages preached by Pastor’s like you. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  2. Ohimai Unoje Says:

    Happy Birthday beautiful Lenya.
    What a wonderful family the Lusko family is.
    I pray peace and comfort for your family, Levi and Jenny, in this season of your lives.
    You will see this beautiful lady again in Heaven and you guys will rejoice in the presence of the Most High with joy and happiness.
    God bless you guys.

  3. Mary Vail Says:

    Feel blessed on this day that Lenya has touched so many hearts. You are such a wonderful father & pastor! Celebrate her life & love that she has spread to so many of us. God bless all of you!

  4. alicia Says:

    How touching! Take comfort in this, that, she was loved WELL. Speaking as a girl who grew up without a father, I can tell you that you that you gave her such a precious picture of a father’s love even in that time that she was on this earth. I am certain that she thanks God for you where she is in God’s Presence and also looks forward to the day she will give you her backlog of hugs and kisses!

  5. Linda Hall Says:

    My heart breaks for you! you & your family have been in my prayers Thanking Jesus for the beautiful daughter he blessed you with. Can’t imagine how wonderful Heaven will be when we are all together with our loved ones. think of all the smiles & laughter she is giving to people in Heaven! What a precious gift. Praying Jesus keeps you wrapped in His loving arms & brings you strength, comfort & peace.

  6. Hogie Says:

    Happy birthday Lenya Lion! We love you Luskos!

  7. J. Mayo Says:

    Thinking of the Lusko family today. May the Lord Jesus fill you with comfort and peace today. We love you guys and thank you for sharing your thoughts and your sweet daughter with us.

  8. Tugs at my heart…what a joyful day that will be for all of us when we see those we have loved and have seen go on before us!

  9. Bryan Gilbert Says:

    Happy birthday Lenya, I hope you are playing with my daughter Mallorie. Levi, God bless you for your faithfulness and may God bless your ministry. We miss you here in SoCal.

  10. Jamie Says:

  11. Happy Birthday Lenya ! Levi your awesome and so is your family, I am part of your family so that means I’m awesome too !!! fol My family loves you and we watch Fresh Life all the time….Freshliferadio is on at my house a lot as well.

    Thank you Levi

    John Sellers

  12. Tracy Says:


  13. Mario hart Says:

    Saw you today at Harvest Riverside and I wanted to say thank you for sharing your faith of God with us. You have a great future in preaching for such a dark time as this! CUE THE EAGLE! :)

  14. Christina Hickey Says:

    Thank you for sharing this painful part of yourself with us, Levi. It is always comforting to know that our loved ones are happy and well and we will see them again. I thank God for you and your ministry. You have truly been touched by the hand of God himself and have been given a wonderful gift. Your messages speak to my heart every time I hear them. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used. May Gods love and peace surround and comfort you and your family always, especially today. Happy birthday little Lenya.

  15. Teresa Williams Says:

    As we go into the time where we would have celebrated our sons 22nd birthday, I am comforted to know that Everett is enjoying the true comfort and joy of being with our Savior for eternity…

  16. Teresa Williams Says:

    Thank you for your transparency and love for your daughter. It is a blessing. May our Father continue to bless your family abundantly.

  17. Lore Davis Says:

    Happy Birthday Lenya! What a sweet message you wrote to honor Lenya’s Birthday. May many more come to know Christ through the teachings God has entrusted you to give out. Lenya’s faith and your testimony of His saving grace has touched so many people. May God continue His good work in you. We have been blessed by Freshlife!

  18. Happy Birthday Lenya ♥

  19. Lori Wells Says:

    Happy Birthday Sweet Lenya! My thoughts & prayers are with you all today! I miss seeing her & hearing her laugh! Miss seeing the “look”. I admit I would get the look…I always watched her during the Skull Church days on Wed night. She was my little buddy! Then when she graduated to the big kids class… I would get the look & she would promptly let me know she wasn’t in my nursery class anymore! We love you guys…please know we have prayed for you these past 81/2 months. Thanks for continuing to share her with us.

  20. Rosie Hernandez Says:

    Happy Birthday Lenya! Never got to meet you but I always heard only beautiful things about you from my kids Jaime & Monica! I know you are with Jesus & that gives so much comfort to your parents who love you immensely! You are their little princess & of course they are going to miss you. Praying for your parents & family that all the beautiful memories you left them will comfort them & make them smile!

  21. Pamela Fenske Says:

    Watching you and Jennie through this has been amazing. I know it’s only through his power but wow. Greg and Cathe have been the same way. My heart aches for you all but rejoices for the day we are all together in Heavn. Thank you Levi and Jennie for allowing God to use you through this pain. Lenya has touched so many lives and your story has brought many to their knees. May God continue to bless you and hold you tight.

  22. Mike Montgomery Says:

    Levi, praying for you and Jennie! Happy birthday Lenya, can’t wait to meet you in Heaven one day soon and you can show me what you’ve seen so far!

  23. I can’t imagine the heartbreak you and your family have gone through, and though there is peace in knowing she is with her Maker, there are the memories that she leaves behind . . . The photos are so sweet, especially the one of you holding Lenya as a newborn. She is in the arms of her other Father now and I know you have comfort in that. Thank you for sharing her life celebration and for sharing your message at Harvest on her birthday, it touched all of our hearts. . . God Bless you and your family as you continue to do His work in a mighty, powerful way!

  24. Happy Birthday Lenya! My daughter was ‘Heaven’s Debutant’ this year. Praise God that both our daughters celebrated their birthdays in heaven this year ! One day we will see them again :) Facebook: Pray for Danika

  25. Hey Levi,
    Just happened upon your blog. Man I am so so sorry for the horrific loss of you daughter. I have heard it said that tears are the window to the soul, and if that is so, then your tears are both cathartic and pointing to the character of Christ, who wept for all of us. Dude, all I can say is that I pray that Jesus gives you and your wife enough strength to get through your loss every day-until you meet again in heaven……In Christ, Robert

  26. jackie chavez Says:

    Dear Levy & Jennie: While we were watching Harvest America this evening you mentioned the death of your precious daughter Lenya last December. We were in shock, if you would not mentioned it, there was no way we could tell, you are going through such time of tremendous pain. I don’t know neither of you personally, but I heard you Levy, preaching on KNKT. I know who you mother is, because I have attended the Women’s Bible Study at Calvary in the past. My own life have been a turmoil since 2010, with my husband’s sicknesses, but to see you today, serving our Lord, showed me what is to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord. I’m not saying there is not suffering, but I see someone who is committed to the cause of Christ, no matter what. Thank so much for encouraging my life today, and Thanks be to the King for His Grace that is more than enough. I’ll be praying for you. With Love. Jackie

  27. God Bless you and your family. I went through a loss as well and my pastor suggested a wonderful read…revealing heaven by Kat Kerr. Amazing book.

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