Carolyn Wing Greenlee

Birthday Song

Having spent the first thirty years of my life striving to meet the demands of Confucian dictates where absolute, unquestioning, immediate obedience was the only acceptable way to relate to authority (especially male authority), it was hard for me to understand how to communicate with Father God. And with thirty years of Taoism, where there is no deity, only the impersonal Tao, it was even harder for me to to comprehend Jesus.

Then, in the summer of 1982, I met Dale Enstrom, a young singer/songwriter whose songs to the Lord were blatant love songs. He had a joy I didn’t know. He was intimate with God. How did he get there? His songs had “incited me to envy,” as the Bible says. I wanted what he had.

“We’re called the Bride of Christ,” he explained. “In Bible days, being betrothed was almost the same as being married. So think of the privileges you have after you marry a man. You take on his name, you share his checkbook, you have a closeness that is personal and intimate and appropriate to your relationship.”

I began spending time with Jesus every morning, talking to Him as I imagined a bride would talk to her beloved. It was difficult to think of Jesus that way. But then, on January 27, 1983, on the morning of my birthday, I jumped up from my prayer time and wrote this birthday song. “Bride’s Song” was written not long after, and I connected them because they seemed to need to be together.

I sing these songs to the Lord every birthday. This year, I’m pleased to be able to share them with you. May they incite you to envy, for this is what the Lord longs to have with you too!


  1. Tya Kirk

    January 31, 2014 - 4:14 PM

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Happy birthday. sorrry this wish is late. I don’t check my e-mail often. Edmund had a wonderful 17th even though it was -40 degrees outside. Got to love Wisconsin winters. Love your, girl

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:20 PM

      Tya, my girl, so glad to hear from the mother of my birthday twin, Edmund, born on my fiftieth birthday. He’s a young man now, and I’m…. well, the Chinese would say I’m more wise and venerable. So glad to hear from you, my dear! How you squeezed another thing into your packed schedule, I don’t know. I feel honored!–Mom

  2. Alice Trego

    January 29, 2014 - 9:27 AM

    Happy Birthday, Carolyn! What a glorious song sung by a glorious woman on her glorious day. I enjoyed this and love you for always sharing.


  3. Mi Fortescue

    January 28, 2014 - 8:20 PM

    Happy Birthday Carolyn!
    You are talented in so any ways. Sending you loving thoughts.


    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      February 10, 2014 - 1:19 PM

      Mia, my artistic friend! Same to ya! –C

  4. Lori Anderson

    January 27, 2014 - 8:04 PM

    Happy birthday Carolyn! Thank you for sharing your birthday song. It was wonderful!

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      February 10, 2014 - 1:17 PM

      Lori, thank you for listening from afar. I miss you and your talented family. –C

  5. Paige Ramsey-Palmer

    January 27, 2014 - 7:27 PM


    What beautiful messages from a beautiful spirit. Thank you so much for sharing these intimate songs of love and joy.

    Happy Birthday, and my wishes are that you will have many more opportunities to sing these beautiful words.

    Have a grateful day – I am for many reasons, but one great reason is because I count you as a friend.


    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:16 PM

      Paige, you touch my heart! Thank you, dear friend! –C

  6. mary holtz

    January 27, 2014 - 3:18 PM

    Happy Birth Day to a very special and talented woman!

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:14 PM

      Mary, I can feel your love all the way from Florida! Thank you and Arnie for being such supportive and generous friends of many years! –C

  7. Betty Helf

    January 27, 2014 - 2:45 PM

    I’m down the street clapping! What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. Betty

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:12 PM

      How lovely to know my talented neighbor down the street is clapping for me! Thanks, Captain Betty! –C

  8. Sandra Lahey

    January 27, 2014 - 2:36 PM

    Hi Carolyn,
    Happy Birthday. Thank you for the wonderful gift of your beautiful song and lovely voice.
    Since we met so many years ago, I too have found my joy in a closer walk with Jesus, and wonderful sisters in Christ in a personal Bible study group where we meet and serve together.
    Thank you again. Many blessings.
    Sandra (Barnes) Lahey

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:11 PM

      What a blessing to hear of your rich faith and fellowship! Thanks for lettiing me know, and for helping make my birthday a very special one indeed! –C

  9. Cindy Massey

    January 27, 2014 - 12:09 PM

    So beautiful, Carolyn! I have shared this with my Facebook friends. Hopefully it will inspire others to the Lord!


    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      January 31, 2014 - 5:09 PM

      Cindy, I’m delighted that you wanted to share my song. That is my desire, too, that people will see it’s not a boring, stiff, and restricted life, but one of wild creativity and freedom loving and enjoying the One Who loves us most. –C

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