Every Sunday I sit on the front pew. And it’s not because I’m the “pastor’s wife” or because you ask me to sit there. I sit there because I want you to know. I want you to know I support you 100%. I’ve got your back. I want you to know that the commitment I made 19 years ago is just as important today as it was at the altar when we said “I do”.
I want you to know that this loud, crazy girl loves you, and it doesn’t matter what happens to us, I’ll live in a cardboard box with you if it ever came to it.
I want to make you feel like a superstar. Not because I want you to be famous. I want you to feel that way because of how much I love you. How blessed I feel to know you, to have you, to hold you.
My love is pretty lame, pretty often. I know I’m a selfish human being who likes things my way, and there are a bunch of (lots of) times I’ve done dumb stuff. But even when I’ve done dumb stuff, I’ve still always felt your unconditional, unrelenting love for me. When two people love each other, we also know we’re going to mess up. And we forgive each other…often.
I see it in the little things – the way you sometimes sleep on top of the covers because you know I like the bed made. The way you buy me “prizes” or watch “girl” movies or take me to Barnes and Noble when you don’t understand why fiction books exist.
I see it when you make me take way too much vitamin C when I’m sick or that time you sent me to Starbucks because I had a bajillion papers to grade and you told me to get as much coffee as I wanted, to stay there until the stress of English teacher-ing was relieved.
I see it in the way you know me. The way you take the time to really know me. How you “notice” when I do stuff I hate (like laundry) or stuff I love (like publishing a book). The way you know that gifts are my love language or that it means the world when you call for no reason but to say hi.
I see the way you make sure your day off is family day – you make that time sacred for you and “your girls”. The way you encourage, hug, surprise, and listen. The way you wake us all up on a Saturday morning to go on some new adventure – even if it’s just to buy bird seed and grab some burgers.
I see the way you research everything extensively – to make sure you get “just the right thing” for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or for no reason at all. The way you encourage me to speak up, to speak out, to lead worship, to write, to do a snow angel in shorts after a blizzard. The way you brainstorm with me for hours on end about how I can actually achieve my dreams, not just talk about them.
When we met we were just kids. But I knew you were right for me because you loved me too much to leave me the same. You were everything I always wanted, and everything I never knew I needed. You were, and are, a gift to me.
I love the way we’ve always done things together. We’re better that way. Whether it’s hauling mulch or hiking the Bright Angel trail, we love being together. But we like being together even when there’s silence (I know, which is not often with me).
You don’t just keep me to yourself, you also want me to have friends, to go out and experience the world, to explore and grow and fly, and then to come back and tell you all about it.
You are Grand Canyon deep in your wisdom – the way you can see things beyond the surface and find the diamonds. You are the most humble man I know – and I wish everyone could see what I do – the sacrificial way you serve and love everyone around you. You don’t need the accolades, never ask for them. But I want everyone to know just how much of a rock star you are.
Our partnership is unique. Full of vulnerability, laughter, raw truth, and joy. You are always honest with me, even when it might hurt a little. You are the epitome of REAL FRIENDSHIP. There is nothing fake about you – and from you, I’ve learned to embrace myself and love myself no matter my weight, my gray hair, or my post-pregnancy belly. There has never been a moment when I’ve felt insecure about my aging body. You’ve always given me confidence and security. And you love every inch of me, big or small.
You are, and always will be, my decision. I choose to love you. I choose to grow old with you. I choose to serve you and give to you and beat you at UNO. I choose to devour Chipotle with you and watch every preview of a movie with you until there’s no time to pick a movie to actually watch.
But the thing I love the most about you?
You love Jesus more than you love me.
You’ll spend more time with Jesus. And because of that, you love me better, more, and unconditionally. Your life verse, John 3:30 – is always evident. Every day I see you becoming more like Jesus. And as your daughter looks at you, she sees it, too.
The other day I was driving our sweet girl home from school. What came out of her mouth is something I will never forget.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get married.”
As any mom would do, I was wracking my brain for the best advice, the best words of made-up wisdom, the best response. But she beat me to it.
“I don’t think there will ever be anybody else like Dad.”
That about sums it up, Brady.
There will never be anybody else like you.
My book, Choose: An Invitation to the Best Day Ever Adventure launched on October 10, 2017! Based on the John 10:10 idea that Jesus came so we can have life to the FULL, each of the 21 chapters has a challenge, a choice, and a change for YOU to live the Best Day Ever Adventure Jesus has for YOU! I hope you’ll grab it on Amazon!
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