Happy 30th Birthday, Mo!

On November 18, 1978, Mo was born. Her mom toasted her a bagel for breakfast, spread with peanut butter and decorated with (leftover Halloween Reformation Day) mini M&M’s to celebrate.

Happy 30th Birthday (bagel) for Mo

UPDATE [2:33PM November 18]: I forgot to mention earlier that Mo had the same breakfast yesterday, just without the M&M’s in such a deliberate pattern. Also, for as much as she appreciated the thoughtfulness, she found the candy quantity lacking and made appropriate addition.

I Didn’t Pick My Eyes Out

Mo and I returned Monday afternoon from the Olympic Swim Trials. We spent a week together in Omaha, NE, in celebration of our 10th Anniversary and Mo’s forthcoming 30th birthday in November.

*See all our Omaha trip pictures here.

I know, Omaha doesn’t make anyone’s top 10 list of romantic destinations, but Mo has dreamt about attending the Olympic trials meet since she was 10. In fact, she told me that had I taken her back to Hawaii instead, she would have been a little bit disappointed.

Though I’m not a swimmer, a swim coach, or an otherwise interested spectator of swimming, I think I was a good sport all week. Not only did I enjoy the time with Mo–away from interruptions and regular responsibilities–not once did I feel like picking my eyes out. Almost every session saw a record broken, whether it was a meet record, American record, or World record. Michael Phelps really is dominant (in US swim team marketing as well as in the pool), and Dara Torres was that old–and dominant. I would not appreciate sitting all day watching nine year olds swim, but the Olympic trials obviously highlight the best our country has to offer. Friday and Saturday night in particular saw the largest crowds ever to watch a swim meet in the US, Saturday the largest at over 13,770. Any former or current athlete couldn’t help but get goose bumps as the crowd stood and cheered a close race over the last 50m.

We didn’t do much other than attend the trials, eat, and hang out in our hotel since Mo still isn’t feeling fantastic (though at least we didn’t make any visits to the hospital). It is good to be home after being gone most of the last three weeks. Perhaps now I’ll return to normal intermittent posting.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Mo!

Mo married me 10 years ago today, June 19, 1998. Wow.

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Back then I was looking for someone who wouldn’t be satisfied with the status quo. I prayed for a person that would encourage and push for our marriage to be full and intimate and fun and show off the relationship between Christ and His Bride, for our parenting to be consistent and kind and diligent and nurturing in the Lord, and our ministry to be vigorous and faithful and biblical and a fragrant aroma to God. I didn’t realize how big a request that was.

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I knew that this woman would need to love God more than me, that she needed an understanding of–and eagerness to learn more–theology, that she needed a passion for discipleship, as well as an appreciation for her family and in particular submission to her dad, and that she needed affection for the local Body. I also knew she needed a healthy sense of humor, an understanding about coffee and red meat (even if she didn’t partake herself), and she had to be hot. I didn’t realize how rare a woman like that is.

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What I didn’t recognize is how poor my communication skills were, how little practice I had at enjoying things, how utterly insensitive I could be, how narrow and limited my perspective was (and is), how superficial and deficient my understanding of–and ability to–love, and how prone I was to take myself too seriously. I didn’t realize how prodigious a sinner she’d be dealing with.

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Mo possesses all of those attributes and deals graciously with all of my failings. I knew I needed her; I didn’t realize how much! After 10 years I’ve at least started to scratch the surface of how important she is to me and how thankful I am for her. These have been my favorite 10 years thanks to Mo. She is my portion in life, the wife of my youth, an excellent wife who does me good all my days, God’s gracious and favorable gift to me. Thanks for marrying me, Mo.