It seems like Twenty was just five years ago. (And our actual anniversary is the 19th, but we were traveling.)
Since then the Lord has given both of us many more pains and many many more blessings, including a son-in-law and two grandsons. We’ve been given grace to get through the global insanity of lockdowns and too many physical hurts/breakdowns to list. We’ve also been given grace to keep learning, and grace that has kept increasing our love for each other. I have no greater earthly gift from the Lord than Mo.
We found out yesterday via ultrasound that Maggie and Calvin are having a little sister in October. Of course we’re excited about having another girl in the house, though I can’t claim to share Mo’s enthusiasm regarding its effect on cloth diaper coloring.
Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary! Praise the Lord, and amen!
I love my wife, though I have not always been good at knowing what love is or what love does. By grace, she has been patient and I am on the learning/loving path.
From the beginning I knew that she would not be satisfied with the status quo in our Christian walks, in our relationship at spouses, in our work as parents, or in our service to Christ’s Body; her high expectations were part of what attracted me to her. In order to be helpfully provocative (rather than a nag, or as the boss) she had to be a committed disciple of Jesus, a lover of the Bible and theology, and a student of people. She has been that since I met her, and has only matured more than I could have imagined in all of those things over the last two decades.
There is no one that I’ve sinned against more than her, and there is no one that has shown me what forgiveness looks like in the flesh as much as her.
She is a model of endurance through chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.
She cares about our kids, seeing them for who they are and encouraging each one in their particular interested and giftedness.
She is the financial nerd (in Dave Ramsey terminology), but how necessary that has been to keep us from never-ending debt of the free-spender.
She loves loud music, the kind that shakes the outer panels of our minivan and causes the back seat to bounce with the subwoofer underneath.
She consumes and processes more conversations in a month (personal and via podcasts) than I can imagine doing ever.
She is always curious, always learning, quick to say she was wrong, laughing (the good ways) the whole time.
She respects me far more than I deserve, to my face, to our kids, and to others in our church.
And I still love to watch her gait, even though it’s changed a lot under the burdens of pain and responsibilities.
I love you, Mo! Happy anniversary!
This isn’t a wedding photo, but it’s at least closer to when we tied the knot!
Here are lessons I’ve learned or reasons that I’ve got for giving thanks. Also, although I did recently turn 41, I don’t have a 41 point list. Instead, in the spirit of having recently read 1984 which was written in 1948, here are 14 things, numbered but not ordered by importance.
Learned: Line diagramming is great for meditating on God’s Word. It’s my favorite observation tool to beat the meaning out of a passage.
Learned: Christians need to read good fiction. “Good” is key. I’ve really profited from Peace Like a River, the 100 Cupboards series, and Lewis’ Space Trilogy.
Learned: Family is not an obstacle to what a man wants to accomplish, they are what a man is accomplishing. Maggie, Calvin, Hallie, and Keelah are how I’m changing the world. More importantly, they are God’s grace changing me.
Learned: Any doctor’s diagnosis that includes the word “cancer” will probably lead to a lot more conversations.
Thankful: Reading on the treadmill has saved my reading life.
Learned: You can read on the treadmill if you make the font big enough in the Kindle app on your iPad.
Learned: The fact that Christ created everything does more than reveal His wisdom and power, it also reveals His interests. So don’t be a dualist. Also, see anything written by Kuyper. The quote at the end of this post is from a fantastic book that syllogizes worship by way of the world.
Thankful: Dropbox. (As long as you don’t have to explain it to people older than you). You have hundreds of files, dozens of apps, and multiple devices. Have your stuff with you and backed up as an added benefit.
Learned: Scissor skills and penmanship are related. I don’t have either, but I do have hope for the next generation.
Thankful: Fountain pens. There’s one in particular that has written over 4000 pages for me, including the rough draft of this article. The scratch of the nib across the lines on a yellow pad makes me glad.
Thankful: IPAs. I like (intentionally) bitter beer. The New Belgium Ranger is my current favorite.
Thankful: Starbucks French Roast. I like my beer bitter and my coffee burnt. That’s what friends tell me, at least. I’m more than okay with it. There is hardly a more enjoyable aroma than opening a new bag of beans.
Learned: I have a wife who prefers beards. My dad had a beard the entire time I knew him. When I was a kid I never thought about growing-to-keep one for myself. After 15 years of marriage and a lazy week of not-shaving my cheeks, the beginnings of the bush-face became the beginning of being a beard guy.
Thankful: There is no human who I have sinned against more or who helps me so much as Mo. She is the crown I don’t deserve, the reason our kids are cute, and the one who makes me most want to live like the Trinity.
God’s love for God led him to create the world from nothing. Therefore, our love for God, if it is to be an accurate reflection of God’s love, must also lead us to a deep and profound and fitting love for creation. God’s love for God pushes him into creation. So should ours. (Joe Rigney, The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts, 62)
My bride pulled the trigger this week and migrated her Blogger to WordPress. Go, read, follow, and see many of the reasons why my life is so great (and not nearly as boring as my blog may make it seem).
The following is an instant message I received from hobbsandbean a short while ago.
maggie leared how to chop carrots with a REAL knife today! a serrated one, so it wasn’t too sharp, but still! she did awesome. now she’s knitting. while cal sets off grenades. it’s very male / female in here.
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.
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.