31 years of awesome.

5:00 AM

I am one of the lucky ones.

   One who married a man who seems to understand me just a little bit better than anyone else.  Better than my family, better than my friends, better than myself.

   One who can talk me off the ledge faster than I managed to climb up there.  One who sees me even now, not just for who I am (thankfully) but for who I'd really, really like to be one day.  One who manages to overlook my glaring faults, ragged scars, deepest flaws, and truest weaknesses, and see the beauty deep within, especially when I can't see it anymore.

   Seems strange to me that we've only shared 6 years of his 30+ life now in marriage.....seems like it should be much longer that that.  Because I can hardly remember the time before it now.  

It hasn't all been easy.  

   We have had to wrestle with huge, impacting, life-changing decisions, and trust God to lead us when we couldn't clearly see our way.  We have had to (or rather, HE has had to)deal with pregnancy hormones, intense emotions and the marathon of labor and delivery twice now, and are somehow crazy enough to be going through it a third time together.  

We've seen sorrow and loss, stress and discouragement, but also intense joy and love and peace.

   We have seen dark days, both for me and for him, and held each other up through them.  I have seen him fight his own battles......gaining strength and wisdom and maturity only to have to turn right around and hold my hand as I face my own. 

And thank goodness he's more than just a handsome face and great hair.  

   He is a leader, a protector, a provider, a lover, and a friend.  And I knew all that before I ever even knew him as a father.  But getting to watch him become "daddy"?  Hands down one of the best experiences I will ever have on this earth.

   He is the kind of Dad that makes me just want to pull up a chair and watch for a while.  The kind that makes me what to have 27 babies just so I can watch him get to be that Dad to one more lucky, lucky kid all over again.

   He's not perfect, and would never claim to be.  I wouldn't put that label on him either, because, news flash....he's not!  He likes to let his alarm clock go off about 15 times because he likes the feeling of being able to sleep "just a little bit more".  He forgets things and isn't always the most organized human being.  (But then I guess we were meant to be together, because I'm not organized either)

   But flaws and all, every day when he gets home from work I get a front-row seat to some of the most crazed fan-girls around.  One Direction's got nothing on this guy.  And seeing my daughters unfailing, relentless, desperate love and admiration for him always makes mine grow a little more.

   And I don't take lightly the privilege of resting in the security of knowing someone will always have my back.  Always persevere, always be faithful and true.  And so who needs perfect when you have all of that?

    We recently found a new family car after ours kicked the bucket, and our girls' excitement over the whole situation was so contagious.  I had told them Daddy was coming home with a new car, but they would be sleeping and could see it in the morning.

   The next morning Jocelyn ran to the window and exclaimed, "Daddy brought us a car!  A new car!  Oh Daddy gets us such nice things."  And suddenly it was about so much more than just a car.  It was about the fact that our 4 yr-old already has the peace and security of knowing that her Daddy will take care of her.

That he will provide for her and that he wants the best for her.

   And I don't take that lightly.  The privilege of raising my children with a father who will always be there for them, when so many countless, countless children will never know that luxury.  They will never know the simple blessing that is a GOOD DAD.

   Even now, it is already shaping their view of their Heavenly Father.  Whether they realize it or not, it is molding and shaping the picture they will envision when they learn and hear about Jesus.  And that is no small thing.

  And the reason it is no small thing is because the kinds of questions they carry in their small hearts today, they will carry for a lifetime.  These are the questions they ask first of their Daddy, then one day of a potential husband, and they are the same questions that they ask of Jesus.

Does he love me?
Am I enough for him?
Will he ever leave me?
Will he protect me?
Can I trust him?
Will he be faithful?
Can I count on him?

   And while no man (and this one is no exception) will make it through the entirety of his childrens' lives without making mistakes, my heart rejoices that they will get to witness their Daddy following the One who never will.  Jesus will never let them down.  He will always be truth and love and life.  And hopefully, by watching their Daddy love Jesus and love their mama, they will want to love Him too.

And so we celebrate him today, on the day of his 31st birthday.

   And in a few months I will turn 30, effectively eliminating both of us from the 20s category forever.  I am a little wistful and nostalgic, as our 20s held so much joy, love, change, growth and excitement.  We dated, broke up, dated again, married, traveled, had babies, bought a house, and so many other major, life-changing milestones.  It feels as if we are closing a chapter to our lives that was such a whirlwind in so many ways, but of the absolute best kind, and I am sad to see it go.

  But I can't think of a single better person to be facing this next, new decade with.  And it's so exciting to think of what our 30s might bring!  Yes indeed, I am one of the lucky ones.  Thank-you, thank-you, for choosing me to do life with.  

Bring it on, thirty-one!  And hopefully many, many, more to come.

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  1. Such a sweet tribute! I bet Randy will love and treasure this. (As will your girls!) Great husbands are just...great. God has richly blessed us. :)

  2. Aww, this is so incredibly sweet! It makes me want to run home and hug my husband and tell him all of the wonderful things about himself.
    xo, Sarah

  3. I love people who are madly in love with their husbands. This is such a sweet tribute, Shelley!


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