Eight Years of a Great Thing

I'm in Japan today, which is a bummer. The bummer isn't because I don't like Japan. The bummer is because I'm not with my wife.

Today, eight years ago, Stephanie and I were married. I couldn't tell you then what our marriage would mature into. I had no idea of the surprises, both good and hard that God providentially had in front of us. I had very little concept of how selfish and sinful I was towards others until I was married. I had no idea of how much grace and love could be shown to a fellow human until Steph showed it to me in our marriage. I had no idea of how much I need a companion, helper, and more than anything a best friend.

In some ways it is a little appropriate that we aren't able to be together today. It's a Divine reminder to me that God has created me for another. Without her I'm the dude that burns freezer pizza. I'm the guy that can't balance his checkbook. I'm the guy that doesn't know how to thoughtfully consider others (her) better than myself. I still don't know that one well, but I am trying to grow there.

Without Stephanie I don't have the foggiest idea of what it means to sacrificially love someone and to lay down my life for her sake. Again, I don't always practice those aspects of the gospel well, but without her I wouldn't have as good of a clue about them as I do now. So, in being apart from her today I'm reminded of how much the Lord has given me her. Second only to Christ, who is himself the greatest and best gift, Stephanie has been God's "great thing" for me.

I am thankful today for her, I wish I could be with her in Japan today but I am eager to be reunited with her at home. I am eager for what God has in store for us not only in this next year, but also for the next eight years and as long as Christ will give us life and breath here.

I love you Stephanie with all my heart!

Seven Greatest Moments of My Marriage

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#7 The First Day. Worship, Vows, Fireworks, Wendy's, Fire Alarm. I'll never forget it.

#6 – The Day I Tossed Out My Back.  This occured early on in year 2 of our married life.  We just hired a new pastor at Santa Rosa Bible Church and I was cleaning out the office space for him.  In an unfortunate twist I ended up doing something funky to my back.  5 hours later I was laying on the floor in our home moaning unable to make it 30 feet to our bedroom and had to have a friend take me to the emergency room.  The day ended (at around 3am) with me drugged up and talking about reindeer on the roof and Steph laughing at me.

#5 – The French-Canadian/Vermonster Nightmare.  This might fall in the "worst moments of our marriage" category, but it's one we've remembered (and now laugh at) occassionally. After saying "good-bye" to my brother and his wife (whom we wouldn't see for another 3 years) we crossed the border from Quebec into Vermont our phone lit up with terrible news back in California.  Furthermore, our flight from Burlington, VT to Washington DC and then home was cancelled and there was a train festival in the State that made sure every hotel in a 300 mile radius was booked. EXCEPT, the nastiest Super-8ish place on the planet.  We didn't even get under the covers and made Allison sleep between us it was so gross.  Not a fun day.

#4 – Seattle Vacation.  Last year Stephanie and I got travel to Seattle for a week so that I could finish my graduate program and we could celebrate six years of marriage.  This was probably the first "vacation" of more than one or two nights for us since our children were born.  We partied, enjoyed the beauty the Puget Sound and Seattle, ate great food, slept in late, and laughed at pronouncing things like "Snoqualamie" and "Sammamish."  My best friend was with me and it was amazing fun.

#3 – Allison's Birth.  I was in class in Vallejo, some 50 miles away from Steph.  She waited until class was over to call me and tell me "it was time."  It wasn't time however and she endured over 36 hours of labor, two trips to the hospital, a failed epidural, a snotty nurse and a few other trials.  All of it was forgotten however when Allison showed up. I fell in love immediately and we both cried for joy.

#2 – Ethan's Birth.  Ethan's birth wasn't a surprise.  Stephanie had to be induced for Ethan to decide to leave the comforts of his womb-home and join us in the real world.  So we went to the hospital, checked-in and waited for about 8 hours until Ethan decided he was ready to meet the family.  Steph's labor was considerably shorter and again we were crying tears of joy when we met our little boy.

#1 – Today.  Today is the best day in our marriage because it is still there.  We are still married and that is not because of our wisdom, cunning or perfection. It's not because we are googly-eyed-in-love with one another (although that does help).  We're still married because of God's grace, and that grace is a gift.  So that makes today the best day in our marriage.  One more day of grace, one more day of love, one more day of friendship.  We've promised to extend that grace, love and friendship until we die.  And by God's grace we will get there.  Which also means that tomorrow will be the be the greatest moment in our marriage as well.

5 Years Ago Today...

... the woman of my dreams told me that she would be mine until death separated us.  I am glad that she is still with me and has brought so much joy to my life.  Stephanie is a massive measure of God's grace in my life.  I don't deserve her.  I'm not worthy of her.  Yet God saw fit to bless me with a wife that "surpasses them all" (Proverbs 31:29).  I am eagerly awaiting and looking forward to growing in love and grace with my wife in the years ahead.  Happy Anniversary Stephanie.  I love you!

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