1/3 of his life we've been together...

12 years ago yesterday Mike asked me to be his girlfriend... and I said yes. One of the best decisions I've ever made. I can't believe we've been together twelve years.

Mike with the "hulk" AKA Samuel
Today is my hubby's 36th birthday. So we've been together a third of his life. Wow. That's something amazing and something worth celebrating. My husband is a man who loves God and has chosen to love me and care for me and our children in spite of some very seriously difficult circumstances.

 I admire my husband, Mike's faithfulness, perseverance, gentleness, encouragement, wisdom, loyalty, strength, and ability to love me even at my worst. There's no one else I'd rather be with and no human being my heart loves more.

We've been through undergraduate degrees, 4 pregnancies, a Masters degree, 5 babies, oxygen tubes, apnea monitors, feeding tubes, cerebral palsy, glasses, cranial shaping helmets, wheelchairs, g-j tubes, respiratory failure, intubations, emergency rooms, children flown by helicopter or taken by ambulance, funerals, weddings, losses, mourning, grief, joy, hope, devastating diagnoses, chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, biopsies, poopy diapers, wet diapers, total blow-outs, infant carriers, baby slings, boxes upon boxes of baby wipes, lysol disinfectant, throw up buckets, nasty vitamin bombs for our cancer boy, me nursing and crying, the loss of my sister and nephew, the loss of jobs, the loss of cars, the loss of friendships, lack of care, lack of money, lack of hope, new church plant, many cars given to us, hearing aids, moving 7 times in 5 years, driving thousands upon thousands upon thousands of miles, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, neurologists, cardiologists, pulmonlogists, ENT, radiologists, geneticsits, surgeons, Dentists, Opthamologist, Audiologists, oncologists, radiologists, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, Dupont Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters, groceries given to us, provision from the Lord by  means of gas cards and anonymous gifts, a trip to Disney with our precious 5 and Alexis through Toby's Dream Foundation, free nursing check-ups for Samuel through EdMarc (Children's Hospice Program) during treatment, Christmases where the kids were provided gifts through generous sponsors, God providing at every turn- emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, mentally....

What an amazing journey. And Babe, I believe the Best is Yet to Come.

This journey God has on us to move to Norfolk. This journey of reducing ourselves, our stuff, our things, our identities... and letting us be God's children wanting more of His Kingdom and to love others more, and to grow richer in generosity and giving. And to have hospitality. And to be Christ to others by devoting ourselves to the needs of others.

What a gift it's been to walk this road with you. To lean on your shoulder when I'm about to fall. To cry in your arms when I'm weakened by grief. To laugh our heads off at the silly and ridiculous and hilarious. To be united when the world says, "Walk Away. It's too much. It's too hard. It hurts too bad."

I'm not giving up on you... EVER... and thank you for not giving up on me.

I am yours and you are mine. I fall more in love with you each day.

And this thing called marriage that we have and that we do is beautiful. Not because it's easy or sappy or emotional... but because it's holy. It's God uniting us. It's hard work. It's surrendering ourselves to each other... and putting each others needs before our own... and you're amazing at that... and I need to grow in that. 

I am so amazed that you know me, really know me and yet you still love me. Not tolerate me. Not just fulfill your duty and provide for me. But you somehow find me precious to you. And you cherish me. You bring me prizes and treats and kiss my forehead and tell me you love me.

And I'm still that bride who on her wedding day stomped her feet in anticipation of our first marital kiss. I still stomp my feet for your kisses because they are the best. And I love that in the night my foot finds yours. That you always say I can wake you up if I've had a bad dream or I need prayer.

Thanks for being my best friend, my true love and only lover, and the greatest husband, and the wonder-fullest father to our children. I love you and I am for you. You are my favorite and my best.


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