Archives For marriage

Ode to My Wife

May 28, 2013 — 2 Comments

Today, it has been eight wonderful years since my lovely wife walked down the aisle to greet me. It happened in the sacred stone and wooden retreat of All Saints Chapel in beautiful Sewanee, Tennessee. A week ago, we made the trek back up the mountain to Sewanee to visit The University of the South and enjoy the beauty of All Saints Chapel. Just as we arrived, another wedding finished and it brought a smile to all of us. We were blessed to visit with our daughters so they could see the inside of the chapel and discover where we the girls became a “possibility” in life. It was as beautiful as the first weekend we met (in person) in Sewanee. It was then in early 2003 that I took her hand in the chapel and walked her to the altar. God knew what he was doing because I was out of my mind.

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Not a day goes by that I don’t think that I’m living one of life’s greatest adventures. Brooke and I are still getting to know each other and are helping each other to discover what God wants for us together as well as individuals. I have had the pleasure to watch her passion become a reality by starting up a website to help stray, lost and abandoned pets called StrayMagnet.com. In addition, she has worked so hard serving the women in our church and various ministries in our city. She has also seen me grow in my love for reading, writing, publishing and travel adventures. We have traveled to parts of the world and our nation and built friendships to last a lifetime. We have endured loss of family and other disappointments when we did not understand what to do next. We have been blessed to welcome two wonderful daughters to this world, Madelyn and Ainsley. We have even endured difficult injuries and have cared for each other back to health. Mostly, we laugh in our moments and enjoy what is next in this great adventure.

We often joke about how forgetful I am as a husband when driving around. The conversation would typically go like this after my wife would help me find my way.

Me: “How would I get there without you?”

Brooke: “Oh you would get there. It would just take you longer.”

God, thank you for giving me Brooke. Thank you for speaking to us through your word and reminding us of what it takes in this journey.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

I think the fictional late, great Dicky Fox from the movie Jerry Maguire sums it up best in how I feel. Thank you my love.

I was at the supermarket the other after a long day of work and had a long list of weekly groceries. One of our meals consisted of required securing of good ole American hot dogs and buns to match. I am surprised to find that not much has changed in the quantity matching of hot dogs and buns since George Banks’ rant in the classic movie Father of the Bride (1991). Any father goes through a moment or two like this. If you have never seen this scene, you will relate when things get tough trying to take care of everyone. We’ve all earned the right from time to time to lose it like George.

George Banks sums it up in the movie,

You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you and adores you in a way you could never have imagined. I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine. Then comes the day when she wants to get her ears pierced, and wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater. From that moment on, you are in a constant panic. You worry about her meeting the wrong kind of guy, the kind of guy who only wants one thing, and you know exactly what that one thing is, because it’s the same thing you wanted when you were their age. Then, you stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy, and you worry about her meeting the right guy. That’s the greatest fear of all, because, then you lose her.

I have 2 and 4-year-old daughters. I sure hope I’m not that point of giving them away like George Banks. I feel his similar sentiment and of course it matters to me who they could potentially marry one day. That is years away of course and even if they choose to never get married I must prepare for that. There is a different loss I need to prepare for, which is independence from both mom and dad. This week I felt a bit of what George described when I dropped my oldest daughter Madelyn off at her new school for Junior Kindergarten. Yes, it is only a three-day school this year but it represented a step toward becoming more of an individual that gradually won’t need me like she does now.

Unless they are in denial, any mother or father understands that their job to raise children is the hardest occupation they will have in life. Forget the spreadsheets, TPS reports, or whatever you do in life for a day job.

In the past 5 years I’ve discovered that my greatest challenge is sharing who Jesus Christ is to my kids amidst all of life’s busyness. I didn’t know who Jesus really was until I was 15 but it has been my prayer since both my girls were born for them to understand and trust in Christ in their circumstances. Their mother nor I will be there for every difficult moment and I can guarantee life will be have plenty of them. I want them to recognize that they are more than a bride here on earth but one being prepared for their savior, Jesus.

Part of God’s work is allowing me to let go and trust him in this process and allow him to be the real “father of the bride”. The issue is in my heart and how I need to let go over time. Our kids are God’s kids and the more I recognize that, the more freedom I have to be a good father and allow God to work.

God help us all, right?

 

If you are parent, what have you learned in “letting go” of your kids?