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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.

In one of my favorite movies, City Slickers (1991), a question is asked amongst friends who were on a modern-day western cattle drive adventure,

What was your best day?  

This is a great question to ask at different points in your life to get a pulse on where your heart is. I have a firm belief that in order to discover your heart that God gave you, it is essential to look back at the moments, in this case a day, to understand what stirs you.

For me, I remember driving through the Scottish Highlands with my good friend Steve Griffin and another South African friend. It was recommended that we go to the Isle of Skye in the west highlands. We weaved through long windy roads traversing historic and beautiful areas like breathtaking Glencoe, The Rob Roy Monument, and even the enchanting Eilean Donan castle. The day started by waking up in beautiful Portree, a small fishing village only to witness small boats heading out to sea with the sun rising above them. After a hearty Scottish breakfast of tea, eggs, and sausage, we drove and walked around the island. We drank water from the streams, walked along the coast, took pictures of the mountains, breathed in the beautiful air. Believe it or not, the Scottish Tourism Board isn’t paying me to write this as my sentiment is genuine.

After we left the island and drove north, we all were in awe and marveled at what we just witnessed.

I said to my friends,

“You know what would make this the most complete and best day ever?  “What if an RAF Tornado fighter jet buzzed through this beautiful valley?”

I had heard about military jets buzzing some of these valleys and since I’ve always been a fan of British and American airpower, this would complete it. Our South African thought we were delirious Americans who only cared about weapons. We laughed of course and didn’t think anything of it because of the unlikelihood.

Not five minutes later we heard a roar of a plane approaching us. I was in the passenger seat and could see it approaching us from behind us.  With half of our bodies out the window, Steve and I went crazy screaming and cheering as a Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado buzzed our car at almost supersonic speed.

After the plane roared on by, Steve said it best,

That’s the sound of freedom, baby.

I’ll never forget that day.

Our reaction to the RAF Tornado made me think of the awe and amazement of Christian Bale’s character, Jim, in the beautiful and tragic Steven Spielberg film, Empire of the Sun (1987) when he sees the P-51 Mustang buzz his concentration camp. Jim saw his “Cadillac of the Sky” as a sign that freedom is coming. I can imagine that it was Jim’s best day at that point in life, despite how hard things were.

Why does a best day ever even matter?

Since that day in Scotland, I’ve had several “best days” that have topped that one. I’ve been to the World Cup in Germany and seen amazing sights. I’ve also traveled around the Mediterranean to see Greek islands like Santorini. I think mostly about Brooke and I getting married and how beautiful she looked walking toward me at All Saints Chapel in Sewanee. I remember her smile, her grace, and beautiful blonde hair gracing her long flowing white dress all while walking along flowers. God was present that day, May 28, 2005, I know it. It was a “best day” indeed.

These “best days” matter because they give us a glimpse of heaven. It is a swagger in the golf swing, a tip of the hat, a wink of the eye. It is God showing us the way things are supposed to be and what we also have to look forward to for eternity in Heaven if we put our trust in Christ.

What about you?

What is your best day?