Friday, October 30, 2015

To Paul, On His 40th Birthday

My husband enters a new decade today.
It's rather strange to say he's 40.
There was a time 40 seemed old.
And very far away.
But here we are, celebrating him (kicking and screaming) into middle age.

In honor of this special day, I will share
40 Ways Paul has Blessed My Life:

1. He makes me laugh (but don't tell him I said this, it will just encourage him).

2. He sends our kids into giggle fits with a single word.

3. He holds me when I am afraid.

4. He is patient.

5. He's level-headed.

6. He makes family a priority.

7. He masters the art of being fully present.

8. He keeps teaching me the value of unhurriedness.

9. He sacrificed sleep to save my sanity (and by extension his own) when our children were infants.

10. He's loyal...fiercely, steadfastly loyal. (Just ask him about Flint or the Colts.)

11. He will work hard to see another be successful.

12. He is not threatened by another's success.

13. He is passionate about racial reconciliation.

14. He's a music theory stud.

15. He knows how to laugh at himself.

16. He loves me anyway.

17. He saw God's call on my life before I could.

18. He is my biggest fan.

19. He likes to answer my ignorant sports questions.

20. He helps others feel special and important.

21. He's the best ministry partner I've ever had. (There's no one with which I'd rather work. Although if Amy Grant came a-calling...)

22. He is personable and friendly.

23. He forces me out of my comfort zones.

24. He's a devoted and faithful father.

25. He shares his life with others (and helps this introvert to be sociable).

26. He enjoys math and science (which makes this right-brained, home-educating momma happy).

27. He loves reading maps (and therefore, I don't have to.)

28. He chose me.

29. He keeps choosing me.

30. He taught me to like ribs...and how to stay clean eating them.

31. He has beautiful blue eyes that see the best in others.

32. His heart is dressed in humility.

33. He is kind (even when we are in the heat of an argument).

34. He listens and hears (a rare trait to be sure).

35. He cheers for the underdog. (Just ask him about Flint or the Colts).

36. He's never seen parenting as anything less than full partnership with me.

37. He lets me cry.

38. He proves the scale doesn't decide my attractiveness.

39. He challenges my assumptions.

40. He's my best friend.

So many of the things I've listed about Paul are a contrast to who I am.
What a gift that God has blessed me with in a husband who complements me so well.
Who makes up for my lack.
Who can stand where I have faltered.
Who is strength to my weakness.

What a gift that God has given to our children with a father who embraces that role everyday.
Shows up for them, everyday .
Instructs them, everyday.
Is a safe place for them to land, everyday.

What a gift that God has given to our corner of the world
with a man who lives his faith authentically,
gives grace abundantly,
pursues peace practically,
sees the stranger graciously.

Today our family will be giving presents to Paul,
but it's really a day when we receive the gift...
the gift of doing life with this amazing husband, father, son, brother, pastor, and friend.

Paul, I love you, always.
Happy 40th Birthday!


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