Thursday, June 5, 2014


It was 1999 which seems like a lifetime ago given the fast-paced manner in which the world changes. It has been 15 years since you embarked on a journey with me. Our journey started in a small church in rural North Carolina then wound its way up the east coast to a quiet hamlet north of Boston. There we explored rocky shores along the coast of New England and shops in little towns. We enjoyed good friends,  Bramble's frappes, Polcari's pizza, steak and cheese subs in Beverly and giving tours of Boston to our visiting friends. There was teaching deaf kids, going to seminary and even turning a Nissan into a school bus. Eventually the path turned from ministry to a regular job, from a reason to be there to a reason to move on.

Three years into our journey we picked up another passenger when Cailey Anne was born. Shortly after that a road of uncertainty brought us back to North Carolina. We endured a little homelessness and joblessness and in both cases feelings of helplessness. By the grace of God the storms eventually passed. Our journey took its share of hairpin turns but eventually we bought a house then welcomed a little Korean boy named Braden into our lives. A gift from God, a gift he chose to repeat again less than two years later with Kinsey and four years past that with Ephram.

Somewhere along the way after the whirlwind of trying to figure out a career we found solid footing on our journey. The ground beneath us became stable as we forayed into homeschooling, kids playing sports and the cacophony of activities that goes along with having a family. You were the master of potty training kids and teaching them to ride a bike, baking Christmas cookies and making meals that easily beat going out to eat. Of so many things from teaching the kids to taking care of their needs you simply "know what to do" in a way I could never grasp but will always appreciate more than words can do justice.

Our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach all those years ago gave birth to vacations there. Our life became a series of adventures, as is often the case when you have four kids. We saw the castle at Disney strewn with light and the sun shining off the water from the Fish Hopper in Monterrey. From walking the streets of Santo Domingo to walking in our neighborhood our life has Fun and frustrating. Chaotic and quiet. Full but never dull. Rich Mullins once sung that we are "tossed about but lifted up in the reckless, raging fury they call the love of God." There is truth in that and comfort in knowing you are in the boat with me.

People often talk about "falling in love" happening when two individuals meet. While that is true, I am not sure falling in love is just a one time event but rather a lifelong amid the act of marriage. Falling in love isn't just about the exhilaration of first impressions but considering everything, better or worse, over the course of years and choosing to continue to love on a daily basis. It is about learning every day what makes you happy and sad, comfortable and cranky. It's about living all of those moments together while striving and praying there are more of the former than the latter of those.

In fifteen years we have learned to speak our own language full of made up words and silly phrases. I am not sure if anyone else does that sort of thing but for us it is the language of love. After 15 years you are still organized and on-time and I am not but we make it work. After 15 years you are usually right which is fine. As long as one of us is, we should be okay. And while I might bristle at yet another picture being taken, I know that is your passion and the chronicling of our journey is well worth the brief moments of exasperation for a lifetime of seeing where we have been.

Heather Marie, you have been the best part of me for these past fifteen years, beautiful and funny, clever and bold. Simply put we "work together" in a way that I could never fully explain but know is the hand of God helping us be together what neither us could fully be apart.

I love you.


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