I’m surrounded by great writers. My lovely wife is one of the best writers I have ever met. My good friends Chris & Melissa Clevenger are great writers with awesome insights. Chris’s blog is called “My Desk, His Glory.” Melissa’s is “We Play Cottage.” All of these are absolute must-reads. Great writers are literally all around me. These people (among others) encourage me to try to improve my writing skills and to improve my creativity. So here I am, beginning a brand new blog that (might) help me to reach these goals. This is a historic day.
For my first post, I want to acknowledge yet another reason (a much more important reason) why today is a historic day: today is my wife’s birthday!! It isn’t just any birthday; it’s her quarter century celebration! I cannot begin to communicate the profound influence she is in my life. This post will be an understatement to say the very least. I could go on and on about Emily and everything that she means to me. However, for the sake of her birthday, I’ll limit my list to just twenty-five items.
And now, without further adieu, here are twenty-five reasons why my wife is awesome.
1. She is a serious Christian. What I have found in my wife is something that is truly difficult to find these days. Her number 1 priority is going to heaven to be with her heavenly Father. Consequently, she helps me to draw closer to my heavenly Father. We’re going to heaven together. Her faith is real. She isn’t a Sunday- or Wednesday-only Christian. She’s not even a public-only Christian. She’s a Christian all of the time. I think that is true Christianity.
2. She uses her many talents to God’s glory. I could go on and on discussing Emily’s talents. I’ll mention some of her talents in the next points. For now, I simply want to mention one of her talents and illustrate how she’s using that to do good. Emily loves travel. She’s a talented photographer and a great writer. Soon, she’s going to combine all three of those passions into a podcast for women called Navigating the New Testament, which will air on The Light Network (launching January 5, 2013). I know she’s going to do an incredible job.
3. She is my greatest supporter. Emily makes it a priority to travel with me everywhere she possibly can when I speak. I bet I can count on one hand the number of services she has missed where I’ve been preaching since we’ve been married. She builds me up and makes me feel good about the work I do. I am truly blessed.
4. She is my greatest, most honest, critic. Notice that I did not say that she is critical. Her criticism is constructive and always much-needed. She understands that I want to improve and mature into the person that I want to be for Him, so she helps me in an honest, but loving way to become that person.
5. She invests time in other people. She genuinely cares about people and about their souls. When someone is hurting, she hurts.
6. She is an incredible Bible class teacher. Obviously, I have never attended her teen girls Bible class, but one of my favorite parts about Sunday nights is hearing her tell me about her class. She is a biblical, practical, effective teacher, and I can’t help but believe that she’s changing lives by pointing them to the Christ.
7. She is an encourager. In point #3 I mentioned that she is a great supporter and encourager to me, but this point is about the way she encourages other people. She encourages them with her words, her cards and letters, through gifts of kindness that she gives, through food that she cooks and takes to others, through her blog posts, and through many other means. It is quite possible that someone who is reading this has received encouragement from her at one point or another.
8. She has a great cackle — I mean — laugh. When Emily really starts laughing, you can’t help but laugh, too. I love that we laugh together often.
9. She works hard. She’s not one to miss deadlines, hold up production, or to be late. She does her work and she does it well.
10. She is precise. Emily is about the details. With her, it’s not just about getting things done, but about doing things right. As someone who appreciates little things being right and in place, this makes me happy.
11. She is a scheduler. I try to stay organized, but I’m nowhere near the organizational level of my lovely wife. While I usually plan by the day, Emily plans by the hour. She’s great at scheduling life for (and around) a preacher’s schedule, which can be a very difficult task.
12. She fills our home with warmth and love. Our home definitely has her touch throughout. The result is a warm, welcoming, friendly environment. I love to be at home with her.
13. She improves my sermons. Members at East Hill have commented that they think my sermons are better now than they used to be. While it didn’t take much to improve my sermons, I definitely attribute those improvements to Emily. I can’t really explain how she does it, but she definitely makes my sermons better! It probably has something to do with our regular conversations about things we’ve been studying from the Bible, the great example that she is to me, and the overall pressure of knowing that I’m her preacher.
14. She’s ok with living in a glass house. She realizes that our lives are always going to be on display before the public. That is just the nature of my – and, really, our – job. But we have nothing to hide. That is certainly not to say that we’re perfect.
15. She’s selfless with her time. We are blessed to be involved in a lot of great works. This results in a lot of demands on our time. We try hard to take time just for us because sometimes we just need to break (for sanity’s sake!). Emily realizes how great these works are; she believes in them. So, she sacrifices. She sacrifices time at home. She sacrifices our time together. Sometimes, she even sacrifices rest! Why? Because she is glad to spend and be spent in service to God (2 Cor. 12:15).
16. She’s a fast learner. I’m amazed at how quickly she is able to pick up new things. From video editing to cooking to podcasting to you name it, she’s willing to learn and is excited to explore new things.
17. She’s a good cook. She admits that she is relatively new to the cooking scene, but every recipe that she learns is great! You may notice that I’m growing (not in the good way). I blame her for that. Ha!
18. She’s a quick, thorough thinker. Emily has this amazing ability to think through things. She can quickly weigh the pros and cons and come up with the best decision. It’s incredible.
19. She’s wants to grow. I’m not talking about height (I think she’s at peace with that). She’s constantly trying to improve herself. She’s humble, and she realizes that she hasn’t reached where she wants to be yet. I don’t think it’s a knock at someone to note that they want to improve themselves. Being teachable is a great quality.
20. She’s frugal. Emily only buys clothes when they’re on sale and she can find at least two things that she likes. She watches newspapers and online deals to know where is the best place to get certain groceries. Because of these and other illustrations of her frugality (that’s a great word!), we are able to do more with what we have.
21. Her Bible is filled with notes. Emily found the perfect Bible two years ago at PTP. Since then, she has proceeded to fill it up (to maximum capacity on many pages) with great notes and insights that she’s read, heard in sermons, and thought of as she meditates on God’s word. I believe you can tell a lot about a person by looking at his or her Bible.
22. Her blog is great! You will be blessed by if it you head over there and read. She write quality, pertinent posts most every day.
23. She is my best friend. From the beginning, Emily and I have built our relationship upon mutual respect and best friendship. Because of that, we share everything – laughs and hurts. We truly enjoy each other’s company, and that makes life great.
24. She loves me unconditionally. Enough said.
25. Today is her birthday! And not just her birthday, but her quarter century celebration!
As you can tell, I am an extremely blessed guy. I’m so thankful for my wife, and for my heavenly Father Who put her in my life.