- I am learning the radical necessity of actual, expressed repentance and forgiveness.
- I have loved watching him mature in ministry and am excited for the decades ahead of continuing to watch and be a part of that growth.
- I have learned to listen when he prays - that is where I learn what his struggles and joys are.
- I love his initiative and proactivity as a father. (As I was writing this he was at home with ALL THREE and Greta was about a month old.)
- I love the fact that the importance of family was modeled to him by his parents. We rarely (if ever) feel neglected - even in his busiest times.
- I do love (and tolerate) Mike's cheese ball sense of humor - mostly because he thinks he is so funny.
- I am learning that when he is tuned out (i.e. doesn't answer, asks the same question multiple time) he is usually mentally consumed with a certain responsibility and I am better off praying for him than nagging him and getting frustrated.
- I have learned to love that Mike is willing to take us into the unknown places God is calling and that he expects and needs me to participate in the journey. On the one hand it is quite empowering to be appreciated and have my gifts recognized and needed. On the other hand it is overwhelming to realize that we can't do it without each other. In other words, I can't just depend on him to do it or make things happen. The process is dependent on me as well.
-I love how his energy and teaching of the children motivates me.
- I have learned about gracious submission to the structures and authorities God puts in place over us.
- I have learned the importance of COMMUNICATION - clear and often. Especially of my own emotions, frustrations, expectations. Not communicated, all of these lead almost inevitably to argument.
- I have loved the bonus of marriage that is his support and encouragement of my gifts and interests and hobbies. I am never ridiculed for failed or silly attempts and cheered on when I don't think I am quite up for the task.
And finally, a thought or two from Wendell:
What I am learning to give you is my death to set you free of me, and me from myself into the dark and the new light.
Like the water of a deep stream, love is always too much.
We did not make it. Though we drink it till we burst.
We cannot have it all, or want it all. In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore to drink our fill, and sleep, while it flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning to its rich waters thirsty.
We enter, willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.