Most married people know from experience that marriage is difficult, or at the very least a challenge. Getting married before you have learned to drive – well maybe not that young – but while your nose is still running, you tend to focus more on those difficulties and challenges. But age and maturity has a way of bringing a renewed perspective. They literally take hold and shake you until you begin to see straight. A clearer picture comes into view and perception offers a larger understanding of what you have experienced.
So, for all my husband suffered by marrying a “runny-nosed” 18-year-old, I wanted to surprise him with a trip to Hawaii for his 58th birthday (August 24, 2017)! Exploring the travel website and planning some grand adventures was breathtaking. I imagined snorkeling and playing in some of the most beautiful water. However, a couple of hindrances to this plan came to mind: 1) He wouldn’t be able to take off from work, and 2) the contents of my wallet were not going to cut it!
Instead he gets this wonderful blog post written from a wife who has matured in the last 36 years and knows full well the sacrifices he made on behalf of our family.
What better way to honor you on your 58th birthday than to share a memory from the past that makes me so very proud to call you my husband.
Challenging and problematic were the early years (it did seem to linger for many more). Yet, through it all you exemplified what the Bible teaches: “He who does not work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:8-10, Living Bible); and “The man who works hard sleeps well whether he eats little or much, . . . (Ecclesiastes 5:12, Living Bible). Seminary training and marriage and babies – These were our poverty years. Even though you worked two jobs, sometimes three, mowing the lawn for our apartment complex where we lived, washing dishes at the hospital where our two older children were born, and coaching basketball and then baseball, or working on the landscaping crew for the college/seminary (which included mounds of snow removal during the winter months), all while taking a full load of classes, and finding time to study in the school library (I was jealous of Carrel). Yes, with a wife in tow, and by the start of our second year a baby, and then our fourth year another baby. And yes, a fourth year because you up and decided on a Th.M., not being content with an M.Div. like we originally agreed upon.
Yet, I marvel because, there never was a time when you showed any disdain for the load you were under. You selflessly worked and studied to earn a better degree to serve the Lord in full-time ministry. I never remember a complaint leaving your lips. Not even a look that communicated the bad hand that you had been dealt. That would come later when we played numerous games of Phase 10! Sadly, I wasn’t much help to you, other than typing your papers for the first couple of years and making flash cards for your Greek and Hebrew classes. You were up early (usually singing in the shower) and stayed up late with very little sleep. You even took laundry to the Washateria when our second child came along. Wow, you were selflessly serving our family the whole four years of that theology degree. I’m terribly honored to be your wife, and to remember, and reminisce on the servant-leader qualities that I still see shining through to this day! Happy Birthday! I love you!
Look for what’s right in life and people, instead of what’s wrong. Anybody can find the wrong, but it takes the astute to discern the right, the good, and the worthy.
-Excerpt from You Are More Than You Know, Patsy Clairmont