Today marks 25 years that Michele & I have been married. That sounds crazy to me! Until, that is, I try and kick the ball around with my son and my body starts reminding just how old I really am! Of course, everyone still thinks I robbed the cradle with Michele since she still looks way younger than me…but that’s another story.
So what are we doing today on our 25th anniversary? Well, I’m teaching a 3 hour leadership intensive at the Children’s Pastors Conference, and she’s running the exhibit hall booth for David C Cook (where we both work). In other words, nothing has really changed since our first anniversary.
You see, our first anniversary was spent doing ministry together, also. But quite unintentionally. As I recall, I was sitting in a meeting with my key children’s ministry leaders discussing the upcoming Kids Krusade at our church. I was a first year Children’s Pastor and my leadership team was made up of about 8 – 10 women, including Michele. I casually said something like “We need to talk about our Kids Krusade, which I’ve scheduled for January 24th.”
As I looked around, I knew I was in trouble…but I had no idea why. Michele’s head was slightly tilted as she looked at me (a habit, by the way, that still melts me). A few of the women in the meeting – good friends of ours – looked at each other with raised eyebrows. This wasn’t good.
I asked them if something was wrong and one of the gals said, “You do know what January 24th is, right?”
Um, yeah…yeah, I know what January 24th is…sure.
I had no clue.
I frantically racked my brain trying to remember. Holiday? No. Another church event? No. Michele’s birthday? No. My birthday? No.
“Oh…” I said, as I realized what January 24th was. Our first anniversary.
I looked at Michele. Her raised eyebrows and less than genuine smile made me glad I was with other people.
It wasn’t good.
But before I could say anything, she said “Keep it on that date. It’s the best date for the Krusade and we’ll celebrate some other time. But you owe me.”
I smiled, having been reminded that I had a winner in Michele, and thinking (again!) that I had married way over my head.
Since then, we’ve spent many anniversaries doing ministry together. So today isn’t really too different than a lot of other anniversary days.
We’ll celebrate later. In fact…I thought ahead this time and I’m going to finally make it up to her – we’ll be celebrating with trips to Africa, Europe and Australia throughout the year…thank heavens I travel a lot and can use my miles to take her with me!
That story tells you a little bit about why I love Michele. The reality is I fell in love with her almost as soon as I met her. I told my friend I would marry her before we even started dating. Since then, the reasons to love her just keep stacking up. I could list hundreds, but I’ll keep it to 25, in no particular order…
25 Reasons I Love My Wife of 25 Years
1. She loves God with all her heart.
2. She believes in me and encourages me to take risks.
3. She works hard and has, at times, been the primary provider while I pursued ministry opportunities.
4. She’s a great Mom to our boys, Taylor and Garret.
5. She can be mischievous…just a little.
6. She still tries to put the brakes on from the passenger seat while I drive.
7. She knows what I’m going to say before I say it (or at least she thinks she does).
8. She loves kids as much as I do.
9. She talks to people at parties so I don’t have to (yeah, that whole extrovert/introvert thing).
10. She is compassionate and loves people.
11. She is forgiving…and I’ve been the recipient more than I should have been.
12. She lets me practice patience by never being on time for church.
13. She manages our family wonderfully.
14. She let me buy 5 acres and move her to a home off of a dirt road…again.
15. She is adventurous and willing to try new things.
16. She’s a good leader when she needs to be and a good follower when she needs to be.
17. She can be fun to watch in the kitchen – you never quite know what’s going to happen.
18. She made me wait for 14 years (until our cats died) to get a dog for the boys, telling me she didn’t want one and wouldn’t do anything with it…and then made it her dog within two weeks. They’ve been inseparable for 9 years.
19. She let me move her to Colorado after living her whole adult life in California.
20. She chose to embrace the snow and the cold as long as I get her back to the heat of California at least twice a year.
21. She gets a twinkle in her eyes when she smiles.
22. She embraced my family as her own from the beginning, and treats them as such.
23. She never teases me for tearing up at movies (I think she knew it was coming when I teared up during our wedding ceremony)
24. She is greatly loved by her friends, her family, her sons…and me.
25. She wants to celebrate our 50th Anniversary together…here’s to another 25 years!
So, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.
Friends and family, will you do me a favor? Leave a message for Michele – something funny or revealing, or how you met, or something that will make her smile – in the comments below?
Thanks for whatever role you have played in our lives over the past 25 years!