Do kids still play kickball? I can remember in grade-school kickball was the definition of coolness for your grade-school fellows. It mattered that you could kick and run like mad. The first year I tried to play I was all arms in a game that needed legs. I could run but I couldn’t connect my dern foot to the dern ball! So, like much of my grade-school career I didn’t acquire the much wanted attention and popularity through the sacred game. The worst part of the game was always the beginning, when you lined up and the two popular kids picked out the teams. I say worst because for someone like me I knew this meant standing and waiting for someone to squabble over me and the kid who just happened to wander into line and had no desire to play the game…then again he was the kid with his head in the clouds 24/7 so I’m not sure what he desired other than to wander around the playground with a blank look on his face. I. WANTED. TO. PLAY. and yet they still argued over whom had to take who. I stuck with it, kept coming back and learning while at the same time I began playing soccer and learned actually how to kick the ball…pretty hard actually. Then one day, the air was crisp, the smell of freshly cut grass, brand new shoes, and the kid next to me pooping his pants, was in the air! I knew today was different. Today I would prove my worth to this fickle group of former toddlers. I would kick the ball into outer space and after the president called to congratulate my “swift-kick-ed-ness” I would tell the other kids that they could, in fact, be my friends.
It was my turn, I told the pitcher that I wanted it fast and crunchy, which was slang for as fast as this kid could toss it with a little bit of bounce. He pitched, I kicked, and the ball went to space…or at least past the coveted asphalt and onto the “home run” grass. I was so excited I think I may have rounded the bases twice. Everything changed…at least during recess. After that day I was one of the first kids to get picked and that felt good.
There was a moment in my life that I was picked that clearly overshadowed any win I could have on the kickball field. It was a moment on March 15th of 2003. I remember my best man Andy standing beside me as the most beautiful woman I have ever had the privilege to know walked down the aisle towards me. We said a lot of words, I mostly whispered through tears, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I just got picked! FIRST!!! I can’t believe she picked me.
My wife is phenomenal. She is a freaking great mom with patience that must come from some deep well Jesus gave her for our children and for me. She is wise like few people I’ve ever met, discerning, and listening to Jesus in a way that I learn from constantly.
I want to listen and follow Jesus like she does.
My wife is also my hero. As an example, this year I went out to Montana for 10 days while she:
1. Got a house ready to sell
2. Took care of two children, one of them 4 years old and the other 7 months
3. Packed part of our house up
4. Purchased groceries and did all the normal things parents do only by herself.
5. Made meals for herself and a sometimes ungrateful 4 year old
6. Tried to sleep while getting up constantly for a 7 month old
…all while still going to work, day in and day out, and trying to get our family ready to move 9 hours away from Kentucky to South Carolina.
My wife gives gifts like few people I have ever met. When we were engaged she threw me a “Man-shower” complete with sandpaper napkins and men from my life both past and current to encourage and teach me how to be a good husband. She had them bring tools as gifts! It was amazing.
I could go on forever and I will say more in another blog because all that is my wife cannot be contained in one simple blog post. I can’t thank her enough and I need to do it more. I don’t deserve her and yet Jesus brought us together, and did I mention… SHE PICKED ME!!! She is a woman of great beauty and wisdom. We have been married for 12 years and she is more beautiful today than the day I remember her walking down the aisle to me.
Katie, thank you for the chance to go on an adventure this year, like few adventures I’ve ever been part of, but nothing will ever compare to the adventure I began with you March 15, 2003. It’s not been an easy 12 years with some amazing, and extremely painful moments along the way. I couldn’t have done the painful without you and I’m so glad I didn’t pass out as our children came into this world…we got to experience those moments together!!! This adventure with you has been and continues to be staggeringly beautiful. I love you and I really really like you. You are amazing and your Heavenly Father knows you so well and loves you fiercely. Thank you for choosing me, and for continuing to choose me. WHAT A WOMAN!!!
You’re my favorite!