To Jana on her 30th Birthday

Dear Jana:

30 years? Really? You look better than you do in your high school picture I still keep in my desk drawer. And I have to say, you wear 30 well. Very well. But that’s not the only thing you wear well.

You wear motherhood well. Despite what Oprah might say, there is a tremendous amount of honor in doing life as a wife and mother in a committed, loving fashion. That is what you’ve done. You cut the coupons, make the lunches, go to the playgroups, and still find time to run the occasional half marathon.

You wear your skin well. I have watched you over the last 9 years come to grips with what the wife of a “pastor” is supposed to look like. I remember you wondering if you should learn to play the piano, or if your hair was big enough, or if you led enough Bible studies. And then I have seen you accept who you are and who you are not, honoring the Lord by living out the personality and gifts He has given you.

You wear hardship well. This is a strange one to say, but God knows we’ve seen a little hardship in these 10 years. You lived with me when we thought $25K a year was more money than we could ever spend. You have followed me into uncertainty of moving to a state where we knew no one, and then supported me financially as I went to seminary. Then you did it again when I wanted to be independently employed guy. Then you fully, completely, and selflessly gave yourself to Joshua when he got sick and centered your life around perpetual hospital and clinic visits. Even as that happened, you have walked through your parents’ battle with Parkinson’s with grace and love from afar. All the while, you have remained faithful to press into the Lord, never questioning His goodness and care, and being a staple of hope for those around you.

All in all, you wear your 30 years well. I am blessed and highly favored to walk down the street with you on my arm. You continue to be the primary reminder to me of God’s unconditional love, and I love the life He has given to us.

I remain your blessed husband,

Michael

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