Thursday was my Love's birthday. He's twenty five now. A quarter of a century. Yikes. :-P
In so many ways he is younger than his age. He opened the birthday presents from his parents a day before his birthday because he was too excited to wait. And I watched, holding back laughter and filled with delight as his boyish grin grew bigger and bigger, finally exploding into an "O! WOW!" when he opened the Tebow Bronco's jersey from his Dad. He held it up to show me, then took of his shirt and put it on, too excited to wait.
Our marriage is full of many moments like that: Daniel being an excited little boy. I adore it. He laughs at himself, he impersonates everyone, he burrows into me and pretends to be upset/sad/depressed, just to get my undivided attention. He gets excited around puppies, about a new book or a phenomenal sermon by the pastor. He loves to make everyone laugh-- sometimes he will even plan new ways to do it-- like how he perfected his impersonations of Mare and Paul (my maternal grandparents) before our family vacation so that he could pretend to have conversations with them and make my brothers laugh. He has enough time to laugh himself into a frenzy at some stupid You Tube video, and absorb every mystery of Lost, and not feel guilty about sleeping in after a day of hard work. For a grown man with a mind far superior to most people I've met, his outlook on life is rather simple. He is not afraid to enjoy life. In fact, he does so with full enthusiasm.
I love and admire this about him. Too many people, myself included, take life way too seriously.
Yet his life is not wasted. Far from it! He reads about 1000 pages a week, listens to more sermons and lectures than I have time to keep track of, and still manages to maintain his scholarships and get through grad school for nearly nothing (and graduate on time, too!). He invests in the lives of those around him, including mine. He loves the local church, and the church invisible, too.
My husband is wise. His mind is always working. Someone told him that his mind moves faster than a racehorse. It's true. This works to his advantage and his detriment. He has learned to balance this so well in the last several months!
My husband grows. He improves. He changes. And he is not embarrassed to admit it. He is not the same person I met two years ago. He has let God work in his life and challenge and strengthen him.
He opens the car door for me every time. If I don't get up immediately to clean up the kitchen after dinner, he will do it instead. He compliments my cooking, and tries to find some way to enjoy it, even when its something he doesn't particularly like. He knows when to listen and stay silent; and he knows when to talk, and how-- whether its a word of encouragement, correction, or a solution to a problem.
He is learning the art of husbandry. He is learning it well.
My husband is a visionary. This is one of the things that made me fall in love with him. I have watched his vision continue to be realized. I have loved to be able to be included in the execution of this vision, and to find that he thinks now not of it as his vision, but ours.
My husband has a temper that is so controlled it humbles me. He will not waste his frustration on worthless things. However, when he witnessed a liberal church he visited sending its own children to Sunday School to learn that they could define their own reality, and determine truth for themselves without the help of Scripture his blood boiled over, and had he not been required to stay for a class credit would have walked out indignantly.
He loves children. Some people don't know this. When he first met my siblings his interaction with them was a little awkward, but never did he not want to play and be with them. Now, being with them is second nature. One of the first things I remember him telling me was how he hoped to have a large family himself, and even wanted to adopt several children. We still hope for those things.
Every day I spend with him I know I am blessed.
But what I love most about my husband is that when I look at him I can see all that he is now, his faults, and all his strengths, but I also see all that he will be, I see what the Lord is making him. That humbles me-- it cripples me if I think of it without the Lord as my strength-- and it also overwhelms me with thankfulness.
Because my husband is an excellent man.
Daniel Wells, you are my hero. Happy Birthday.