If I only had one word to describe you, that’s what it would be. “Rock”. To me, you are a greater symbol of strength and stability that many things I’ve ever known. You work hard. You hold the family together. You are stable. You stand for what you believe and never back down. You aren’t afraid to admit you’re wrong when need be, and you handle setback with dignity and steadfastness.
I am talking about you, my wife.
Very soon, we will be married for 11 years. Each and ever year is sweeter than the last. I know you might think I’m not serious, but I wasn’t lying all those years ago when I said I was marrying my very best friend, the one that I knew God had destined me for. 11 years hasn’t changed that belief, it’s only made it stronger. You have been with me through ups and downs, personal and professional. You stayed by my bed when I was in the hospital in 2010 and refused to go home. You have waded with me through the murky waters of disappointment, heartache, and despair. You’ve stood with me on the mountaintop of triumph. And yet, usually, it’s me who gets all the credit, and you who quietly stands in the background as my strength.
Let it be publicly known that I would NOT be the man I am today if it weren’t for you. You have refined me, bettered me, challenged me, and reigned me in. All of those things I wouldn’t change for all the money in the world. These and countless more reasons are why I love you.
This morning I gave you a hug before I left and called you beautiful. You never accept that compliment, and I think you don’t believe me when I say it, but I know you’re going to read this, so let me say it again: you’re beautiful. Nothing in this world will ever change how I feel about you. I love you completely, deeply, with my whole heart and soul. You have changed my life for the better and together we have what may not be the perfect family, but it’s just right for us. My children have the best mother, I have the best wife, and every day that we spend together, you get more beautiful. Beauty is not just an outward appearance, but an outward reflection of what is inside. To that I say that you have all three: physical, emotional, and spiritual beauty.
Thank you for being the mother of my children.
Thank you for loving us so sacrificially.
Thank you for putting up with all my schemes, plans, new interests, and life choices.
Thank you for being a willing and active part of my ministry.
Thank you for being my number 1 cheerleader.
Thank you for standing beside me through life.
Thank you for every meal cooked, every chore done, every late night spent.
Thank you for pointing us to Jesus.
Thank you for staying when you didn’t have to.
Thank you for saying “YES” on November 2, 2001.
Thank you for saying “YES” every day.
Thank you for speaking truth.
Thank you for teaching my kids.
Thank you for being you.
Thank you for being my rock.
I love you, Erin, and happy birthday.