He coached me through labor by reciting lines from Rocky IV. ("No pain! No pain!") He stopped when I threatened him. He cried when each of our children were born. He cried both times I miscarried. He changed the diapers of our children while they were in the hospital--and before I did. He insisted his boys had to be dressed in a "manly" way. This would explain why I have no pictures of our boys in bonnets. The boys are very grateful. He thrilled to each of our boys, but he waxed poetic when our second child was a girl. He called her the apple of his eye, and when she ended up being our only girl, he called her a rose among thorns.
He brought spontaneity and flexibility to my rather structured life. He not only thinks outside the box, sometimes he refuses to acknowledge the existence of the box in the first place. He taught me by example to put others before myself. As a pastor--as MY pastor--I've watched him reach out to the people in our church with both hands. He strives to meet not only their spiritual needs, but their physical and emotional needs as well. When he goes hunting or fishing, we not only have venison or fish to eat, but he gives it out to people in our church. I've watched as he's tried to help people find jobs, or struggled over making decisions.
I've watched him cry over our children, pray for our children, and seen him respond to them with a wisdom and grace that amazes me.
I joke that he is the original Indiana Jones, and he truly does have a taste for adventure. Because of that, he's added a color and richness to my life that I never would have imagined. We've been married over half my life. In spite of a great childhood, I'd have to say the last half of my life has been the most fun so far. I can't wait to spend the next fifty years with you, Indiana! Happy Valentine's Day.