Happy 24th Anniversary!

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24 years ago today, Patrick and I started a very amazing adventure together. As a tribute, here are twenty-four facts about us.

(Patrick, I love you. I’m humbled you chose me to be your wife. Your humor brightens my darkest days, and your constant reliability, affection, and heart for Jesus continue to inspire me. Thank you for sticking with me, for being my best friend, for praying me through.)

  1. Our wedding took place during what forecasters dubbed The Arctic Express. Brrrr. Many people didn’t come because there was snow and ice on the frigid Seattle roads.
  2. We’ve moved ten times, including across the country from Seattle to Texas, then from Texas to Southern France and back to Texas. Good thing we’re not hoarders.
  3. Our first pregnancy ended in grief. I read about “ectopic” pregnancies in my pregnancy book the day before I got the diagnosis. A long surgery, and emotional recovery followed.
  4. Our first child was born on Christmas Eve. (See post on December 24th).
  5. I was a junior high teacher when we first married, and Patrick started as a vascular tech, something he still does to this day. I, thankfully, write books.
  6. Our first cat literally climbed the window screens and had to be sent to a farm (a real one, not a metaphorical one).
  7. The first home we bought was in a flood plain (we weren’t so wise). About ten huge firs and hemlocks fell on our septic system, rendering it broken. And we had to have a sump pump installed in our crawl space.
  8. We lived in a tiny, tiny apartment below a house that must’ve been 500 square feet with Sophie. There, she ate poison berries and we had to give her syrup of ipecac. Fun times.
  9. The doctor who delivered our next two babies was also the bass player at our church. He and Patrick watched the Seattle Sonics while I labored (He’ll never live that down). Maybe that’s why our son Aidan is so tall? He is six foot four.
  10. I delivered Julia one week before we moved to Palestine, Texas. Yeah, that was difficult. (No drugs!)
  11. We had over 150 scorpions in the home we rented in East Texas. Patrick got stung twice. But the rest of us were spared. One of his stings came after one CRAWLED DOWN HIS FACE IN OUR BED AT NIGHT.
  12. We found out the possum stew is a thing.
  13. In 2000, we moved to the Dallas area where Patrick attended seminary full time and worked almost full time. It was a busy life, where he studied every night after the kids went to bed.
  14. A month after he graduated from DTS, we moved to Southern France to a village called Le Rouret. We endeavored to plant a church there.
  15. I lead worship in French, playing a guitar that I barely knew how to play. My brain exploded.
  16. We had people over to our home every week, often entertaining 20 people at a time.
  17. The best thing we did in France? Recruit a French couple to carry on the work. They are doing an amazing job. Even though our time in France was difficult on all of us, we are grateful that God saw fit to show us at least one reason why we went.
  18. We lived in a barn during the Christmas of 2006, right after we returned to the states.
  19. All three kids survived kidhood and got their drivers licenses!
  20. Somewhere in there I wrote over 20 books and spoke around the world. What a ride! Patrick’s been an encourager in this difficult journey of writing and speaking. He’s comforted many a tear.
  21. Patrick became an elder at our church this year.
  22. Two kids are successfully in college (and Sophie graduates in 2015).
  23. We still love each other very, very much.
  24. Next year, we’re trying to think of a fun thing to do for our 25th. Any suggestions?

It’s amazing! 24 years! What a privilege marriage has been, a place of growth, selflessness, service and joy. Here’s to 24 more!

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