All Hail My Queen
Last week my wife and I celebrated 11 years together. It still amazes me that we have been together over a decade. Through that time there have been many changes in and around us. We have weathered them all together. She has truly been my queen.
Where It All Began.
We started out journey together on the Praise and Worship team at Plainview Open Bible Church in Brookville, OH. A friendship soon blossomed into something more and we fell in love. My 30th birthday party was the beginning of the end of my single days. I wish I could say that out courtship was perfect but it had it’s bumps. I proposed on Sweetest Day and out journey to the alter was in progress. Our engagement wasn’t typical, but then neither are we. I wanted and planned the big wedding. Leah was content just knowing where to be and when. Hey, it works for us!
There were those who were less than thrilled to hear we were getting married. A few even approached me about it. I personally thought that took some stones. I guess we have proven them wrong. We even had drama after our reception.Some of it was from angles I never would have expected.
Life’s Ups and Down
About those changes I mentioned earlier. Just to name a few of the changes:
- My mom passed away 7 years into our marriage. Leah and Mom had a very special relationship to say the least. This was a hard blow to us both.
- I became a runner. I was so depressed from losing Mom that Leah almost demanded that I find a hobby. I choose to run a 5K for a bucket list item and fell in love with running.
- I was called to become a minister. The call for me came about 2 years into our marriage. That may not sound like a lot to you but that was a huge burden for a new couple.
- We bought our first house. Along with that comes great joy but also great responsibility.
- Leah was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and complex migraines. I had never heard of complex migraines. In Leah’s case they were mimicking mini stroke symptoms.
- We began homeschooling. The local school district was not a healthy place for Grace. We made the difficult decision to bring her home. That in itself was a lot of stress.
Why I Love Her.
Just to name a few reasons. First, she supports my running. I don’t just mean she cheers me on, I mean she supports me. What runners know but some of you may not is that running takes a lot of time. Training for marathons entails running 2-4 hours every Saturday morning for 2-3 months in preparation. That is time that I need to spend away from my family. It also means that I need to go to bed early most Friday nights to get up before dawn to make sure I am home in time for my family. Leah has been there for the past three years watching Grace so that I can train. Then, she has to watch Grace for most of the day while I go and run for 4-5 hours to complete that race. She has watched Grace many weekends after spending most days at home with her during the week. Leah has put up with my soreness, running gear, and other nuances of a runner to support me. She does all this while most people will stop by and say congrats to me and never stop to thank her. I want to publicly thank her for the sacrifice to allow me to pursue my passion.
Second, she has been my biggest supporter on this journey to ministry. She has taken care of many chores around the house while I studied for sermons, attended classes, or performed pre-marital counseling. Being a minister’s wife puts you under scrutiny for some reason. Society expects her to be something more than human far too often. The expectation is that she should be perfection personified. That is not realistic for any human. She has bore that burden well and I thank her for it. She is one of the most caring a loving people you could ever meet. She seldom gets a thanks for this role but does it anyway. I love her and thank God for my helpmate.
Third, she has taken on the gigantic role of homeschool teacher. For much of her life, she was made to feel inferior and less than qualified. Taking on the role of homeschool mom was no easy decision for her. Still she has done it for the best interests of our daughter. Then to make matters worse, she faces the stigma that she is supposed to do all the work herself. There seems to be the common unspoken rule that I am not allowed to be an integral part of the education process. She is less of a mother or wife as a result it would seem in some’s eyes. I feel that is utter nonsense. It is our house, our child, and our rules. She does an amazing job contrary to what some would have her believe. Grace has been excelling and is growing in love of school. I thank her for taking on this difficult task.
Finally, if all of the above wasn’t taxing enough, she also chooses to be a stay-at-home mom. This role has taken on such a negative connotation in recent years. You far too routinely hear people refer to her and others as mothers that don’t work. You have people ask “Where do you work?” and then give a sly look when told they stay home. Personally, I have never found a mother who doesn’t work. My wife works very hard to make our house a home. She does many things to make sure that our finances are in order, preserve our family time, and countless other tasks. She rarely gets the recognition she deserves for all this. She is somehow made to feel like less of a woman because she doesn’t actually bring home a paycheck. Yet, she does far more than she could ever be paid for.