When I proposed to Amy in May of 1997 I spoke the verse from Proverbs 18:22 which says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” I asked her to marry me, and she changed my life when she told me that she would be my wife. Three years later our firstborn, a precious daughter, came forth and my life was changed yet again. Five years after that the boy was brought to us, and our family was again blessed of God. A major joy in these last 16 years of fatherhood has been my privilege of watching Amy engage in motherhood. Never in my life had I been exposed to such a constant, sacrificial spirit in a woman which poured forth her best for the good of her husband and children. If you happen to think that it’s not that big of deal, then you have never before done it nor seen it. Its impact cannot be overstated.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:28-29
Amy, I risk embarrassing you by posting a public tribute for anyone to read. I know you don’t like accolades, and that you prefer the shadows to the limelight, but I felt I could not hold back on declaring that you are the most loving, serving and consistent mother I have ever witnessed. We both know that you are not perfect – you get frustrated, the demands can get the best of you like anyone else, and there are not thanks given to you in proportion to your sacrifices for me, Alicia and Landon. But you keep at it. You defer so much of your reward until a future time and place. I see how hard you work at it – I watch you deny yourself, I see when you keep quiet when interruptions or disappointments arise, and I know that you daily have to receive from God that which a husband and children cannot bring to you. You are a true woman of God. You find joy in the small things each day, and I am a student of yours when it comes to learning how to savor the individual moments. Your daughter is so much like you – nurturing, giving, peaceful, musical and graceful. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Landon is a whirlwind of a boy but he slows his cyclone-like heart down and runs quickly to you to help you, serve you and show you that he is becoming your little man. You have magnetized his heart to respecting women, and have modeled grace and beauty before his eyes that will one day be seeking a wife for himself. He will know what to treasure in a wife when his time comes, and God help the girls who want his heart to belong to them because you have set the bar high for his affection.
I know you are in daily physical pain with your leg, but I have not one time seen you put yourself before the needs of your family since the collision in 2011 – not one time have you used tragedy as an excuse for selfishness. More than anyone, I know that you only have a handful of good hours in an average day where your strength is full, but you still care about us and take care for us, and have never let anything undermine your ministry to your own family. Thank you for putting us three before all others, before the church you love, and even before yourself when it is most needed. I’m so grateful that you protect your investment in us and treasure it before the Lord, allowing nothing harmful to enter our family from your side. Your leg-bone may have been crushed, but your backbone has only grown stronger – thank you for risking being misunderstood by others who don’t always understand why you cannot be there for them on a whim, or why you cannot participate in so many activities that your heart would love to be engaged in. Your investment in other women never gets press in the headlines, but you serve them joyfully and quietly anyway. You are misunderstood by some but loved by all who are blessed to get to know you – you never let the ones who misunderstand you quench your commitment to those who do know you. I love watching you live out what R.T. Kendall said to me: “The greatest freedom is to live with nothing to lose and nothing to prove.” You are a treasured daughter of God who is also a courageous warrior… and you are my beautiful queen.
Thank you for being the wife and mother who exceeds anything I could have ever asked for. I love you more now than I did when we married. I admire you now when I was too self-focused to admire you in those early days of our oneness. You are my best friend and my partner for life. You make me want to be a better man every day – you are so worth it! Nobody has anything to offer me that I’m not doubly blessed to find in you. Proverbs 31 speaks of that great lady of faith and holds her high.
If it was permissible, I’d write Proverbs 32 and tell the Proverbs 31 lady to retire because my Amy out-shined her.
Your man loves you – more than anything down here below. Happy Mother’s Day, lady, you are the best.
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