He's wonderful. He loves Jesus. He loves me. He loves our boys.
When he was just 19 I stepped into a police car with this spunk of a man. He told me he didn't bother much with nightclubs. That was so odd to me! He explained that he was a Christian, that he socialised with Christian friends rather than drinking at pubs. This was a guy who was funny, popular (did I mention he was good looking?), and seemed so utterly normal. He didn't fit the box I had placed all Christians into (I have since tossed out that box!!).
This led me to ask to go to his church, where I came to know Jesus. Which was the most important decision I, or anyone, can make - who or what do you worship? I'm so thankful that God used Tony to bring me to Him.
And then we became a couple.
It seems like such a long time ago now. But I remember those drives in his old cars. The one with the holes in the floor was the most memorable. During one of Brisbane's crazy storms it was completely flooded, my knees were up to my neck, and oh how we laughed!!
I remember times painting our house in readiness for our new life together, music on, shouting between rooms, "What's your favourite...?" Still getting to know each other.
And then we were joined. For life. The second most important decision a person makes.
And I'm so thankful.
Here we are on his 37th birthday, nearly 15 years married. And each year our marriage is better, stronger, and somehow it seems you can love a person more as time passes.
So much has happened. Four boys the most significant. And watching him as a Dad is a delight. The rest is just life. But wonderful memories of times shared - renovating, travelling (the Greek Islands the highlight!), fabulous times with special friends, moving interstate, moving overseas.
We are determined not to take it all for granted. My Dad always told me that marriage is hard work, "You have to work at it every day". Wise words. We started out wobbly. And that was good, because it made us talk about the commitment we had made, and that we wouldn't compromise on it. That we wouldn't rely on 'feelings' or 'happiness' to define the state of our marriage. That our love for Jesus meant that we would choose to love and serve one another. And give thanks. Be content. On our own we may have made a mess of it.
This past week has been awful, as we watched two marriages here dissolve. Fast. An affair. Partners crumbling. Kids' lives forever changed. It has been so SAD!
In the sadness, you can't help but examine your own relationship. You're reminded to take care of it. To be intentional about the way we love. Serve better. Love better.
To do that we are always looking to Jesus, the perfect example of servanthood & love. Just days from Easter we are remembering that he chose to suffer and die, because he loved. Loved Tony. Loved me. Loved our boys. Loved you. Loved.
And so we can follow. Together.
Happy birthday TJ.
21. A spunky policeman.
22. Discovering Christians don't fit in a box. That choosing Jesus is what defines them.
23. Shared faith.
24. Tony asking me to marry him.
25. The way he loves & serves me.
26. The Dad he is to our boys.
27. The way he works hard. At everything. Marriage. Kids. Work. Study. Home. Renovations. Fitness...
28. For shared interests.
29. For his passions.
30. For his commitment to our marriage.