That was really nice, and I may have gotten choked up.
Kai was an infant when we made that final decision that yes, you would return to being a full time student.
While being a full time employee
and a full time daddy
and (heaven knows!) a full time husband (+overtime)
and involved in/passionate about ministry.
It seemed strange to be making a choice to do this.
We knew that our already busy family life would be s t r e t c h e d beyond what we had known.
It was. Really.
I mean, a one year old, a three year old, a five year old, and a seven year old with some fairly high dependancies on us? Jumping right into a second degree with all of THIS on your plate?
But it was this strange peace seeping in and telling us "yes, this is go time" which pushed us ahead.
To say it went by fast and was a great ride would be a laughable lie.
It was a ride.
You worked hard.
You gave 110%.
You amazed me.
Over and over and over.
Some weeks you wanted to quit.
Some weeks I think I would have begged you to quit.
Because I was tired.
And the light at the end of the tunnel would sometimes sputter and go really dim.
And, frankly, I wanted my husband back.
Dang school any way, right?
At the beginning I said, and vowed this in my heart, that I would support you. Be your biggest cheer leader. I wanted to help you through what I knew would be a stretching time for you. I told myself that I would not allow doubt/confusion/discouragement to cloud my focus on being that encouragement speaking into your life. No negative words about it. Even if that meant walking away for a few minutes, so as not to speak the words on my tongue.
I still remember the very day that I broke that vow, and the exact second that it sank in.
It had been a tiring week. Home work had taken up every second of the time you had away from work. I can't remember which, but two of the boys were going through these crazy test-mama-till she cracks phases. And boy was I cracking all over the place. I was failure and tears and tired and maybe even a little bit of resentment. I was trying to schedule photo shoots and get groceries, keep the house clean (geesh - I would have settled for being able to complete one measly job I had started from beginning to end)but you needed to study... and we had these kids....
My mind was clouded with emotion, and I looked you square in the eye and said, "If I just knew... that all of this... was for something. Like, if I knew the pay off. If there would even be one. Like some kind of a reward, or something that we are looking to...working towards"
And I choked on the end of that thought because there was this burning in the back of my throat. A guilt and sheepish humiliation.
I sounded like a five year old and I knew it. I also knew that every word that was coming from my lips was contrary to the trust God was growing deep within my heart. The words tasted bitter in my mouth and I wanted to take them back. But we all know the deal with words and our inability to ever retrieve them. Where's rewind when we need it, right?
Ahh human nature. It certainly wasn't the first or last time I would struggle with such thoughts, but I did not speak them again.
This whole season of our lives was directed by none other than God himself. Who am I to question reasoning? If nothing else, it has been amazing for our growth as a family. Truly an evolving of character and learning to stand up to a challenge.
And you, really - you are a man who has shown himself to have the kind of work ethic and integrity that I am in awe of. You made a difference in your class room and you are making a difference in the world. I kind of can't get enough of you.
You finished strong, yes?! I am still cracking up at how the end all went down. I mean, what a better way to highlight how this entire 18 months played out except to
be working on that final presentation
but have to take your 9 year old to the ER during those precious last few studying hours...
and find out he had fractured his upper arm bone in a fall...
and bring him home in that lovely sling...
in time to show our camper, which we have been trying to sell...
and then try to squeeze in a few moments of study...
until I rushed out the door to get the prescription...
only to find out that there is a shortage of the pain meds we need
well, this last class has covered ethics, and world view, and has focused much on your priorities in life...
you may as well end on this note.Your family has always been #2, next to your Creator. And I love that.
So here's to the last 18 months.
The times we didn't think we could do it.
Late, late Monday nights.
A schedule that owned us, and sometimes we shook our fists at.
Those writing project that made you crazy.
The long chapters, and chapters, and chapters that made your eyes nearly fall out of your head.
And all those A's baby! So, so proud of you.
Next Monday night you do not belong to the University. I have big plans. Think epic celebration. And on our budget, I'm talkin' at least two or three notches up from McDonalds.
Your wife, who will be cheering the loudest for the rest of your life