Winner, winner.

The second greatest gift God has given me (after salvation from my sin through Jesus) is my beloved wife. And both of these gifts are fully and completely an act of His magnificent grace.

This weekend is our first wedding anniversary. It’s amazing that it’s already been a year. It seems both shorter and longer–shorter because it feels like it’s flown by, and longer because life with my beloved feels so natural and right.

So, in honor of the weekend, here are 30 reasons I’m thankful to be married to my beloved H. :

  1. She reminds me of the Gospel when I fall back into thinking I need to earn approval from God.
  2. She loves the Scriptures.
  3. She writes me encouraging notes on colorful cards and sticks them in my bag without my realizing.
  4. Her eyes. They’re a rich chocolate brown, and they enchanted me from our very first “non-date” date.
  5. She cooks delicious healthy food, and is the primary reason that I’ve become a healthier man over the last year.
  6. She also cooks delicious UNhealthy food (less often, now), which has also helped me become a happier man over the last year.
  7. She creates beautiful artwork using all sorts of media.
  8. Whenever she encounters a craft idea, DIY project, or new recipe, her first thought is always, “I bet I could do that myself.”
  9. And she usually does. And it’s usually amazing.
  10. She grows things. Flowers, herbs, vegetables.
  11. She keeps talking about owning chickens one day, so we can have fresh eggs. I don’t think I’ll be able to talk her out of that.
  12. She loves children, and is deeply passionate about caring for hurting children.
  13. She will be an incredible mother one day. I can’t wait to see that.
  14. She’s insightful and empathetic. This will make her a phenomenal counselor.
  15. She is gracious with my weakness, and forgiving of my thoughtlessness.
  16. But she still holds me to my word, and expects me to follow-through, and this challenges me to be a better man.
  17. She recognizes her own sin, and is quick to repent and apologize.
  18. She reads books. This habit is becoming more and more rare in our world, so I’m thrilled that ours will be a reading household.
  19. She asks me how I’m doing, and what she can do to help me.
  20. She prays for me, and prays over me.
  21. She recognizes when I’m exhausted and insists that I rest.
  22. She is smart. She would deny it, but she is really clever.
  23. She’s determined and doesn’t give up. This has made her strong in heart and will, and it will continue to serve her well throughout her life.
  24. I love her smile.
  25. Snuggling up with her on the couch is one of my favorite things.
  26. She accepts me as I am, and makes me feel strong and respected and valued. That is huge for me.
  27. She loves her in-laws (my family). That’s a blessing.
  28. She loves our Sunday School class, and looks for ways to pour into the lives of the women in our group.
  29. She’s not just my wife–she’s my best friend. There’s no one with whom I’d rather spend time and have fun.
  30. When I realized that our budget wouldn’t allow for any extravagant anniversary presents or out-of-town travel, she smiled and said, “As long as you’re with me, I’m happy staying right here. Celebrating anniversaries isn’t about big gestures. It’s about being thankful for another year together.”

I have often joked that, in every relationship, there’s a clear “winner”–the person you look at and think, “How in the world did they get such an amazing spouse?” And as much as my wife will try to argue the point, there is no contest, folks. I’m the “winner.”

Happy anniversary, Beauty. I thank God every day for the privilege of being yours.  You are a gift of grace to me. So here’s to one year down–and, Lord-willing, fifty or sixty more to go.

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