If it were up to you, we would be celebrating your birthday in some low key kind of way.
Back porch, burgers on the grill, Eric Church playing in the background, a couple of your buddies hanging around talking about baseball or the NBA finals game or how to properly frog-gig.
If it were up to you, your birthday gift would be low key too.
A new UK t-shirt. Or some tool we need for the house. Certainly nothing that’s “too much”.
If it were up to you, we probably wouldn’t sing the birthday song because again, it’s “too much”, and a birthday is just a birthday.
Simply saying “Happy birthday!” would be enough.
If it were up to you, you would somehow turn your day into someone else’s day without thinking twice.
Meeting with someone even after the work day is over. Painting one more room even though your back is aching. Cleaning or cooking or laundry-ing even when your wife is fully capable.
But luckily, your birthday is not up to you.
It’s up to me.
And from start to finish I will celebrate you for the wonderful man you are. You’re not much on the social media affection or attention, but again, this is up to me, and everyone should know what a bright light you are in this little world of mine. Especially because I know you are a light in their worlds too.
Our journey to becoming husband and wife started between a rock and a hard place. Circumstances and locations and feelings were muddy and foreign. I was unsure of myself, of you, of what we could become. I had never felt so deeply for someone in all my life and honestly, that scared me.
But you already know this.
You know this because you didn’t give up on me. You didn’t let me go when I wanted to hide or slow things down. You remained steady, strong… safe. I never knew I needed that in someone until you. Not only did you give me these things, but you gave me the space to learn how to depend on you too. You didn’t expect it, you didn’t demand it. You let me get to this place of confidence and trust on my own, at my own pace-which is one of the things I love about you the most.
You meet people where they are. You welcome their flaws and insecurities. You take in their shortcomings and give back grace. You have this way with people, with me, that makes us all so very comfortable in our own skin but also gives us the hope to become who we not yet are. That’s why you are called into ministry because you love people like Jesus and fearlessly refuse to give up on the good in them… in me.
And, oh, how much good there is in you.
You stumble without offering excuses. You tell the truth regardless of the pain it may cause. You read and live out the words of Jesus even when your faith is weak. You laugh at yourself, and others I might add, without restrain. You see joy in the simple, everyday parts of life. You encourage, challenge, question, notice, and think. You respond with maturity and react with thoughtfulness. You have a heart that beats to the rhythm of excellent music and your singing in the car makes my heart beat to your rhythm. You tease and joke and aren’t afraid to be silly. You embody what it means to be a man of God, not a man of the world. You have this fierceness for justice yet this desire to understand. You balance out this rather imbalanced woman, which makes you better than good. You are so good to your core, that it gets me all in my feelings as the high schoolers say these days.
I am a deep-feeling person by nature. When I hurt, I really hurt. When I have joy, I am really joyful. But with you, Spencer, I feel even more. I feel capable and strong. Confident and humble. Loved and cherished. Understood and understanding. I am often in a battle of believing lies and stopping in fear, but because of you and your direction toward Christ, I have the ability to win the war over and over again.
And I believe there is nothing more a woman could want in a man than for him to give her the right weapons to fight the battle of her mind.
If it were up to you, I would never post these words.
Reading them to you alone would do just fine.
But luckily, this post is not up to you. And neither is your birthday.
So here are these words for anyone to read. For those who know you, they will surely be nodding their heads in agreement with each line. For those who don’t know you, they will surely wish they did. And because I am your wife, and because birthdays are a big freaking deal, we will celebrate the way I want to. Where everything is about you. That might include dinner at a nice restaurant and a pool party (because this seems low key to me), but celebrated you will be.
To the man who made me a wife, the man who made me a mom, the man who makes my world complete. You are my greatest blessing.