Today marks 25 years since Sally and I committed ourselves to a lifetime of marriage together. The years have certainly flown by! In that time (as you can see!) I have lost even more hair, gone grey, put on weight and given up my contact lenses. However, I remain grateful for God's goodness to me in the soulmate and life partner He has blessed me with.
So with that in mind here is a public tribute to God's goodness to me and the rich blessing He has provided me with in Sally. Here are 12 things, among many others, that I deeply appreciate about Sally after 25 years marriage. They are ways I have found her more and more beautiful:
1.Her generous hearted and warm nature. Sally has the gift of empathy and is so quick to feel the pain and need of others. It was her tender heart that first drew me to her and continues to inspire and delight me.
2. She is both gentle and tough at the same time. Don't think that with her tender hearted nature that Sally is just soft. When the situation calls for it she can also be appropriately firm and decisive.
3. Since I have known her she has shown a wisdom beyond her years. I proposed to her when I was 19 and she was 18. I am so glad she knew much better and graciously turned me down! It wasn't till 6 years later that we eventually married. When I look back at mistakes or wrong decisions I have made I invariably trace it to not taking on board properly her insight and discernment.
4. Her passion to nurture and protect her relationship with God. Sally makes sure she takes time to centre herself each day and ensure that she puts her relationship with God first in her life. I am so glad about that! The apostle Peter in his first letter writes about wives who have "the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight." I have the privilege of 3 decades of seeing that in Sally.
5. She is a very good listener. At times she amazes me with how closely she has listened to what I or others have said. It also makes me careful about what I say, because I know it can be used in evidence against me at some point!
6. She is one of the most positive people I know. She makes a deliberate choice to look for the best in others. She refuses to hold a grudge. I remember a time I said something to her that was unkind and hurtful. She looked at me and said, "I could get angry with you, but I am going to choose not to." She is so loyal to friends and family. She continually challenges me to take a higher path.
7. Her sense of humour and willingness not to take herself too seriously. As someone who has, by contrast, a tendency to focus on the negative, get over-serious or worry about what may go wrong, Sally's ability to enjoy life no matter has brought so much brightness to my life.
8. Her willingness to sacrifice her wants and needs to accommodate the children or me. While being secure and confident in herself, she is always on the lookout for our needs and emotions. She continually looks to our welfare.
9. Her practical nature. If you read this blog regularly it will be no surprise to you that I am an ideas person. Many of the practical day to day jobs that need to be done it is so easy for me to overlook or feel intimidated by. I am so glad for her 'can-do' attitude and willingness to keep tabs on all the practical things that need to be done.
10. She loves life and enjoys having fun! Sally finds pleasure and joy in the simplest of pleasures - good conversations with friends, walking in nature or just the happiness of us as a family.
11. Her perceptive understanding of others. Sally is very aware of what people may be thinking and feeling. She has taught me to be sensitive to what may be going on behind the words that are spoken. She has a deep wisdom and discernment that I keep calling on.
12. Her smile continues to this day to bring joy to my heart and make me weak at the knees!
In Proverbs 31 of the Old Testament is described the wife of noble character. It reminds me so much of Sally. I quote from it here:
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.....
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
So thank you Sally for sharing your life with me all these years and bringing so much joy and colour to me and so many others!
Some days, Sally I love you and some days I really love you!