Saturday, December 11, 2010

Now That You're 40

My dearest love,

Now that you're 40, 40 seems young.
To tell you (and whoever else is reading this) the truth, I've had a tiny bit of apprehension through the years as I've thought about you turning 40.  We've known some people who have apparently gone crazy when they hit the big 4-0 and have made some terrible decisions, particularly related to their marriages.  I've wondered, would that be you?  You've always made me feel so incredibly loved and secure in our marriage, and I couldn't imagine life any other way; but would this birthday suddenly make you lose your mind and look for a way out?  I'm happy to report that, as of this morning when you kissed me goodbye before you left for work, you still seem quite sane and in-love with me.  ;-)

I've only known you for the last fifteen years; but from that time, it's not difficult to remember 40 significant moments for us.  Wanna take a walk down Memory Lane with me?

1. first time I saw you (on the steps of the university in Jerusalem)
2. the field trip to Ashkelon and your decision to stay with the small group of us that were heading to Tel Aviv to spend the night (instead of going back to Jerusalem with the larger group)...I knew I was falling hard for you on that trip because I was so jealous!  any time you talked with another girl from the group, it tore me up inside; I wanted you for myself!  :)
3. you going with me to Bethlehem to help out at Bethlehem Bible Institute (instead of going away sight-seeing during Spring Break)
4. "the talk" in the garden on the night of Passover
5. the kiss at Petra
6. the proposal at the Western Wall (I had no answer for you then)
7. you riding with me to the airport when I flew back to the States after that life-changing semester in Israel (and your suggestion to me that we hop on a plane to Australia together and get married! crazy man)  :)
8. our discussion on the big rock at Camp-of-the-Woods, hammering out not only our beliefs, but also how we would handle disagreements
9. our drive home from Washington, D.C., via the Skyline Drive, and all those deer we saw
10. the proposal here in Virginia (I still wasn't ready)
11. the proposal at Lover's Cove on Catalina Island (this time, I said yes)  :)
12. the many pictures you sent me of our first apartment, and your excitement about finding one with such a gorgeous view (the bay in San Diego)
13. our wedding, wonderful in every way
14. the pomelos you went to great pains to find so you could bring them to our wedding
15. the elaborate, romantic Valentine's Day dinner you planned and served me on the beach in Coronado
16. your compassion, during the first years of marriage, when I would occasionally wake up during the night with horrible headaches (one time, you fixed me some soup...another time, you mixed a little Kahlua with milk and gave that to me!)  :)
17. your statement on January 1, 2000, that you were ready for us to have a baby (two and a half years ahead of the schedule I thought we had in place! didn't take me long to adjust my thinking to your revised schedule)  :)
18. standing outside the Boys and Girls Club with the Fields and Bentleys and being asked to go on staff for the church, knowing that one of your (our, really) dreams was coming true
19. watching you preach in the Boys and Girls Club; standing in awe of your zeal and passion and ability to communicate and inspire (God uses you mightily because you're such a willing vessel)
20. your graduation from the University of Phoenix (I was SO PROUD of your diligence and determination)
21. your weekly trips to the Chula Vista farmer's market to get Oro Blanco grapefruits for me when I was pregnant with Josiah
22. the birth of Josiah
23. the sermon you preached the Sunday after he was born (which happened to be Father's Day)
24. the phone call you received, asking us to sell our stuff, pack a few suitcases, and move to Israel
25. the joy you brought into our apartment when you would return from a morning of Hebrew Ulpan (language learning) to have lunch with Josiah and I (we always eagerly awaited your arrival, often watching out the window to see you come into view)
26. the many, many times you strapped on the Snugli and carried Josiah with you during outings in Tel Aviv
27. our seventh-anniversary celebration, which included a stay at the famous King David Hotel in Jerusalem, fulfilling a long-held dream of mine
28. the evenings of walking with you to your Hebrew classes at that Ulpan that was further away; I was pretty far along in my pregnancy with David and I waddled as I walked; you slowed your steps to match mine; I loved that time to talk with you; sometimes we got freshly squeezed pomegranate juice on our way; Josiah was in the stroller, and after we kissed you goodbye, we would waddle our way home, looking in the shop windows, and watching the people on the streets
29. the birth of David
30. the time we spent in England while moving from Israel to Virginia, and your advice to me to just relax and enjoy everything (that was exactly what I needed to hear)
31. the day you walked into West Side Barber Shop with resume in hand (little did we know that God would use that shop to provide for our family during these years in Virginia so far)
32. the morning after your birthday in 2006 when you opened the door to our neighbor being held hostage by a gunman, and I saw first-hand that "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13)
33. your encouragement to me in January 2007 to start blogging; I wouldn't have done it without you (little did we know just how much I would indeed blog over the following years!)
34. your calm demeanor when we were stuck in the ferry line to go to Ocracoke, NC, while vacationing on the Outer Banks in September 2007; we were stuck there because the battery of the van died! (talk about stressful!  whew!  but you handled it amazingly well)
35. the birth of Tobin
36. the way you missed me and the boys so intensely when you were in Israel without us in July 2008
37. the birth of Shav
38. you killing the snake (well, snakeS, since you've been a part of more than one snake incident around here); you're my protector and hero  :)
39. our decision to leave the church of which we were a part; I saw your heart torn to pieces by your love for God and for people and by your desire to see righteousness be done
40. late night talks on the couch ("can I sit at your feet, Boaz?") about where God is leading us and what the next step is

Now that you're 40, I realize anew that, in all the ways that matter, you've made me a extravagantly wealthy woman.

Now that you're 40, I still can't believe that you chose me to share the adventure of your life.

Now that you're 40, I stand in awe of who you are as a man:  your talents and abilities, your convictions, your provision for us, your boldness and courage, your character and integrity, your tenderness when appropriate, your knowledge base which is so vast (you seem to know something about everything!), and the love you lavish on me and our family.

Now that you're 40, I look forward to the next set of memories we'll build in this new decade of your life.
Now that you're 40, I love you more than ever.

I am yours,


Homeschool on the Croft said...

If you gave him nothing else for his 40th birthday other than this blog, I think he'll be a very happy man. That was very beautiful. Happy birthday to your man, and many more of them to you both. God bless you x

Valerie said...

Beautiful post.

And WOW, he proposed 3 times?! :)

Davene said...

Valerie, yep, he sure did. If it wasn't for his determination, we would not have made it as a couple. I wasn't trying to play hard-to-get, but every time he asked me, I just wasn't sure! Until the last time. Then I was. :)

And Anne, this post, if nothing else, was definitely more beautiful and romantic than his other gifts. We gave him a rifle case and a tire jack. Really sweet, eh? :)

Thank you, friends, for your kind comments.

Marie said...

Oh wow Davene, What a man you have!!!! I loved walking down memory lane with you two!!! What a sweet marriage, and what a sweet life, God is SO good!!
Please tell Jeff happy 40'th from your friends in OH!

We LOVE you guys
~ Marie

Mike and Katie said...

Awww! Jeff's quite a catch, Davene! Great memories and what an exciting life you've led.

Elizabeth said...

Davene this was so so special. It brought tears to my eyes! What a blessed man you have! I enjoyed reading and learning so much more about you both. I do wish we lived close. I am always gleaning from you. You are so fun and exciting, both of you are! Tell Jeff a very Happy 40th Birthday from your friends Benjamin and Elizabeth. I pray one day that we can all be together sharing a meal together and enjoying your company. :)


michelle said...

Hmmm, what a surprise to hear you two kissed in Petra! ;). I have a photo of you together on that trip- I should try to scan it and email it to you.

Davene said...

But, Michelle, Jeff and I were so secretive with our romance!!!