This morning I saw Dolphins…..
This makes perfect sense, because today is my wife’s birthday. It’s a speed limit birthday, one you find on two lane highways, not interstates. But one of those speed limit years that we tend to mark as a “big one”.
Jennifer has a thing about birthdays. While I am happy just pretty much ignoring them for myself, she really does like to celebrate her special day. Unfortunately this year will be a bit mild. We have Brayden, our six year old buddy with us this week. Last night he was talking about how he can’t wait for his birthday (in August), and Jennifer said “but tomorrow is my birthday and that’s way more important”, to which Brayden replied, “oh yeah well you will only have two people at your party, me and David!”
It was funnier than it sounds.
We are in transition mode big time. We are in very temporary quarters where we have moved some clothes and a few other things, waiting on the weekend when we hope we can move our furniture from storage in Jackson to our new condo in Ft. Walton Beach. Once again we have been blessed by friends who offered us a place to stay. For months now we have stayed at my in-laws condo in Perdido, an amazing gift by them when we had no where else to go. Then all the uncertainty of how long I would stay at Christ Church, waiting to see if search processes worked out, kept us from being able to make a move to a longer term place due to the impossibility of finding a place we could rent on a short term basis. Very soon, our living in borrowed space will end and we can setup home again.
All together it makes for a challenging birthday celebration. And that’s too bad, because Jennifer really does deserve a big day.
I hope you know my wife. She is the most unique person I have ever encountered on this earth. She has taught me so much about love, about life, about parenting, about having the courage to answer God’s call when it really makes no sense to anyone else. When she decided to go to nursing school when our girls were quite young, to follow her dream, to agree with God this was her calling, where her gifts could really be used to the glory of God and to help others, it was from her decision to do so that I learned I could do the same, years later. She has been the heart and soul of every community we have been a part of. She has thrown her shoulders back and faced the challenging life of a priest’s wife, which can be really hard at times, and remained true to herself.
Jennifer has an amazing and inspirational faith. Being a priest’s spouse is challenging, much more so as we have done interim work these last four years. She loves people, she loves them deeply and without reservation, so the constant transitioning of interim work has been especially difficult for her. I am really excited about our new opportunity, to be in and live in and grow with a community of faith for an extended period of time and I am especially excited for her sake.
I saw Dolphins this morning as I watched the sun rise on the balcony of our friend’s condo. Jennifer loves Dolphins, almost as much as she loves dragonflies. Last summer we traveled to Key Largo and she got to swim with the Dolphins there. It was amazing! I have never seen a grown person so thrilled, laugh so loud, enjoy something so beautifully! You should have seen her! In those moments of joy, her face glowing, her laugh ringing out, I was so deeply reminded of my love for her, but more than that, of my appreciation for her. She is a tireless worker who gives so much of herself to others, so to see her have just a little bit of time where she can simply celebrate life doing something she had always wanted to do was truly a highlight of my life.
So here’s to you on your speed limit birthday, Jennifer! You will be flooded with Facebook messages today, with calls and emails and the like. You are loved and your are beloved. Brayden is wrong. There are way more than two people at your party! For there are literally thousands of people whose lives you have touched, made better, ministered to, took care of, and enjoyed life with.
And they are here, in spirit, in prayer, and in celebrating you. The Dolphins told me so!
Happy Birthday Jen – all my love, all my life.