Happy Birthday, Amanda!

With every passing year, you grow in grace and beauty.  You stole my heart when I was 16, and yet you somehow manage to take more of it day by day.

I often say to others that I “outkicked my coverage” when I married you.  I am simply way out of my league. And one day, you are going to wake up and realize, “I could have done so much better!”  And you will be right!

And when that happens, I know that you will still love me anyway because that is the kind of wife that you are!

What I love about this year of life with you is that others have begun to notice that truth as well.  It’s a good thing.

As a pastor’s wife, you oftentimes are seen as simply the spouse of the one doing the ministry.  While you have always been active in serving Christ and others, I have loved watching you this year as you give more of yourself away (and I don’t know where you keep getting those reserves from!).

Whether it’s seeing you internalize the pain of the one you are counseling, checking up on the one that is hurting, or offering encouragement to those who have run out, you are the most giving and compassionate person I have ever known.

Whether it’s sporting a Batman t-shirt for your sons’ birthday, allowing rowdy boys to be rowdy boys, or playing silly games with Gloria, you are an incredible mother.

Whether it’s following me on some crazy idea, supporting me in front of others, or knowing just how to care for me when I get discouraged, you are the best wife I could have ever dreamed of having.

I used to be the one college students would come to for advice, and now they all say, “Yeah, Trav, I would love to get Amanda’s opinion on this.”

People are starting to realize what I have known for years: I am way out of my league with you, my dear.

Thanks for letting me still tag along!  You are treasured and adored, my bride.  Your husband, your children, and so many others think it doesn’t get better than you!

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. -Prov. 31:25