For the next 16 days, I’m taking a break from Worship Matters. I have a number of quotes on worship scheduled to post automatically, but I won’t be doing anything real time. The reason is the woman who’s pictured here.
This is a picture of Julie, taken at the recent WorshipGod06 conference. Thirty years ago, on August 28, she agreed to be my lawfully wedded wife for the rest of her days. If you knew me back then, you’d understand what a miracle that was.
I’m taking Julie to France, Wales, and England from Aug. 26-Sept. 11 to celebrate 30 years of God’s kindness to us. We’ll be staying for a week in a house in Provence that some kind friends graciously loaned to us. Then we’ll be with the Sovereign Grace church in Newport, Wales and our good friends, Pete and Jenn Greasley. After a few days exploring the Cotswolds we’ll end the trip with Penge Family Church, a New Frontiers church. I’ll be doing a Saturday seminar there and speaking at the church on Sunday, Sept. 10. We fly home, Lord willing, the next day.
What I wanted to communicate in this post is my gratefulness to God for my bride. God has used her in countless ways to make me more like the Savior we worship. Everything about my life has been made richer because of her love, support, care, correction, example, counsel, and friendship. God tells me to love my wife as Christ loves the church. I fall woefully short of that standard, but by God’s grace I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing that goal, trying to convince her she’s the most cherished woman on the planet.
If you knew Julie, I’m sure you’d love her. She is a woman of prodigious gifts. She was a state champion equestrian growing up, but left it behind to marry me. She has birthed, raised, and homeschooled our six children (only six more years to go…). She’s an amazing decorator, and designed, painted, and hung the decorations for the WorshipGod06 conference. A few years ago she designed this “room within a room” for my son’s wedding reception.
Julie typifies the Proverbs 31 woman. She has recovered almost every piece of furniture in our house, as well as painted every room – numerous times. She can spot a bargain a mile away and is an impressive negotiator. A few years ago, she designed and built the deck on the back of our house. (I did lay the footers and main beams. I’m not totally worthless.) She has built bookshelves and cabinets in our home and plants a vegetable garden every summer. Her cooking is brilliant, and she excels at making our home a place of rest. Did I mention that she’s one of the best sound engineers at our church?
Those are just the obvious things. She possesses uncanny discernment and often asks a question that clarifies a confusing situation or opens up a closed heart. She is a fountain of wisdom and close friend to our four daughters and two daughters-in-law. She is eager to learn from those around her and has become quick to humbly acknowledge her faults and sins. I’ve learned much about generosity and thoughtfulness by noticing how she always wants to give nicer gifts than I do. Her heart for hospitality seems endless. During the recent WorshipGod06 conference we talked to a couple until 1 AM Wednesday night, had the Getty’s over for dinner Thursday night, hosted a group after the main session on Thursday, had Bruce Ware over for dinner on Saturday night, and guests for lunch on Sunday. And she did all this with skill, peace,and joy.
But by far, what I treasure most about Julie is her uninhibited, contagious, ever growing passion for our Savior. She meets with God each morning in His Word and desires her life to honor Him. She has encouraged me countless times to greater faith, trust, and joy in God. Ps. 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant; and their faces shall never be ashamed.” As the picture beginning this post shows, Julie is radiant.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:27-29)
It’s my intention to bring glory to God by praising my wife. I’m well aware that God is the ultimate source of every joy and blessing. But after the immeasurably precious gift of salvation, God’s greatest gift to me is Julie.
I just wanted to take this joyful occasion of our 30th anniversary to explain why.