Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Nicki!!!

Blogging is NOT my strong point as you probably already know. However, if you’re not aware of that, take a look at my blog which I haven’t posted to since May of 2013!!!

That said, I wanted to take a little bit of my wife’s corner of cyberspace to celebrate HER!! If you’re a regular reader, then you know this is a serious departure, but if you don’t tell, I won’t.

Today, Nicki is celebrating 40 years of life. We’re not afraid of numbers (or at least the last time I checked, we weren’t…guess I’ll find out soon!!) Her birthday is an absolutely horrible time of year. She’s lived her entire life with the “this present is for your birthday AND Christmas” expression. I’d love to tell you that it’s been different since we got married, but it hasn’t. With all of the STUFF of Christmas in ministry, it’s usually about a week before her birthday that I’m actually able to focus and start thinking about a present. Then comes the hard part in that Nicki never asks for ANYTHING. Seriously…she doesn’t really want anything except to give to others, support her family, love me and our boys, and serve Jesus. Just this week, she said, “you know what I would like for my birthday? A clean back porch.” Friends, you could EAT off the ground on our back porch right now!!!

Nicki is such a gift to our family. She is thoughtful and considerate and helpful to others. She also guides and challenges our family to be the same. We boys are a tough bunch for her. You may know that “men” can sometimes be a little self-centered. It’s in our DNA... She’s got a real challenge with 3.5 boys in the house with her (I threw in Max, the dog, for good measure.) Nicki is always bringing up activities that will allow us to focus on the needs and feelings of others and we appreciate her so much for that.

She is also a wonderfully fun person to just hang out with. If you’ve spent any time around Nicki, then you know her sense of humor is unparalleled. That was the first thing that I fell in love with. She loves to laugh and to make others laugh. I appreciate her view on life. She laughs at herself and sees humor in some difficult moments. At times when things get a little stressful, I can always depend on Nicki to lighten the mood a bit. For someone with a pretty “heavy” job, it’s so obvious that God gave me Nicki for these times in my life.

I am so thankful that God has given us the ability for Nicki to be at home with our kids. I can’t think of anyone that could do a better job of teaching them things of “life.” Again, this is where many of those thoughtful and considerate lessons are taught (and not always learned the first time). We have two great kids, but they ARE kids and need direction. 

Nicki is also great at creating experiences for our kids that they will remember for the rest of their life. She challenges their thinking and shows them the right way to respond to situations in their lives. She also allows them to be kids. She takes them for ice cream and to Dunkin Donuts (Micah can spot a Dunkin Donuts from MILES away!!) She allows them to be kids and they love her for it!!

Nicki also handles all of the finances in our home. I’m so thankful that after a stressful day at work, I don’t have to come to home to the stress of home finances. Besides… Nicki is also one of the most financially responsible people I know. She not only manages our household finances, she has also led our family to be debt free except for our house and my car (which we’re aggressively paying off.)

Nicki is also an amazing cook. When she reads this she’s going to scoff, but she really is!! Our first meal as a married couple was what we call “Rotel Chicken.” We were so excited to enjoy our first meal as a married couple. Nicki painstakingly followed the recipe and when we sat down to eat, it was a very exciting time in our lives as we were setting off on this new journey together. The first bite was a bit interesting, however. I tried to act like everything was ok, but when she took a bite, she knew something was drastically wrong. Apparently, she substituted 4 cups of onions for the 1/4 of a cup of onion that the recipe called for. To say it was "bad" would be an understatement. However, it's been NOTHING but uphill from there. When someone asks what my favorite food is, I have a hard time answering because it's basically "anything my wife cooks" and that's the honest truth.

Friends, being a pastor's wife is not an easy task. Some people think being the pastor is the hardest job in the church. I would disagree. I think the pastor's WIFE is the hardest job in the church. She endures all of the pressure with none of the accolades. She is almost always a single mom (I write this at 3:00 am after I've been at the hospital with some friends after Nicki has been home all day with the kiddos (and it wasn't the best of days...)). She shows up to church faithfully and is always serving in the background (in ways almost nobody really sees). She hears criticism and can't do anything about it. She endures people talking bad about her husband as if she is supposed to agree with them. It's a tough job... and Nicki handles it with grace and class. I am so thankful to have her by my side in ministry!!!

Nicki, I love you and I am so glad that God brought us together almost 17 years ago. You are a gift to me...to our boys...and to anyone who knows you. Thank you for just being you!!! Happy Birthday!! Can't wait to spend the "second half" of our lives together with many more adventures to come...

1 comment:

Renee Wolf said...

I did not know this blog even existed, but I am so glad that my first introduction to it was by reading this beautiful post. Nicki is an incredible person and I feel like I have always known this but after reading this I am certain she is. What a beautiful tribute to your wife and thank you for allowing us to celebrate her with you by writing about her as you have. Happy Birthday Nicki, wishing you many blessings. Enjoy!

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