Smiling at the Future

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

To understand where I'm headed, you've got to understand where I came from.

Depression had its talons clenched upon my heart. My days were an endless storm. Thank God for the friends who helped me see it through.

I'm not much different than any other man. I dated and had a long relationship, but it wasn't meant to be. We broke up and  my wound stayed open. I had identified myself in a future whose door closed. I was in limbo with two families. My blood was always there for me - and my surrogate family only wanted the best.  It threw me for a loop and stained my heart for the rest of my college days and into my early twenties.

I held tight to the things that I loved. I always have. So I spent my time pedaling under the starry skies of Tucson and Tempe. I took off work to reset in the mountains. I got a job in California and was blessed with the opportunity to share my passions with the youth.

But the dark mistress lurked in the shadow. Depression was hot on my trail like a hound on the hunt. And love turned to lust as I licked my wounds and threw on my blinder to the world. 

I consumed myself. I made way for doubt and regret. I became fearful of my future. And I clouded my mind by choice.

And then I met her.

It really was that simple because she's simply that incredible.

My wife is the strongest woman I have ever known. She tends to the flame of my heart - feeds it when I am cold, prods it when I should burn, and contains it when I risk scorching my surroundings. My wife taps into the tender souls of children with special needs and uncovers their miraculous gifts. And she coaches their parents on how to better serve these special needs. Her salary certainly doesn't take the time to say thank you and neither do most people.

My wife is strong. Like, 8-months-pregnant-and-still-hiking-daily-strong. 

My wife has dignity. She's self-respecting and regards integrity as one of life's most cherished traits. 

But if there's one thing about my wife that saved my life, it's the fact she smiles at the future and opens her mouth in wisdom. My inlaws live by a creed that's undoubtedly shaped my wife into the woman she's become. 

I'll paraphrase it for you under the condition you consider implementing it in your life:

...There's life and blessing, death and cursing. Gifts can go south, days get hard, and people may fail, but we can always choose life. We can always choose blessing. Things may not be peachy, but we can make things better...

My wife smiles at the future and dances with the present. My darkness stood no chance next to her light and her wisdom set me straight and does so again and again.

I could go on and on - tell you about the smell of Pinesol every evening in our glimmering kitchen, tell you about our turbo taxes, give you a taste of the meals she's prepared, walk you through our nearly-finished nursery, and invite you on one of our favorite hikes. But the truth is nothing I can show you could ever fully convey the love I have for my wife and the many reasons I am so eternally grateful for the woman I don't deserve.

Today is our anniversary and I've never been one to strive for perfect, but every day I walk this earth with Dani by my side, I'm a better man than I ever was before.

Cheers to you babe.

Love,

Your dude


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