July 22, 2018
Happy 34th anniversary, Mom & Pops!
One might expect y’all to have more wrinkles and gray hair, especially after raising some of those particularly strong-willed kiddos like me. Haha! But you both still look so young! They say that having kids keeps you young, and that surely must be the case because y’all definitely don’t look old enough to have a child who’s in his 30’s!
I don’t know of another couple who’s more in love than you are with each other! Us kids are so blessed to have an example to look up to in your marriage relationship. It’s so endearing to see y’all kissing, holding hands, looking affectionately, speaking loving sentiments, and laughing at each other’s corny jokes (to the point of tears) as though you were still high school sweethearts.
But like seasoned veterans, we’ve seen God’s grace in your marriage as you’ve weathered the storms of life together. Crying together in hard times. Praying for wisdom and help from above. Reminding each other and us kids of God’s promise to “work all things together for good for those who love Him.” Your faith in Christ is solid and unwavering, and I’m so grateful for your godly examples.
You gave stability to our childhood home, and we never had reason to doubt your love and commitment to one another. In all my growing up years, I do not recall witnessing an argument between the two of you. I’m grateful y’all chose to talk through any disagreements privately, and that we didn’t feel the pressure to take sides with either parent.
So many marriages are torn down by an excess of sarcasm and put-downs that may be laughed at in the moment but have the ability to create hurts and wounds over time. Thank you for not allowing these things in your relationship or in our home growing up— and choosing instead to speak life, encourage, and build one another up with your words.
I love that y’all love working alongside each other. From day one you’ve been co-workers, beginning with running the car lot together, then the towing business, managing a gas station, becoming insurance agents together, and both of you getting your real estate licenses! It’s like you can’t get enough of each other! You just love being together, and this speaks volumes.
When it came to hobbies, y’all weren’t quick to run off in separate directions, but would rather do things together as a couple and with us kids! Family hikes or camping trips, bike rides or fishing on the lake. Hide and seek around the house, board games, and family devotions in the evenings. Weekend road trips to Silver Dollar City, or dollar ice cream cones at the local burger house. In the winter time, we’d beg y’all to take us on a “family drive”, just riding around in the van together, looking at Christmas lights. You gave us YOU— your time, your attention, your interaction— and that’s the best gift a spouse or child could dream of having. Being a wife and mama now myself, I look back on these memories and they mean the world to me.
You parented consistently together and strove to keep your household rules and expectations on the same page. You’d help out with the parent duties whenever they arose, whether it was dealing with a bad attitude or binding up a boo boo. When there was a diaper to be changed or a spill to clean up, whoever came upon it would jump right in and get to work. Neither of you had a 50/50 mindset. We saw you both striving to give 110%.
Growing up, we all knew how much Mom and Dad looked forward to their weekly date. Y’all made time together a priority, and it didn’t have to be a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant. Sometimes it was a drive-thru dessert date. Other times it was grocery shopping, looking at a piece of real estate, taking a drive around town, or a walk in the park. Whatever the case, y’all just love being together, and it’s so sweet to see!
I’m so thankful God’s given you these years together, and may He bless you with many, many more! I love you both!
May 13, 2018
Jessa, you are an incredible mother. Spurgeon and Henry already have a glimpse into the kind, loving, sacrificial mother that you are but I know in the years to come, they will look back and see everything you have done for them, all the kind and loving things you have said to them, and the care and love you have shown them. Happy Mother's Day to one of the worlds greatest mothers!
May 13, 2018
Happy Mother's Day, Momma! These past two years, I've gotten a taste of just how challenging this mothering thing can be. I pray often for even a small portion of your patience to be granted to me! I'm blown away by God's grace in your life as you went about this journey. So many things stand out to me about the way you lovingly raised us, and I can't help but write down a few...
When I was stubborn or unruly, you'd choose to whisper words of gentle correction instead of shouting at or scolding me-- and that brought down angry emotions and modeled to me self-control, even in stressful times.
Though I often deserved to be looked upon with suspicion, I'd instead catch you looking at me with a loving smile on your face, and hear "I love you, Jessa!" from your lips-- and that unconditional love carried with it power that could squelch even the most mischievous plans from my mind.
Arts and craft projects you'd prepare for us that made as much mess as they did fun-- and yet you rejoiced in these moments of our childhood instead of fretting about the forthcoming cleanup.
When we were underfoot in the kitchen and mealtime was fast approaching, you'd pull up a stool and let us be "Mommy's big helper"-- even if that meant that dinner was a little late, and we "mixed" the bowl if ingredients so well that we scattered flour dust all over the place.
I recollect vividly the time I tried to carry a glass dish of pasta across the kitchen on roller skates, and it didn't turn out so well. You'd think less of the fragile things that were accidentally broken and think more of our youthful emotions... feeling dumb, clumsy or embarrassed. "Don't worry about it. Let me help you pick that up! I remember a time when I did such-and-such..." (P.S. I did start to notice that you'd buy stainless steel or other "non-breakable" replacements ??).
You've been faithful to pray with us and to pray for us. Your primary petition has been that each one of us would come to see that we are great sinners, but that Christ is a great Savior. You were faithful to communicate that His love and favor could never be earned through our good deeds outweigh our bad, but that he gives His Grace to us freely when we repent of our sins and believe in Him. Thank you for leading me to Jesus, and for the appeal of the gospel made through your life.
I know that you'd be the first to say that your strength and stamina, your constancy and ability to cope, your hope and happiness through it all, stemmed not from yourself. You didn't "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" or just "make it happen". Your patience and virtue are not based on your "laid-back personality" or "natural tendencies", because even the gentlest of persons can be stirred to anger through the stress of parenting. And there have been times when you've blown it. Thank you for being real and genuine in your apologies to us kids when you messed up.
But time after time, no matter the stress, no matter the intensity of the situation, no matter what the frustrations in the moment might lead you to do or say, I've witnessed you choose to receive and then exude Christ's Spirit of grace, forgiveness, and love. I want to love Jesus and others the way you do.
Thank you for being my greatest support in this journey of mothering. Thanks for reminding me that God's grace is sufficient for the trials we face. Thank you for all the late-night talks and words of encouragement. Thanks for being my Baby Encyclopedia and 24/7 help-hotline. You're the best.
I know I've said it before, but it's worth saying again-- You're my greatest role model and my hero. I thank God for giving me the blessing of calling you "Mama."
March 6, 2018
Congratulations on your engagement! Lauren, we are so excited for you to join the family!
February 27, 2018
February 7, 2018
February 4, 2018
January 22, 2018
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We can hardly believe that Henry is almost a year old! Time has gone by so quickly! He is a precious little boy and we love him so much!!
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December 27, 2017
We can hardly believe that Henry is already ten months old! He is such happy baby! He loves playing and is growing by the day!