Today is my seven year anniversary with my beautiful, God-fearing wife, Bethany.

From our sovereign foundations in God-fearing families to our early days of meeting in east Texas (12 years ago), to our family of five, just 10 years after starting a relationship, the Lord has been very good to me in giving me Bethany for my wife.

I’m writing this post to bring attention to so many traits worth praising in my enduring, patient and loving wife, Bethany.

Woman of God

One of the things that drew me to Bethany was her passion for prayer and to see the Lord glorified in the earth. At the time I was at a ministry where many godly women displayed their devotion to God, but Bethany was intensely and infectiously different. She had a wit and goofiness about her combined with that intense missionary mindset as well. She stood out from the pack. The day after my finals in my freshman year of college, I asked her to begin a relationship with me – a “Courtship” as I called it at the time.

Woman of Mission

While we dated, Bethany continued to speak about being obedient to God’s call to live as a missionary – both wherever she was, but also in the context of the world. Being drawn to India, she rallied with another passionate friend, Chelsea, and they went to India to serve in a local church and ministry in Andra Pradesh. Five Months, 21 days and many shaky Skype calls later, I had my fiance back. We married two month later in Renton on August, 27th 2011.

Woman of Business

With a Bachelors in International Business from Liberty University and donor relations skills that supported eight-digit funding campaigns for various ministries, my wife has the skill and acumen to succeed in the workplace; more than me in several areas : )

In our first year of marriage in 2011, Bethany worked in the local elections office performing customer and operations support for King County. She also wanted to slay the giant of taxes by taking up a Jackson Hewitt job which emboldened her to file our own taxes each year – and understand how it all works.

During the time I ran our startup, VendorHawk, she lovingly gave me feedback and counsel on tough situations and decisions. She completely freed me up to work many evenings while I was CEO, holding down most of the home duties while I kept the business a float. Without her strength, my startup would have struggled more than it did. What a strong wife I have.

Welcoming Children

When we became pregnant with Annaleah in late 2011, we had just purchased a home in South Seattle and undertook a large rennovation, which was completed about 4 weeks before Annaleah arrived on the scene. We had kept the gender a surprise and planned to have a home birth. As we past one week beyond the due date, we made the decision to have a planned c-section birth to get Annaleah out safely.  Minutes after we met our first daughter who was 10lbs 10 ounces, things went badly. Bethany lost a lot of blood, but with prayer and the great team at UW Medical, we made it home safely a few days later.

Still trusting God for a natural birth, Bethany and I had another child (keeping gender a surprise again), and things progressed beautifully. She came very quickly and we narrowly rushed to the hospital to deliver another baby girl, Elisha (A-LEE-sha) just four minutes after laying on the delivery bed. I remember our doula saying, “Your wife is so calm and in control during labor, I didn’t realize how far along she was.” #GracefullyEmbracesPain

With our most recent daughter, Meredith, the Lord gave us our dream of having her home. With her parents and a few close friends joining our birth team it was beautiful celebration of life in the most natural setting. God has faithfully answered Bethany’s prayer and she has praised him at every milestone for it!

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Establishing Our Home

With three girls in our home and remodeling projects happened throughout, Bethany has truly established our home as a place of rest, of fun, of character building, and of happily hosting lots of guests (she grew beautifully into that one over time). As the much more capable financial manager, I’ve lovingly named my wife our family CFO. When we first got married, she audited my “single man budget spreadsheet” and found that I was missing $500. That’s when we made the decision to let her manage the money and I’ll just make it, and we’ve been very happy with that arrangement. Have I mentioned that my home is often blown-up with toys and child messes and Bethany magically cleans up as if they never happened? #Home=Established

Repentance & Steadfast Pursuit

At the risk of making her sound perfect or without blemish, it’s important to comment on the way she dealt with a long spiritually dry season. Due to my immature and idealistic ways of leading Bethany, our first few years of marriage dealt Bethany a difficult hand of cards. It was hard to be the “joyful, spiritually optimistic” wife that I had expected of her.  Several years in, after much processing, mutual repentance and love, Bethany has persevered through these drier seasons. She now finds deeper hope, set on the foundation of Christ and deep in God’s love for her, despite what she does or what stupids expectations I might imply. By God’s grace, she has found strides of joy in the second half of these last seven years that have been encouraging to me as I watch her blossom into the woman God is creating her to be.

Deep Relationships

When managing three children and a home, it is quite difficult to build and invest in great relationships. Bethany has demonstrated for me a new meaning of building deep relationships. Despite the narrow schedules and tight demands of children, Bethany manages to love her friends and family well – making deposits of lasting worth into their lives. It’s not always consistent or even reciprocated, but it’s a delightful pleasure to watch and to learn from.

Serving God’s Church

Bethany doesn’t just take a back seat in Church, but takes it upon herself to serve God’s people in leading Sunday School efforts, providing snacks, hosting church meetings and in leading in music when time affords. She has also given helpful perspective and feedback to church leadership about how to operate in our neighborhood, on Sunday and how to love people well. Through times of abundant and also scarce resource, I know God is pleased with Bethany’s devotion to his people.

Building Magnanimous Lives

Finally, I want to honor my wife’s commitment to building magnanimous lives in our kids. For many mom’s, I’m sure it feels like an accomplishment to get the kids fed, cleaned and off and headed to school for the day. But Bethany’s passion for depositing character of sterling silver and golden nuggets of wisdom into our kids has been another joy to watch. She creates a schedule of activities and rest that give our kids health, balance, perspective and strength and character. I’m learning so much from her about discipline, grace, love and creativity in parenting our children together. There is much more to write on this, but more will come later.

 

Bethany, for all these reasons, and more, I’m so grateful and proud to have chosen you (or more accurately, that God brought us together by his sovereign plan) to be my wife.

With humility and love, your husband of seven short years,

Patrick

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