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Happy 40th Birthday Mandy!

15 Aug

15 August 1999 a date I will always remember…

It was a Sunday and I had only been two weeks living in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, where I had moved to attend seminary.

On my second Sunday at, what was to be my new church, I met Amanda Lynn Birtchet. It was her 24th birthday.

We exchanged greetings and general pleasantries. I left thinking, “I’m going to find a way to get to know her better”!

I did… We did… We married 4 ½ months later. She was 24. I was 27. We were young; life seemed like an open book ahead of us.

Today marks 16 years since the day we met. It’s Mandy’s birthday. Her 40th. Wow! How did that happen? I’m nearly 43, my bride is 40. We have a 14 (as of tomorrow), 12 & 10 year old.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the LORD.

40 isn’t that old, neither is 42 for that matter. But 40’s aren’t 20’s. We really had no idea what we were getting into 16 years ago.

I’ll never forget (I hope) our first date (and the many that followed in rapid succession). We just talked and talked. It seemed like the future was wide open before us. We were going to follow Christ wherever and take on the world.

We had no idea that before our 5th wedding anniversary and before Mandy was even 30 we would see Mandy’s Mum pass away, have two miscarriages, and she would give birth to our three children.

In the same period of time, I would change jobs three times, be out of work for several months, and complete my courses towards two graduate degrees.

That was only the beginning…

Proverbs 5:18 …rejoice in the wife of your youth…

I am so thankful that phrase is in the Bible. We’ve been married another 10 years. On each of Mandy’s birthdays I have the opportunity to reflect on how much our lives have changed and how virtually nothing is as we imagined life would be 16 years ago on that day when we met.

We’re older now… We’ve gone through more moves, changes in ministry, family tragedies, normal and abnormal illnesses, periods of intensely demanding schedules… We get tireder quicker now…

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband…

I’m so thankful you were born on this day. I am so thankful we met on this day sixteen years ago.

I’m so very thankful you are the wife of my youth but even more thankful you are my wife today and will be until the Lord returns or death separates us.

Happy 40th my dear! I hope I’m here to say happy 80th as I continue to rise up and call you blessed…

Proverbs 31 – 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

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2 Comments

Posted by on 15/08/2015 in Family, Fun, Marriage

 

2 responses to “Happy 40th Birthday Mandy!

  1. Darnelle Richardson

    15/08/2015 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing Joe, enjoyed reading that!

     
  2. Tracy Altuna

    16/08/2015 at 1:06 am

    This is so beautiful! You’re making me cry! Its been great to watch your journey from near and far. Love u guys!

     

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