Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 25

So, when I first asked Tom about this Randel Miltiades girl I had just met, he just kind of snickered and then told me a story.  You know the story.  You know it because it keeps being told over and over again in the different circles in which we run.  The story?  Of course its the Toga wearing incident at the Marietta Youth camp back when you were in high school.

The thing about this story that keeps it being told over and over again is that in the minds of the people around here it just kind of defines who they have always believed you to be.  You are the girl who is always a little edgy, unafraid to try anything once and fearless in all she does.  I really like this about you!!

You are a natural born leader and sometimes, in the male dominated culture in which we live, this trait is looked down upon.  Some people don't like women who speak their mind because they believe women should be quiet and submissive, seen but not heard.  Well, if they meet you then they sure aren't going to like you.  But don't worry...I won't like them!!  

Randel you are a little fire ball.  You are a little dangerous.  And I like that because you make life fun.  Tom loves telling that story because he recognized that you were not a person who could stuck in little religious box.  He knew a box could not contain you and I believe he loved and respected you for it.  I know I do.  

I love you, 


Day 24

So...this is one thing about you that I have grown to respect and appreciate about you.  When we first met you were leading a small group of freshman girls who loved and adored you.  Then as we moved into Terra Nova, you once again picked up college aged girls who looked up to you and wanted you to invest into their lives.

Then we took it up a notch when we moved to Florida and we gave our lives to our new family at Wesley.  During those five years it was amazing to watch as girl after girl would almost compete to be with you and have you invest into them.  I remember being glad you were meeting with specific girls because I had no idea how to help all!!  But there you were investing into them and giving them very practical and spiritual advice.  

Randel you are amazing and the lives of the women you invested into are all the better for it.  I mean lets look at your schedule everyday...almost everyday there is somebody (other than Gina because we know she will call EVERYDAY!!) who is calling to catch up and get advice.  Randel you are a gift to everyone who knows you. 

At the same time I know how much you long for someone to pour into you as it has been a long, long time since you had someone who pursued you the way you have pursued your girls.  I hope sooner than later you find that because you have earned it!

I love you and appreciate your heart for the lives of the girls God has given you!!



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 23

So what does this make you think of?  Does it make you think of good food, or your desire to cook or does it make you think of your husbands good intention but terrible follow through?  Do you remember?  Do you remember receiving "Cooking Light" for a Christmas gift a few years ago and then all the months spent waiting for it come only to find out I never actually ordered it?  I mean, I had good intentions....but I kept forgetting.  Does that sound familiar?

One of the things I have grown to appreciate about you is your sense of humor at my lack of consistent follow through.  This forgotten gift is a prime example as I remember how excited I was to get it for you because it was something I thought you would like and wouldn't even think about me getting for you.  I remember you opening the gift and having an authentic response of gratitude.  I remember at the time thinking to myself..."You better get that magazine ordered soon!!"  But it never happened.  Your response?  You just turned it into a joke and whenever you remember you get a pretty good jab in as you poke fun at my lack of follow through. 

Well Randel your gift today is pretty simple.  I have followed through.  Starting in about three weeks you will have your Christmas gift from years ago fulfilled and the jokes can now end...if you want them to;-)  Happy cooking and make sure I like the recipe before you cook it!!



Day 22

Does this remind you of us or what?  Sometimes I wonder what life was like before we had toilet paper, cars, television and lap tops.  I just don't know if we could make it without any of them.  Seriously, I would love to know just how much time we spend a day on our computers doing "stuff"...or maybe I don't want to know.

But at the same time I realize just how much work we have to get done and I am appreciative for all the effort and energy you put forth in growing and gaining knowledge as you read blogs and articles that are relevant to our church planting venture.

So today, as we meet to discuss our next important steps, I want to let you know how glad I am to be doing this thing together.  You are a source of encouragement and I am thankful for your investment.  I am thankful that you don't see this as my dream or my calling.  Instead you see it as our calling and our dream and you have just as much of your heart in this as I do.  Thank you!



Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 21

So these are my sentiments about our day today as we will be spending it together without any kids!  The great thing is I know it is your sentiment too as your favorite thing to do is hang out with me.  So today is going to be fun. 

As you near your 40th I want you to know that I enjoy hanging out with you as much now as I did when we first met and can't wait for the next forty years to see what we will do, where we will go and just how much fun we will have doing it.  

So for today, dress warm, embrace adventure and lets have fun!!



Day 20

One of the things that most people say about you is how strong, bold and unwavering you are.  They view you as this rock who has it all together and never struggles with much of anything, therefore people look up to you or just plain fear you....everyone lands somewhere because of the strong nature of your personality. 

But the pouty face is one most people don't get to see, and it is the pouty face that makes me smile when I think about it because it is reserved for the ones who know you best.  No one gets to be at our house when you have your vulnerable moments, where you are honest about your fears and struggles.  No one gets to see you when you have had a long day and all you want to do is curl up and sleep for days.  In reality no one gets to see the full you...except me and I love that.

In "Wild at Heart", John Eldridge talks about a mans desire to protect his love as one of the key longings in his heart.  The pouty face moments are the times when I get to do this and I am thankful that you let me.  I love protecting you.  I love fighting for you.  You are my damsel in distress and I will forever live to love and protect you.  



Day 19

One of the things I can't stand is when our schedule gets so packed that we don't have time for family and don't have time for one another.  This past week was one of those weeks.  In the midst of the time crunch it is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment and not validate the needs or responsibilities I have made to those around me...such as writing on your birthday celebration blog.  

As usual though, you have been unbelievably supportive and had a heart of understanding.  And for that I am incredibly grateful.  You truly are an amazing wife and friend and I am thankful for you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 18

Memory is a powerful thing.  Yesterday, as I was building our first fire of the season, I had a flashback to our first year of marriage and all the time we would spend in our living room, in front of the fire, drinking coffee and just enjoying life.  I remember the simplicity of life without kids just being together with nowhere to go and nothing to do and feeling content.

Life is a little different now wouldn't you say.  Our down times now consist of catching up on the work we couldn't get done while the kids were awake.  We are always excited to get to bed as it feels like the prize we earned for all our hard work during the day.  Those days of laid back, coffee sipping, fireplace watching bliss are long least for a little while.  So today we will celebrate the memories of a simpler time and cherish them as a gift.  

I love you and it is safe to say that I am glad my memories have you in them for I couldn't image sharing them with anyone else. 



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 17

One of the signs of growth is the ability to learn from past experience.  When a child burns herself on the stove she remember from then on that a stove should not be touched because it is hot.  Or a husband learns to put the seat down on the toilet because he knows his wife doesn't like falling into it in the middle of the night.  So goes learning.

Well I would like to think that for the most part I am somewhat smart.  I wouldn't say brilliant or even very smart but I would like to think I am a little bit smart.  I would like to think that I learn from past experiences in hopes of becoming a better husband and father.  With all of this in mind let me say that my day of service to you last Saturday was one of those eye opening experiences as I literally watched you respond in excitement.  It was amazing to learn fully just how strong your love language is and how you respond when I serve you.  The sad thing is it took me this long figure it out.  I guess you could say I am a dunce.

So with that said, I am happy to say I am a little bit smarter as I now know how to speak your language.  I hate that it took me this long to understand but better late than never.   



Day 16

Good seems every morning you are the first one who says it every morning as you are such a trooper getting up with the girls.  And you are so gracious about it.  I listen as you deal with our g daughter Sara, not a morning person, who takes about 30 minutes almost every morning to get in a good mood.  I listen as you have sweet time with Anna Katherine who just seems to be very mellow and sweet in the a.m. (a little out of character compared to the rest of the day.)

You get up everyone morning and get them dressed, fed, lunches made, hair done and pray for them that they would have a good day.  And you never complain.  You are such a great mother.  

So today I want to say "thank you" and let you know how much I appreciate your sacrifice because Lord knows you don't sleep that much.  You are great and I am thankful for you!!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 15

Over the past several years we have had the opportunity be a part of several weddings, coordinating and officiating.  We have done a lot of marriage counseling and watched excitedly as those whom we love have given themselves to each other, eyes wide open, full of hope for what lies ahead.

I have been amazed at how much I enjoy these ceremonies.  I have said that the presence of Jesus in wedding ceremonies feels much different then it does at other times.  I can sense His joy and excitement that a couple is fulfilling his call for them to leave home and become one with each other.  I sense His delight in the individuals and stand confidently in the hope that He is truly going to bless the couple so that they not only survive marriage but thrive in it.

Today is a day to remember the commitment we have made to each other and I just want to let you know that, by the grace of God, I am up to the task.  We will not live life surviving in our marriage.  We will thrive because nothing else is an option.  We will fight for this relationship until the day we die.  I would ask if you are in...but I don't have to.  I know you!!



Your Journal is by the door

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 14

One thing I really enjoy doing with you is reminiscing.  It is fun to sit back and talk about how we met, what our honeymoon was like, our time in Omaha, the hooligan kids who might do something worse like "murder", our trips together across the world, or the birth of our children etc.  It is fun to sit back and see just how much fun our life has been together, how many things we have done and experienced that have shaped who we are and where we are going in life.

I remember when we first met you always talked about the mountain, the place you would go and run/walk and how much joy it brought you.  I remember the first time you took me there it was freezing cold but the joy of walking together and falling in love while doing it was intoxicating and rich.  

Today let us reminisce about the funny things and the exciting things.  Let's remember the things that have shaped who we are and allow them to excite us for what lies ahead.  



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 13

Today is a day to think back and remember one of our traditions as a couple that I think is safe to say defined our relationship in dealing with conflict.  In fact it became such a natural part of our repertoire that we never evened had to think about it.  We just did it.  Do you remember our tool?  Of course you do...paper, rock, scissors!

I remember that you were unstoppable in this game of random luck for the first year of our marriage.  I could never figure it out.  You were just in my head and always got me psyched out whenever we went head to head.  Who knows how many calories I lost walking up and down stairs getting you something you wanted  because I got my butt wooped. 

But then one day I got the upper hand.  I don't know if you got cocky and lost your edge or I just figured out your scheme.  Either way doesn't matter.  I got the edge, the momentum and I never looked back.  But then you did what every kid does who is used to winning but starts stopped playing.  You didn't like when the losses began piling up and the stairs became your destiny.  Today is a day to remember this historical part of our relationship and to remember that I still have the upper hand and to say whenever you are ready to get back in the game just let me know and I am THERE!!  


The PRS Champion

Your journal is by the front door.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 12

One of the things I never thought about before I got married were all the things I would learn from my wife.  It wasn't one of those egotistical things where I didn't think I couldn't learn from her.  It's just that it never crossed my mind.  Then in stepped Randel.

Honestly the list of things I have learned have been unlimited, but the thing I think I have watched the most is how she communicates with friends wanting to know everything going on in their lives.  She really cares and wants to know things beyond the surface.  It is funny watching this play out with my friends, ones whom I have known for a while, as Randel meets them and within minutes has learned things about them I never knew.  

Ultimately Randel I have appreciated learning from you how to be a better friend as I have watched you invest into your friendships.  You are a good friend Randel, and your friends are blessed to know you.  And I am blessed to call you my best friend. 



Your journal is by the front door.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 11

I would love to sit here and say that serving you is the reason I get up in the morning.  I would also love to say that every time I do serve you that I do it with a pure heart of excitement, just glad to be able prefer you in all that I do.  However, as you know well, I am not a great servant.

But I know that the greatest expression of love, the one exhibited here in this picture of Jesus, is to humbly give myself to you as one who prefers you in all things, loving you by words and deeds.  Jesus told his friends that they needed to follow his example by lowering themselves to the role of a servant and love their friends, family and neighbors by doing the lowly and menial tasks out of love for the ones they were in relationship with.  

Today is a day where I would like to serve you.  In your journal is one thing I plan on doing but I know there are others.  Let me know.



You journal is by the front door

Day 10

I will never forget that one time I came across this married couple who never had any problems or disagreements, everything was perfect all the time and they were always happy...oh wait, just kidding, that was one of those books I read Anna Katherine the other night.  Seriously, Randel you know that our relationship, like every other relationship in the world has its ups and it has its downs.  The sign of a relationships health is how we deal with it.  It is here where I want to celebrate a wife who almost always handles it well.

The picture above is of a wife who got a little angry with her husband and took it out on his car.  Whooo...I am happy to say I have not married someone like this!  Seriously, I am so thankful for you being a woman who loves me and is willing to show grace and forgiveness when I cross the line or am a royal pain in the butt.  You are very much like Jesus in this way and I love you for it.



Your Journal is by the front door.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 9

Back in my days of singleness I had several non-negotiables I would not budge on as it related to who I was willing to marry.  She had to be funny.  She had to be smart and she definitely needed to be someone I was very attracted to.  Randel, you more than met all of these requirements.  

However the primary requirement that superseded all the others was that she would love Jesus and not just know about him but actually live her daily life in close relationship with Him.  When I met you I knew I had just found a woman who met and exceeded all of my desires.

One of the most exciting parts about moving back to Georgia has been the unbelievable growth you have experienced as you have surrounded yourself with women who press you and encourage your life of prayer.  Your life has been an exciting one to watch and I want you to know that I don't only love you but I respect you.  Thank you for loving Jesus.  

Your Journal is by the front door.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 8

When we first got married I remember listening to you tell me stories about working as a pharmaceutical rep and all the awards, trips and free stuff you won because you were so good at what you did.  I asked you if it would be hard not doing it anymore as you had decided to give it up so we could go into full time ministry together and your gracious answer was to say "That was my other life.  I am ready to start a new on."  This sacrifice was one I respected then and respect even more so today.

The joke I like to tell, and I think its funny because its true, is that you made more money in one year then I'll make in three.  The life we live is not the life you lived before and it is a testimony to your character that you have so graciously transitioned into a life that looks so different.  You went from being a gifted business woman to a mini-van driving "homemaker" who fits in her new role...sort of...I mean Mini-van...ouch...that is a sacrifice!  Randel the girls and I are thankful that you were willing to live out this life of sacrifice for we don't know what we would do without you.



Your journal is by the front door

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 7

Wow...we are one week in.  How celebratory are you feeling about your 40th birthday celebration?  I hope and believe you are feeling at least a little bit loved these days.  

Today is a day to focus on the fleeting and temporal, but if honest it is a focus on the vital.  Today is a day to focus on the "hotness" level of one Randel Miltiades Hambrick, which is why I chose the picture to the left. I think you look pretty amazing in this picture.

You know them but if your honest you have to admit you never grow tired of hearing the stories of the first couple of times I ever saw you.  You love them because you know that when I saw you I was not drawn by your mind nor by your personality.  I was drawn simply by what I saw, the created splendor of Gods craftsmanship, his visually stunning masterpiece.  I was immediately drawn to this "girl" whom I had never seen but wanted to immediately learn everything about.  

This is a day in which I want to celebrate my thankfulness to God for letting me marry a woman who till this day I am still very attracted to and still want to learn everything about.  Yes I know beauty is fleeting, and focusing on it is a little shallow, but I can't deny that I really enjoy being very attracted to you.  You are beautiful and today we will celebrate this fact

Your journal is next to the front door, 



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 6

Day 6 has arrived and I am glad to be home.  I remember being single and coming home from long trips or retreats like this and always wishing I had "someone" to come home to.  I remember having feelings of sadness as I would walk through my front door to an empty house and just dream of one day having a wife who would miss me and be glad that I was home.  

Randel, today is a day to think about where we are, where we came from and where we are going.  Today is a day to celebrate the fact that in spite of all the "garbage" in our past and the bad decisions we both made, God saw fit, by his grace to bless each of us with a gift we don't deserve.  Thank you for being my home.



Your journal is at the front door.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 5

So much of our life is spent seeking out excitement and adventure or at least wishing we were seeking it out because the reality of life is the experience of the mundane.  I think about our life Randel and all of our dreams and aspirations and I realize we have done many of them but I am also aware of the nights we just sit at home and veg in front of the Television and go to bed without really even having a real conversation.  How pathetic huh?  But you know what...there is no one I would rather be pathetic with than you!

Today is a day of the mundane.   However, it comes with peace in knowing I am sharing it with a person I don't need to impress or make love me.  Today is for all the days we just sit and do nothing but enjoy them because we can do it together.  Thanks for the days of peace and comfort in the midst of the mundane.



Day 4

Good morning Randel.  Today is a day to celebrate having fun.  A few weeks ago I was talking to Stacey at the Georgia game and she asked me if I missed you.  I thought about it, wanting to give her the most honest answer,  and the response I gave summed up what I was feeling.  I said, "I don't know if "miss her" is the right way of saying it, but I definitely wish she were here because there is no one I would rather hang out with than my wife.  She is the person, by far, I have the most fun with."  So today Randel your gift is a picture of the fun we have together. 

Therefore, even though I am not home to play with you, I will be in the mountains wishing you were there because there is no one else I would rather have by my side than you!!  I love you and I love having fun with you!!



The journal is upstairs on the desk.  Don't peak ahead to tomorrow okay!! 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 3

Day three is here and it is the day I leave for the weekend leaving you alone with the kids.  Anyone with kids knows that weekends like this have the recipe for disaster written all over them as you have lost fifty percent of your ability to keep your eyes on the quickest little boogers in the world.  One minute they're sitting there nicely eating their breakfast and one second later, the second it took for you to bend down and pick up a stray cheerio, they have their oatmeal all over their face and in their hair just looking to see how you will respond to this new game they have created. (Can I get and amen from the gallery!!)

Randel this is one of the reasons why I love you.  In all of our years together you have never once made me feel guilty for leaving on a trip and have only been encouraging as I go.  You truly do have my best interest in mind and understand that I need time to myself, away from the kids, away from the commitments of Mr. Domestic, even if it means a meltdown in the home with two wild little crazy's running around.  

But you need to know I never cherish the thought of you being one hand down.  As much as I appreciate the "freedom," I am still very aware of you being alone with the kids and I always wish I could help especially when I call home and it sounds like WWIII has broken out.  With that in mind I am leaving a special little something that will make this weekend a little more bearable.  

The journal is on piece of furniture next to the front door.  Have a great weekend and I love you!



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 has arrived and your birthday celebration continues.  Now, knowing how well you know me you probably have to have this thought deep inside you that sounds something like this, "How can Steve coordinate all of this without my help.  He can't even walk and chew gum at the same time very can he do this?"  To that all I can say is, "I don't know!!  HELP!!"  

It is here that I want to begin my thoughts about today.  Encouragement is one of the greatest tools I realize I need to use to help you grow, however if honest I would have to say it is one the tools I utilize the least.  Day 2 will be simple and concise but hopefully rich and deep for you as you get a small snapshot of my appreciation for you as well as others around you.  

Above I joked about needing your help to coordinate this celebration, but the reality is this: one of the reasons God shared you with me is He knows I need a Randel to keep me from walking out the door with my zipper down, toothpaste on my upper lip and to help me match clothes so I am not a walking fashion faux pa.  Be encouraged today Randel!!  You are loved and appreciated.

Now it is time to find your journal...sorry everyone else...some things stay between Randel and me!!  You can find it on the couch on the front porch...enjoy reading in the cool morning air.  


Friday, October 3, 2008

It has begun...

Happy 40th birthday Randel...well almost!!  As you read this you may wonder what is going on and why your homepage has been changed.  Well, your homepage will be changed for the next 40 days, you see, because you have just begun a 40 day journey that will ultimately lead you to the greatest day the world has ever known...the birthday of Randel Leigh  Miltiades.  

As you know, in our culture, a 40th birthday is a day of sadness and mortality because it marks the supposed half-way point for our lives on earth.  And you and I both know you are NOT excited about your 40th as it has this feel of being a cup half empty type of day.  But as your husband who everyday celebrates your influence on the life of our girls and my own life, I am not content to let you fall into our cultures web of 4oth despair.  Today is the beginning of the 40 day celebration! 

Every morning for the next 40 days there will be a new blog post that will give directions on how to take part in your celebration.  Now, as your mind starts wondering about the practicalities of how this will work and how in the world we can pay for all this on the measly pastors salary I am making we must set a few ground rules:

1) You cannot ask me how much anything costs or bring up money in any form or fashion during the 40 days...SERIOUSLY!
2) Don't worry I will not go overboard on anything.
3) I will be paying our American Express bill for the next two months and you will not go find out how much I payed for anything.
4) You must do everything I tell you to do in the questions asked.
5) You must enjoy receiving during this 40 days and not worry about money
6) Do you see that I am serious about the money thing!!
7) I have the power to add more rules during the 40 day period!!

So with those few ground rules now stated, let the celebration begin.  

For your first celebratory moment go outside, (after you put clothes on please.  Who wants the neighborhood lusting after my hot, 40 year old wife,) go to the mailbox and open it up.  Inside awaits the beginning of your celebration.  


Your Lover