While the lyrics from the song by Little River Band tell a story of separation and pain, I say them to my wife of 35 years today with joy and awe.
Happy Anniversary Baby … Got You on My Mind.
It has been a good, growing journey that we have travelled from SC, to FL, to SC, to FL, to MI, to OH, to IL … and we’ve done it together … and in many situations, with three great kids in tow.
We’ve lived in cities like Simpsonville, Lakeland, Pensacola, Baker, Crestview, Pontiac, Toledo, Ashland,Mokena., and others
We’ve served churches in places like Greenville, Possum Kingdom, Shady Grove, Cantonment,Sylvania, Napoleon, and others
We’ve travelled to places like St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Antigua, Haiti, San Juan, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Cartagena, Bogota, Medellin, San Fernando, Tobago, the Keys, Breckinridge, San Antonio, Toronto, and many other places.
And through it all, I have seen our love for one another grow in strength and maturity.
I have also seen God’s grace toward us extended in mercy, provision, and instruction.
And I have seen you grow. No longer are you the same little, shy girl I married on June 2, 1977. Oh, you still have some shy moments but you are increasingly walking in your giftings and callings, speaking to crowds of hundreds, and yet, still taking the time for the one or two … to pour into their lives, to wipe away a tear, or to speak encouragement and hope.
And I have watched you raise our children … and they have profited well from your loving instruction. You’re a great mom.
I see you loving our nine grandchildren, how they love and adore you … and I am learning from you in that arena as well. You’re an awesome Mimi.
And you have drawn things out of me that I never realized were there. You have given me the strength to keep on going, the wisdom to know when to stop, and the love to ease my chaotic, moody soul. You are in incredible mate.
You believe in me. …and I can soar with that thought.
I believe in you, my little butterfly, my mariposa. and I thrive on seeing you soar as well.
You complete me … I often get the accolades, and I know that God is my source … but you are my backbone.
I make a pretty good presenter … but you are my organizers … and I see you stepping into your own as a presenter more and more as each day goes by.
I know this is a chaotic tribute to you … but each word is real, is pregnant, is layered, and is textured. There is a lot more behind this than just words on a page (or screen); there is a love, an emotion, a feeling, a commitment, and yes, a covenant that I reaffirm with you.
I simply want to take this time and space to thank you, my wife of 35 years for sharing with me all your love, your hope, your dreams, and your desires. I look forward to growing together even more in the next 35.
I love you.
Happy Anniversary Baby … Got You on My Mind!!!