She’s a grandmother.
I know you think I’m not telling the truth. Just look at her! Grandma? No way. I guess I can say she’s a “young” grandma. Truthfully, neither one of us care how old we are or how young or old we look. The reality is that I look my age and she doesn’t.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. On the evening of our 34th, we sat under the aspen trees at an outdoor café and were treated to a great dinner with special friends. It doesn’t get much better than that.
There’s so much I could say about Kim. She’s been a steady and calming presence in my life. My perfectionism can cause me to get too intense at times. I can be very hard on myself. Kim is the calm I need. She’s the encourager. She and God have a relationship I envy. She is far more disciplined than I am and understands the value of routine and priorities. She is a runner, exercises consistently, and spends significant time with God often before the sun comes up.
Me, on the other hand--I find great peace and quiet after 10:00 p.m. I can read, study, and write until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, but then I can’t get up until 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. When I get an idea, I immediately get to work on it. There are times I feel as if I work all the time. There are times Kim would love for me to just watch a movie with her or sit outside on the patio without a computer or phone in my hand.
It is difficult to understand the importance of being the pastor’s wife. While I am applauded for the significant growth and accomplishments of 36 years of ministry, I can assure you none of it is possible without her. There’s no way a pastor can go it alone.
So many try and so many have no choice. The unpredictable demands of ministry can be hazardous to a marriage and family. Let me assure you, the life of a couple in ministry has challenges unlike anything else. Pastoral ministry in the church is a 24/7 endeavor. When it comes to loving, leading, and caring for people, you can’t turn it on and you can’t turn it off. When you care about the wellbeing of people, you care whenever they are hurting.
Throughout our years of marriage and ministry, Kim has been a constant source of counsel, clarity, and discernment. She’s very patient. I can be very impatient. She thinks very carefully before speaking or taking action in a given situation. I tend to be more impulsive. Fix it now! Why wait until tomorrow?
Kim has been a part of our church since the day she was born. She was cradled in the nurseries of our church. She was loved by countless people in the children’s ministries of the church. She was led by great youth pastors and volunteers who lovingly poured into her life. She went to Baylor University in Waco, Texas and was in her sophomore year when I showed up in Oklahoma City.
After 18 months of dating, I asked her to marry me over dinner one night in Dallas, Texas. She chose to leave Baylor and come home to finish college, become my wife, and then get her master’s degree in speech pathology. She has used her significant musical and leadership gifts to further grow and enhance the ministries of our church. She provides speech therapy services to children. She has never--not once--demanded attention or applause.
She was an early recipient of the core values of our church. She was raised in what we now call the DNA of our church, DNA that calls for humility, transparency, kindness, gentleness, peace, patience--all that Galatians 5 calls for in the Spirit-led life:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. -Galatians 5:22-23
She was raised by parents who always put Jesus first and never allowed the spotlight to shine on them. Kim and her brother, Ron, were my closest friends from the beginning.
These days, I love to watch the grandsons eagerly run to her when they arrive at our house. She has all kinds of games, toys, and special treats in her office that are typically used in her speech therapy practice. The boys will often run into her office and find bubbles, chalk, and intriguing games. I think even at their young ages, they sense the calming love and care she brings them when wrapped in a towel or a blanket. She never seems the least bit tired, flustered, aggravated, or impatient.
There is no marriage on the planet that is easy. Every marriage has it moments. Yes, even our marriage has navigated seasons that were not necessarily spine-tingling or full of expressions of love and affection. We are not so different from anyone else.
For some crazy reason, God brought this intense, aggressive Ohio boy into the life of this steady, calm, and wise woman named Kim. Thank you, God! You knew exactly what I needed, and you knew exactly what she needed. She’s has kept things calm and steady, and I’ve kept things interesting and ever-changing. Every now and then, she gets off the ferris wheel and joins me on the roller coaster. And every now and then, she pulls me onto the ferris wheel where perspective is found and the view amazing.
How thankful I am to be the grandfather alongside this grandmother.