Happy Birth Week, Franicia

 Heistheway took this photo oF us as we prepared to play our first-ever family game of putt putt in a very special place. That was a special time together!

Heistheway took this photo oF us as we prepared to play our first-ever family game of putt putt in a very special place. That was a special time together!

I was 18 when I saw Franicia for the first time and 19 when I had the opportunity to talk to her. I never guessed that she was the woman that I would marry and have the privilege of bringing 7 children into the world with. It's now 18 years since we first spoke, 14 and a half years since we were married, and now we have 7 children! Franicia, I am continually amazed at your sweetness toward me and everyone you meet. You're the sweetest person that I've ever met! Your love for the Lord, me, our children, our friends, and even complete strangers is an example to me and our children to copy. Thank you for loving so unselfishly! You are full of ideas for blessing others more than yourself and business ideas. If I could only help you to bring a fraction of your amazing ideas to fruition, business would be booming and tons of jobs would be created!

I bless the day that I met you and the Lord for bringing us together, Franicia. I praise God for giving you life and for joining our lives as husband and wife. You motivate me to be a better man, a better husband, and a better father that I might honor you and honor the vows that I have made to you and our God. I loved you yesterday, I love you today, I'll love you tomorrow, and I'll love you forever -- no matter what! Thank you for faithfully loving me -- no matter what. You love me when I'm lovable and even when I'm not so lovable. I'm so thankful for you. Second only to God's saving work in my life, you are God's greatest gift to me.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing Franicia with these wonderful years of life and for blessing me with a wonderful best friend, spouse, and companion in Franicia. I love her and am so blessed by her. Please help me to be a blessing to her and love her as your Son loves the church and gave Himself for it. Thank you for giving me an excellent wife. I pray that you'd give her the desires of her heart and show me how to make her great ideas a reality.

Sweetie, you've said many times that you want to be the excellent wife described in Proverbs 31. The Lord has granted that desire -- you are the excellent wife described there. You are clothed with strength and honor. Wisdom flows from your lips when you talk, and kindness characterizes your every word. You are diligent to ensure that our house is running smoothly and efficiently and you are tireless in tenderly teaching and loving our children. Our children love you so much and are blessed to have you as their mommy. You are not only beautiful, but you are virtuous. You fear the Lord and worship Him, and I know that your love for the Lord motivates excellence and virtue in every area of your life. Thank you for being so wonderful and for bringing so much joy to our children and me. I love you!

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
— Proverbs 31: 25-31, King James Bible