A few weeks ago I was traveling with a deacon from my church. This deacon is always fun to be with. During our fun I reminded him of a story he shared and how much I enjoyed it. On a job application he was once asked to describe himself in 25 words or less and he wrote one word: concise. As someone who rambles, that answer was striking for me. Since then I have taken his story and made it a regular exercise: describe this or that with only one word. A few days ago I tried this exercise with my family. What one word describes my wife and children and why?
My youngest daughter, Audrey, is peace. I almost wanted to describe her as sweet, but I believe her sweetness comes from an inner peace and calm that the rest of us marvel at. She is only six but already demonstrates a calm in household we all enjoy. Her usual response when asked to do something is a casual and warm, “ok”, filled with such content. My daughter has the gift of peace.
Evie is my middle child at eight years old. Her official name is Mary Evelyn, but without thinking my wife and I gave her the same challenge my wife experiences by answering to a nickname. For the first few years we wondered if Evie sat in judgment of the world, but it turns out Evie has been given the gift of wisdom. Her wisdom is young and can tempt her in the wrong way, but when we see her use it for good she speaks a wisdom uncommon in our age. She has a clarity which even her parents struggle with.
The joy of my life is Julian. His joy is deeply rooted, not merely happiness. My son wakes up with joy, expresses it all day long, and with a smile on his face will walk off to bed at night. For the last 10 years Julian’s joy has been consistent and prevalent, spilling out into everyone around him. From the day of his birth we have been repeatedly told that Julian is one the happiest children they have ever seen. Not only that, he is happy to share his joy with anyone because he knows it will never run out.
How do you describe the love of your life with one word? How can one word capture the intricacies of my wife? There is one word which comes to mind, and for a brief moment it felt cheesy, but after that I knew this was her word. My wife has the gift of conquering. You thought I was going to say love. Yes she is that, but if you could see the conquest of her life, you would agree. Her health has been a series of battles and she keeps winning. Her fears tried to debilitate her but she refused to give up. The devil does not waste his time on those who are complacent about God but rather those who are devoted. My wife has had more than her fair share of attacks. Her health, her children, our marriage, her family all continue to receive attacks from the devil and yet she is conquest. The attacks are confirmation that she is on God’s path. As of last week she has been brought into another battle with her health. I do not know the future, but I know her weapon of choice for conquest is love. When I remember who she was at 15 and what she has conquered in her life, I can only watch in awe. We all have our own battles, and yet she has slain dragons. God asks of us only what we are capable of, and her capacity continues to surprise those close to her. May her conquest bring strength to you, because today of all days I am thankful she was born and has given me this life of three amazing kids one incredible wife. Happy Birthday Katie.
Question: Can you describe the ones you love with one word?