So you can see that it will probably be a traumatic day when I turn 50. Kindly, God has given me a brave soul as a partner who goes into that deep dark future before I do. As a trailblazer for me. Lauralea, turns fifty today.
She, as she usually does, makes this look easy and even fun. That's one of the reasons I love her.
She has a faith in God and an approach to life that, more than any other person I've known, can be described as childlike. Her wonder at colours, the tunes and rhymes she creates in her head in a moments notice, her ready smile even for strangers on the street all are in the mix that she is.
She's always concerned that the children have fun food to eat at potlucks. She's never spoken disparagingly about anyone. She treats everyone the same, like an old friend from out of town, and will stop every time to help someone caught in distress.
She hates any tight clothing around her wrists and she positively can't stand the feel of those silicone based handles on cookware etc. She loves word games, and games in general. She's got like ten to twenty online scrabble games going on at any one time.
She used to get speeding tickets before she met me, and she needs a small car so she can see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals.
She can cook with the best of them, and she is a dedicated baker. Like a scientist would work for days getting the formula right, she works for days getting a recipe just right, and then tweaking it to perfection. (See lauraleacooks.com )
She has always loved wearing high heels and her size fives can still pull off a stunning look in those five inch heels. She can sew a new skirt or blouse for Sunday on Saturday and look amazing, and she sews me awesome dress shirts I can actually wear and look good in. She sews baby gifts and blankets and knits me slippers that are orange and fit perfectly.
She reads profusely and she loves mysteries which are like little puzzels to her. Agatha Christy and Martha Grimes are taking over our bookshelves like procreating rabbits.
Her love of teaching finds ways of fulfillment and in her early years she taught music and piano and theory at a small Bible School. Her favourite piano students have always been the little ones just starting out. Be it a piano or theory concept or a deep theological conviction, she loves when people "Get it" and the realization in their eyes gives her such a kick that its like raw energy to her.
She is a good teacher and her mind is sharp. She's always been smarter than I and in college, with me hitting C regularly with hard work, she would get A's by what seemed hardly any effort at all. That's why I'd have her edit and type my papers and my marks improved accordingly.
She has had an amazing memory and I could ask her where in the bible is this or that incident recorded and she could tell me the place and references and even the obscure little name included in the event. That was always an amazing trick she could do.
Her body has been the place of struggle for her and has been limiting for her. Her frustrations with her small hands limiting her ability to play a full octave on the piano only pushed her to learn to play different instruments like the flute and piccolo and saxophone and most anything else she put her mind to.
From babies to gallbladders she's had more surgeries than one person should ever have to have and she's already done a lot of living in that body so that by now she daily faces constant pain and struggles.
Whereas I have spent a life eating whatever I want, when I want, with no bad reports ever coming from the doctor, she's spent her life eating carefully and completely reinventing her diet again and again to improve her health. I really admire this in her.
Her faith is simple. It's all about Jesus and what he did for her. She understands grace like few of us ever do, and she in truth, lives it out. Be it with the kids or church people or complete strangers, she lives what she believes and trys to deal graciously with everybody because grace is what's needed.
Early in our life together, while she was still teaching at Bible School, well probably much earlier on, she decided that she wanted to be a mom who was intentionally present to her kids. She wanted to be there, at first caring for them and then more and more just being present to them as they aged. She wanted them to experience a good hot breakfast before they would leave the house. She wanted to be there when they came home for lunch and she wanted to be present to them when they came home from school to listen and care and help them along. It was a choice she saw as deeply important to who she was called to be and she has and still pursues it with a determination that is fierce.
She would read to the kids in different accents and while they ate they would have her reading the great classics with an english tongue. On their birthdays she would make them whatever they wanted to eat, as mad as that would sometimes get. And she'd host birthday parties for them with their friends and create these crazy cakes that would mark the day.
All that, and we were told we shouldn't really expect to have any kids.
I think one of the things I love about her the most is her enthusiasm for life. Sometimes health wears you down and sometimes being pregnant too many times in too few years can make you exhausted. Sometimes being faithful to the places God leads you can be really depressing and sometimes just being married to me is emotionally exhausting. BUT she still gets absolutely excited and pleased about a brand new orange watch that she got. Or she can shriek out loud in the car nearly causing me to have an accident, about some wordplay on a store sign or the colour of a car.
She is pleased with the simple delights of life and I suppose that's why she's with me.
If you have a cup of something nearby let us lift a glass of cheer and good wishes to herself.
Happy Birthday Lauralea