It was "Rocky Balboa" who was the topic of our first exchange 395 days ago. I knew nothing of you, your story or what life's twists and turns you had traveled. And similarly, you knew nothing of me, other than my name, what church I attended, and that the steps we had just climbed reminded me of good 'ole Rocky. Who knew that twenty days later we'd be sharing a meal and sharing our life stories? I wasn't looking for you, and to be honest, I didn't want to be tied to anything--I actually swore off dating for quiet sometime (true story). But 10 days after that delectable dinner, and intriguing conversation, we decided to take one step at a time and see where those steps would lead. And, 365 days later, here we stand, I thought it was only fitting that I let Rocky provided the inspiration :)
"Let me tell you something you already know."
are one of the best unexpected blessings in life,
are funny and I cherish the laughter we share together,
are appreciated for all that you do,
are fun and adventurous, and
are loved dearly.
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.”
We’ve . . . .
walked on the sunny side of the street,
crawled down the roads of despair & rejection,
skipped along the cul-de-sacs of joy & friendship,
stomped on the avenues of differences, and
run down the streets of hope & change.
“It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.”
We have willingly fallen to our knees . . .
with prayers of thanksgiving & praise,
with prayers for strength,
with prayers for wisdom,
with prayers for health & healing, and
with prayers for opportunities.
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.”
We know that it ain’t . . .
time at the gym, or
P90X . . .
that’s gonna give us the strength needed to face this life and to make it another 365 days.
(Even though they may help you block some punches, or at least look good while trying)
“But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward.”
And we know, that it’s . . .
keeping our priorities in line,
seeking His will together, and
letting His Spirit lead us. . .
that will keep moving forward.
“That’s how winning is done.”
Letting Him . . .
speak through us,
guide our every decision,
be our strength when we are weak, and
be our focus above all else.
Yes, that is how winning is done.
“Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth.”
You are worth…
more than many sparrows,
more than rubies,
more than gold,
more than all the world, and
more than the life of His one only Son.
(That means you is important.)
“But you gotta be willing to take the hit”
Thank you . . . .
for standing with me,
for taking the hits along side of me,
for showing me grace when I was the one swinging,
for asking for forgiveness when you took the punches, and
for standing hand in hand with me, firm on His promises in the midst of whatever battles we faced.
“Not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you.”
You ain’t no coward because you . . .
can kill spiders,
don’t jump when you see a plastic snake hiding,
hear rustling in the woods & walk towards the danger,
wrestle mountain lions, and
pet wild saber tooth tigers.
(ok, maybe all of that is not truthful, but the point is: you ain’t no sissy.)
I think what Rocky inspired me to say is:
The last 525,600 minutes that I have lived have been full of memories and moments that have taken my breath away. We have cruised through days filled with rainbows and lollipops, and we have weathered days of gray and doubt. And no matter how amazing I think you are, or how incredible you think I am, the truth is we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for something greater than us.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ephesians 4:12
So here’s to another 365 days, to the good ones, the bad ones, the ones that will challenge us individually, and to the ones that will challenge us together. To the days that His hand is easy to see, and to the days where is seems far away. To the days it will be easy to love one another and to the days where love will be an intentional choice. To the days where belly laughs echo, and to the days where the tears won’t stop. To the days we spend broken, on our knees and to the days we lift our hands full of praise.
I am thankful to share them all with you, with Him, strengthening our cord of three every step of the way.