My dearest Carrie,

We’ve learned over time that life is truly made in the moments. Over the next few weeks there are quite a few moments we’ll celebrate together.

  • September 25: My birthday, last year in my thirties, *gulp*.
  • October 7: Celebrating 10 years as the Lead Pastor of Forefront Church.
  • October 15: 16 year anniversary of “officially” dating. You grabbed my hand at that Pedro The Lion show… without my permission I might add (but I wasn’t complaining).
  • And, September 11: Our 14 year wedding anniversary. 14 years! That’s crazy.

During that time we’ve had 3 beautiful girls, moved twice, been on a cruise, had 7 different jobs between the two of us, fostered some amazing friendships that have blessed our family more than we could ever truly express, and had more ER visits than I ever anticipated. But the moment in 14 years of marriage that I will remember when I’m old and gray, the one above all the rest- happened on September 4, 2018.
Yes, that was a week ago. I captured the moment here:

You see, from the moment we had Chloe, I’ve been the one overseeing back backs, preschool drop off, bus stops, lunches, after school pick-up lines, field trips, and more. With you working as a full-time school teacher, you’ve never been able to be there in those moments. That is until now. That’s because we’re now able to provide you the dream you have dreamt since you were a little girl. You left your job as a teacher to be a stay at home mom.

You and I both know, we didn’t really pick jobs that rake in the big bucks. Pastors and school teachers don’t get in it for the money, we do it to make a difference. We love people. But for our family, we’ve always made choices that are about being healthy spiritually and emotionally over savings accounts and bank statements. This decision was no different.

I love that we value the practice of “less is more.”
Less work = more family time.
Less stress = more smiles.
Less money = more creativity in adventures.
Less things = more quality moments.

Less is indeed more.
The longer we’ve been married, the more we leave behind us and simply keep the essentials. The moment I met you, I knew that you’d be the only one I’d need. We’ve lived in tiny spaces and a two story home, been on a luxury cruise and so broke that ramen was our go to, but we’ve never found ourselves wanting because we’ve each put God first, and in the process He gave us the gift of one another.

Watching you enjoy this moment, that is the icing on the cake of 14 years of marriage. The example you daily show our daughters of how to live as a strong, confident woman of God is a blessing. You are an encouragement to a myriad of women who look to you for guidance and direction. You move with intentionality in conversations, often speaking less, but always bringing more to the dialogue with your wisdom. Your coworkers lamented you stepping away, but applauded your move knowing how much you could enhance our family with being home.

Life with you is a constant joy.
It’s a joy because you love Jesus and others unconditionally. You’ve always loved me not as the man I am in the moment, but as the man God knows I can become. It’s that love beyond my status that has pushed me to grow, thrive, and be the most honorable husband, father, and friend I can be. You have a way of making me feel like more, even when I feel less than.

As we celebrate 14 years of marriage, you’re daily caring for our girls. Packing up lunches and making sure they’re ready for school. Greeting them with your gorgeous smile as they hop off the bus each day.

You’re living out your dream.

It’s so good to see you taking in that dream too, because 16 years ago when you grabbed my hand, you gave me the opportunity to live out my dream…

Being with you.

Though we may have less, it’s more than we ever dreamed of.
I love you Carrie Bedell. Happy Anniversary.