Let us began today's post with a riddle.
Kelly Jo is the subject of the riddle.
Kelly Jo has been married 33 years. Her daughter is 32. Yet, Kelly Jo is only barely in her 40's.
Married 33 years with a 32 year old daughter and yet only barely in her 40's.
How can this be?
The key to the riddle is this. By this evening, a crucial fact in the riddle will not be true. When the sun sets tonight in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Kelly Jo will no longer be barely in her 40's.
She will have slipped gracefully into her fabulous 50's!
I am absolutely thrilled to be married to this 50 year old woman. She is by far the most amazing earthly thing to enter my life. I did not have the sense that God gave a flea, yet God preserved Kelly Jo for me.
I honestly did not even know how important it was to marry a very good woman. I should have known. I had been taught. Yet I did not know.
In my ignorance, God sent the absolutely best woman in the world to me. I understand that every person that reads the last sentence must protest, even if silently, that your wife or your mother or you sister or your daughter is the best women in the world.
I understand your protest. It is natural for you to say those things about your dearly beloved. However the truth of the matter is Kelly Jo is the best. AND I have a sneaking suspicion that even you know it is true.
If you know Kelly Jo then you know some of what I am talking about.
I have known Kelly Jo at least 41 years and she is more gracious, courageous, helpful and beautiful than she has ever been. That is saying a big thing because she was all of those things by dump truck loads many years ago.
The fact is she simply improves by leaps and bounds every year.
Her thirst for God and for souls is incredible.
I say constantly that she is the hardest working evangelists wife because it is true.
She is an unselfish mother to our daughter. No one has been blessed like I have to witness Kelly Jo deal with the heartache and adversity that naturally comes with parenting a special needs child. She has never once complained or blamed God. She has loved, lifted and led Odie as God loves, lifts and leads His dear children. She is an awe-inspiring hero to Odie and I have seen that first hand. She is a hero to me.
Her musical talent and singing ability is unbelievable. Her craving to be a better musician and better singer is matched only by her willingness to work hard at it. That craving and willingness is proven by her continual improvement.
She lifts other musicians and elevates them by her talent and her willingness to praise others.
Her humility about it all makes me proud and that makes her more humble and me more proud. It is a vicious cycle.
She is my very best friend. She has happily followed me to 49 states, 12 countries and four continents. She would not hesitate to follow me to the ends of the world. In fact, if I quit leading her, she will lead me to the end of the world.
She loves new places. She loves new faces. She loves new churches. She loves new foods. She loves new cultures. She loves new languages. She loves new everything.
Her thirst for adventure drives us to set high goals and her love of life, joy, laughter, tricks and tomfoolery keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.
Kelly Jo is an amazing woman. I hate she had such bad luck in marriage (Her one shortcoming was bad judgement in potential husbands) but I am extremely thankful she chose me as her sidekick the last 34+ years. It has been a wonderful ride and it is not over yet!
I want to wish Kelly Jo a very Happy, Happy Birthday today.
Personal: Kelly Jo, you will spend most of the day working on tent setup and that is typical of your life of service to God, me and the ministry. You will smile, you will work, you will laugh and you will make others feel special. It is what you do. It is who you are. May God bless you for it all.
Odie's post on Saturday for her mother's birthday was extraordinary. My brother Steve's birthday tribute brought me to tears and I cried the rest of the way through the post. It is a long read and every word is precious. You touched me friends and you nailed the selfless grace of this beautiful women. Wow!
That is it friends. Thank you for reading today.