Today, November 11 is Dan’s 56th birthday. My birthday had me reminiscing and now it’s time to tell you about this man that I married so very long ago and how I have seen God shape him into the person he is now.
The first birthday I celebrated with Dan was his 19th birthday. I wish I had a picture to post on here about what he looked like at 19! He was the cutest boy I had ever met and really had gotten to know him when I was 11 and he was 14. I was not really shy after I got to know him and used to tell him he had a cute “baby face”. That might have been my 11 year old self flirting with him lol!
There have been many birthdays since then, and a lot of good times and a lot of bad times too. But to tell you the truth, the bad times were made better most of the time with his positive outlook of most situations and his strength of character. His favorite saying is, “It is what it is”. That is about as negative as he gets.
Dan is consistent. He is the first person I ever knew who was the same if he was at church, at work, home, with children, with CEO’s or with truck drivers. He was consistent and did not change. Growing up I didn’t really experience that. It seemed that you had “faces” for who you were with and what the situation was. It took me many years to trust that Dan WAS and WOULD BE the same in any situation. He wasn’t hiding anything. His value system and actions were consistent. He has taught me this.
Dan is a “Learner”. Here he is this past week at the Global Leadership Summit that we held for 64 Nigerian leaders from our area. He has always loved self-improvement and that is one thing that I have learned from him. A good leadership book or training can always help you self-evaluate and see how you can be better in daily life and leadership roles. I have watched him lead and lead well in good and heart-breaking circumstances.
Dan is a family man. He loves his family. There is nothing that he would not do for any of his family. Our family is very broad. Starting with me and our two sons and daughter in law, Katie. Then we have his biological family, my biological family, teenagers that lived with us, good friends, friends of our boys, our church family. NOTHING that he would not do to help his church, friends, or family. I have seen him sacrifice many things to help someone in need or do something that he saw that needed to be done for someone. He is that man.
Dan is a strategic planner. He sees things that amaze me. Over a year ago he told me that when he looks around our compound here in Nigeria he sees buildings where the trees are, ministry buildings to further our scope of ministry here in Gembu. He did not start doing anything about these buildings physically until we got the go-ahead from God to start clearing land, and preparing. Two of those buildings are underway right now. He has taught me that just because God has given you a dream, does not mean that you run right out and do that without first doing your homework and planning.
Dan is a “nerd”. I hate to say this but in 1981 Dan drug me to a college class on Basic Computer Programming. I really did not see the “potential” of computers and really only went because he wanted me to go with him and we were dating lol. Well, he has continued to research and explore opportunities, new ideas and technology that can further work, whether it be for God or in a business application. For a couple of years we thought God might be calling us into a ministry to use his IT and technical brain. We were right, we just didn’t know it was going to be in Nigeria.
Dan is a hard worker. Okay he is a workaholic! He has taught me that if you have a dream, if God has given you a vision, it is not going to come easy. At one time in our marriage he was working five part-time jobs. This was very hard on him physically, but with God’s help we were able to dig out of the financial situation we were in. Whatever he does he does with his whole heart. We are both like that. But I have to say, he has pulled me up, rather then pushed me from behind in this. We are still working on the how to take a break to recover and rejuvenate. In our missionary location there is no place to have “dates”, no place to “get away”. We are here on the compound, and there are a lot of things to do to move forward. This is one thing we are still working on, but we will get it figured out. We had a good plan while we lived in the States, we just need to get it figured out for our life now.
I am with Dan 24 hours a day now, all day, every day. I love him more then I did at his 19th birthday and am excited to see how the Lord will use him during this coming year of ministry.
My point for today is this: If you are married, really get to know your spouse. The best gift you can ever give your husband is your consistent prayers, your time, love, and your respect. We have used many resources over the years to help us with that. I have not used them, WE have used them together.