When I count my blessings, the undisputed #1 blessing God has put in my life is my wife, Ann. Just this morning I read an article online about marriage and the trade-offs people make in trying to have a happy one. There were over 100 comments, and I'd say not a tenth of the commenters seemed to be as happy in their marriage as I am. I've also (barely) begun reading a book called Sacred Marriage, that suggests that God invented marriage as a vehicle to make us holy rather than happy. I've only read the first few pages, and it seems to take as a matter of undisputed fact that after the "honeymoon" period wears off, that we develop a mature love based more on the will than the emotions. Now, admittedly, some of that is true. And I'm not suggesting that we don't "work" at our marriage (after all, if I'm reading books on the topic, that implies some effort). But we're approaching our 19th wedding anniversary, and I can honestly say I'm every bit as "in love" with Ann as I was then. Maybe even more so.
Perhaps it's a sign of some inner pathology on my part, nagging insecurity, or whatever (although I think I'm pretty well-adjusted, all told). But I feel extremely lucky to have her as my wife. Generally speaking, the skinny nerd with glasses and an average career doesn't get to spend his life with the most beautiful girl he ever met--at least not on TV. Yet I do. Very cool. And she's not just beautiful, she's in great shape. I admire so much the effort and time she has put into working out the last couple of years... and the physical benefits are obvious. Even better, she now understands my lifetime love-hate relationship with running even better.
Of course, it would be pretty shallow just to love someone because they are attractive (although, I must confess, I never would have asked her out all those years ago if it hadn't been for the "WOW" I felt when I first saw her eyes). But she is smart, and disciplined, and frugal, and organized... just tailor-made for me. She's also an awesome mom. She's the glue that holds our family together.
Finally, and most importantly, she is a person of deep faith. I wouldn't be the Christian I am today were it not for her influence. She's got her priorities (and therefore, by extension, our family's priorities) in the right order. I can't imagine how different my life would be were it not for her.
So tonight, when the ball drops, I'll kiss the same girl for the 23rd year in a row. And I will feel very, very blessed.