My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.
I've written recently about some of the big blessings in my life... Financial blessings and physical blessings... Today I want to write about relational blessings.
First of all, I want to express my gratitude to God for my wife. I wish you could know her. She's hilarious. And fiercely loyal and protective of those she loves. She is smart and committed and creative and innovative. She's a tireless worker. She's honestly the force behind all of "my" good ideas. I keep telling people that all my best ideas are really hers. And everyone laughs and thinks I'm just being kind or something. But no, I actually mean it. She should be the worship pastor here, not me. Oh, and she's an amazing mom... We have three boys, and she's the best "boy mom" I know... out there kicking the soccer ball around, laughing and messing around with our teenage boys, getting into the same "extreme sports" stuff they are into... And then with our daughter, she's a great "girl mom" too... She can relate to our little E. with such sweetness, cuz she's been there! I love seeing the two of them together, off on their "girly nights," or working on gymnastics, both of them so graceful...
Here on the blog, I've referred to my wife as "Mrs. Charlie" - intending it to come across as affectionate... but I realize it could come off as dismissive or maybe even as sexist! The reality is, she doesn't derive her identity from me. She's not just "Mrs. Charlie." No, she's herself, through and through. I am the lucky beneficiary of her love and commitment. For nearly twenty years, I've had the privilege of knowing and loving this woman, and I look forward to the next twenty, and the twenty after that.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mrs. Charlie today! I'm so glad God made you, and I'm so profoundly grateful that somehow God put the two of us together.
I want to celebrate another relationship today. In the spring of 2000 I met the man who has become, over the years, my very best friend. T. has walked with me through the greatest joys and challenges of my life. He knows me through and through, the good and the really ugly. We worked together at the same church in California for many years; I had the privilege of standing up for him in his wedding; we have spent hours and hours laughing, watching movies, talking, praying and dreaming together. He truly is a kindred spirit, and he's taught me so much about what it means to be a true friend.
And tomorrow morning I'm flying to California to spend about 36 hours with him! Crazy, I know... It kind of fell into place at the last minute. He's organizing an art/film show tomorrow night, and I'm going to perform some music with some members of my old band... It's crazy. I'll be back here in Tulsa on Saturday night! But it is all worth it to hang out with T. I haven't seen him for probably 18 months now... I'm really excited.
And yes, there will be some program challenges. Getting in my calls, planning my food, etc. But I know I'll be fine. God's in this, through and through.
I'm a blessed and happy man.