To my Knight in shining armor on our anniversary

Dear Knight-in-shining-armor,

It’s been ten years. Life has been hard. The armor is a bit banged up from all the elements of this adventure we have lived together. It’s clunky, rusted, and hard to move around in. Even so, you still polish it and keep donning that heavy suit for me, making sure I feel our happily-ever-after hasn’t completely died.

It’s been ten years. The weight of the armor has been an unnecessary burden on you just because I liked the way it looked. It’s not realistic and I’m sorry I’ve made you carry that weight around all these years. For a girl who hates Disney I sure did fall for their lie…

Nevertheless I have seen the error and the damage I have done and on the day that we celebrate our love of being married. I would like to release you, to tell you to TAKE OFF THE ARMOR and go and get top dollar at the junk yard for the scraps so no other man can fall into that lie.

See the problem with you being a knight was that you were never really allowed to rest. You were always in a fight, and you served me no matter the situation and probably worst of all, you were never allowed to make a mistake. The only person who was ever that perfect was Jesus and yet that same standard was tossed upon you and polished so brightly it blinded me.

It’s only by God’s goodness and glory that we’ve come this far because I’ve had it all wrong this whole time. I’ve been walking around so blinded by the pristine shine from your armor that I couldn’t see you, and it’s just now that I am starting to see and believe the “you” you have become. You need to be in a position where you rest, where your decisions are valued, where you don’t have to be in a fight all the time, where you can be seen and where you can make mistakes knowing full well they are allowed and we can work through them together. If I’m suppose to be your helpmate, why can’t I help solve the problems instead of making you feel like they are all your fault even when they are out of your control?

Today we are ten years in… it’s been a hard ten years it feels like we’ve lived several different lives in that time. And although I feel like I’m starting from the beginning, I’m excited because I know that there are no filters, no light blindness, just you in your rawest form and I get to see you, to hear you, to watch you stretch out and become the man you were always meant to be.

I’m sorry for the things I did, the things I didn’t do, the things I said or didn’t say when I was walking around blinded by the armor I made you wear. I have repented for the damages I have caused our family and I am asking your forgiveness today so that we can start this next decade on the same page of realistic expectations, hopes, and dreams together. Happy Anniversary, my love. Thank you for loving me so faithfully and so unconditionally all these years.

Golden Birthday Celebration

Kobi turned 3 today! Making her 3 on the third aka her golden birthday. I feel like once she realizes what a golden birthday is, she will feel bummed because she didn’t really remember her celebration, so I tried to make it as special as I could.

For months I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and all she said was I want cake with my family. She wanted an orange cake with ten candles to be exact, so I set out to make from scratch (sans the orange color) a two layer cake with buttercream frosting and ten candles. It took waaaay to long but I had fun and she loved it!

We kept the celebration light. Pancake breakfast, naps, playing with presents, bubbles, and balloons, pizza eating, some Super Bowl style foods, tons of FaceTime/video chats, the orange cake of course and then we ended the night with a special Rockstar sized prayer for her third year of life!!

There are so many feelings I’ve felt today, but the one that stands out the most is gratefulness! She is my rainbow baby, full of God’s promises, and His power and I stand in awe that he saw fit to allow us to steward her life while we are on this earth. Happy Birthday Katherine Obadiah Harding! We love you forever!

My Prayer

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for all of your blessings, all of your provision and of your grace and mercy that you’ve given me and my family in 2018. Lord we wouldn’t have made it without your hand on our lives and I’m just so grateful!

Father God in this new year, in this new season I pray that we would know more of you, that we would be bold and that we encounter a fresh anointing of your presence.

I pray that 2019 would be full of joy and peace not just for my family, but for everyone reading this. That this would be the year where we fully surrender and trust you in every moment of our lives and that hope would arise, that love would arise, that faith would grow deeper and stronger and that we would lean not on our own understanding but on every word that you spoke, wrote down and promised.

Thank you Lord for the miracles that are coming! Thank you Lord for the signs and wonders, for the restoration, for the reconciliation, thank you for the healing and favor, thank you for the new life that will come forth. Thank you Lord for all good and perfect gifts come from you and you will give it all to us! Thank you in advance for those things we are waiting for to come to pass. Thank you Lord for your continued goodness and for every answered prayer, in Jesus name Amen!

Highlights of 2018

Our church did a top ten greatest moments of this year and I decided to highlight several things that I am thankful for that happened to me and my family this year.

God provided a place for us to live for most of the year when we had nothing and no where else to go.

We were able go see family on several different occasions this year, both near and far.

I was able to get a job coaching middle school kids and realized how much I love it!

We sold our home in TN for more than we paid for it.

We made enough for me to get a gym membership and actually use it regularly.

William was able to work remotely and thereby had the freedom to teach Kobi.

We were able to put Kobi in a childcare program twice a week.

I got a job that provided benefits that went from half time to full time hours. Allowing me to support and encourage little brown boys and girls.

I made some really strong life long friends.

I caught a glimpse of what unconditional love looks like.

I found my voice.

First of Many

Death has a way of changing you forever. Just over a month ago someone I cared about went to be with Jesus. It was so unexpected we were all so shocked. Many of us still are in some sort of disbelief. He was a runner. A pretty darn good one at that, in fact he had qualified to run in the Boston Marathon in 2019. So you can see what I mean when I say he was a good runner!

When I found out he went to be with Jesus after the ugly cry I had on my apartment floor. I went for a run. I was all alone and didn’t want to begin mourning his passing in negative ways or just my usual emotional eating ways… so I grabbed my key card and went to my apartment gym and got on the treadmill (cause running outside while Black at night wasn’t gonna happen).

While running, I was listening to worship music and I got the idea to run a marathon in my friend’s honor. So I decided right then, that this bucket list item to run a marathon would actually become a reality. Especially because it was always just an idea that sounded good, but like I said, death has a way of changing your life so I decided it’s time to make it happen.

I say all that to give you context of why what I did today was so big for me! I ran my first official race! I got a race bib and everything. It was only two miles, but I have to start somewhere before I can get better. I had two goals: finish before 30 minutes (22:58) and don’t walk, and I completed both! I know this will be the first of many and I’m excited for what 2019 and beyond will hold for me!

brown girl, white guy, Spanish girl after a fun run.
Me at my very first official race with Cookie and Pilar. 12/29/18