Ten years.  A decade.  Sometimes when I think back to when Joe and I met (I’ll tell that crazy story at another time, because we met and married in the same year!), it seems like it was yesterday.  We have packed a lot of living in our decade together.  We have lived in five (hopefully that will be six very soon!) different houses and three different states.  There have been a handful of very dark times, like the estrangement from his family for several years and the loss of our first three babies to miscarriage.  Together we have also experienced some of life’s greatest joys, like completing our seminary master’s degrees and giving birth to Caleb and Brooklynn.

 As I set out on this challenge, my goal was to remember back to the young girl I was when Joe fell in love with me and try to rejuvenate the ‘older’ model of Holly.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I don’t like who I am today.  I do.  I am much wiser than I was ten years ago.  My experiences of the past ten years have given me a much deeper faith in my Father.  Ten years ago, my view of God was somewhat limited and I don’t ever want to go back to that.  The young gal I was ten years ago would not have been able to do many things that I do now—like successfully end sibling rivalry between a 6 year old and 4 year old or ‘sacredly’ influence her husband to make her a smoothie (which is what Joe is doing this very minute…and I didn’t even have to ask him!).   So, no…I do not want to be who I was 10 years ago entirely.

 However, as I took the plunge into the sea of wifehood and motherhood, I failed to hang onto some things about myself that were at the core of who I was.  I know that some of these things are the very things that were what attracted Joe to me a little over a decade ago.  So, this forty day challenge began with a question

 “Joe, could you make me a list of ten things that attracted you to me when we were friends before we got engaged?” (For the record: Joe and I never went on an official date. He did ask me on a date once but then withdrew the invitation L!  We were friends and then fiancés…we skipped the boyfriend/girlfriend stage…I’ll have to save that one for later too!)

 So my forty day challenge is being built off of the list he made.  Here it is (he says it is in no particular order):

1.  how you read your Bible every morning

2.  how you fasted and prayed (I had never been around anyone who actually did that)

3.  how you didn’t just believe in the Bible, but you lived out what you believed

4.  your hospitality.  I loved how you made everyone feel welcome.

5.  your discernment in dealing with people. 

6.  the way you were encouragement to ALL of your friends.  And you had a lot of friends.

7.  your beauty (inside and out J)

8.  you laughed at my jokes. 

9.  Your passion for health and fitness

10.  The fact that your happiness did not depend on the things going on around you.

 Wow.  Humbling.  Was that really me?  I would love to say that this is a reflection of who I am today.  Some of the things I have successfully carried over into my life as a wife and mother.  And some of things got lost somewhere along this ten year journey.

 Thus, my challenge has begun.  A challenge to reclaim some of the things that were at the core of who I was when Joe fell in love with me.   Got a lot of work ahead of me…think I better put on my tennis shoes, throw my hair up in a ponytail, and get busy!!!