Jim has been my covert partner in Awaken-Love for over five years. More importantly, he has been my partner in marriage for 30 years. We have been through so much together and Awaken-Love would not exist without him.
Jim went years without giving up on me or becoming resentful when sex happened only once or twice a month. 7 years ago, when I experienced huge growth in my faith and sexuality, he stepped up and grew with me. He has held me in his arms as I cried out to God questioning my calling to teach about sex. The poor guy has been my Guinea pig as I tried out new ideas and techniques in bed, Hah!?. Jim has helped me to understand and write about the men’s perspective of sex. He has edited my writing, acted as a sounding board and encouraged me. I would not have started Awaken-Love without Jim and I would have given up years ago without him by my side. This November, Jim and I will teach another MEN’S EDITION of Awaken-Love and I figured it was time I introduce him to you.
My husband loves young kids. He spends hours each week planning the Sunday School lesson. He loves to meld his engineering mind with activities for the kids. Recently he taught about how God stopped time and he helped the kids create a sundial. They glued a golf tee vertically on a paper plate and then used a flashlight to show how the shadow shifts with the light.
Jim has a gift for gathering men to invest in kids. Many single moms go to our church and Jim has recruited an entire team of dads to teach Sunday School. Every February he leads a group of men that hosts the Awana Grand Prix for over 100 kids. They set up a wood shop at the church to help kids create whatever they dream up.
Cars are cut into rainbows, rockets, shoes and cats and then carefully sanded and painted by the kids. On race day, the men help the kids weigh in their cars and fine tune them to assure every car will make it down the track. Jim spends hour building his car each year. Last year I surprised him by building a car for the first time and you would have guessed that Jim just won the lottery.
Jim has a passion for cars and racing. He could tell you the name, make and model of any car on the road. He owns an entire library of racer biographies and would happily give you a synopsis. When I lose Jim in Target, I know he is combing the Hot Wheel aisle for some specific car to add to his collection. One of our highlights this summer was borrowing a 1975 Triumph Spitfire to drive around town with the top down.
But Jim doesn’t yet own a car worth polishing or talking about. He has purposefully chosen to put his family first. Someday I fully expect that the two of us will invest in an old sports car to rebuild together and then park and watch the sunset.
Jim would tell you that he feels closest to me when we work side by side on projects. Together we have remodeled kitchens, rebuilt decks and constructed our porch. When I used to build a lot of cabinets, we spent our Saturdays installing. Jim has never been threatened by my skills or determination to create. He has been my greatest promoter and cheerleader, constantly finding me jobs for people he works with.
Because of Jim, our daughters understand what a great husband and dad looks like. When they were little he managed bedtime routines by diligently flossing their teeth and then reading and praying with each one. In college he mailed them funny articles or comics that reminded him of them. Today he is teaching them how to maintain their cars and never fails to send them a post card when he takes a trip. My guess is that sometimes he revels in just sitting back and listening to all his girls talk. He has been an amazing dad and filled the gaps that I lacked.
This summer, Jim and I packed the cooler with refreshments, threw on our swim suits, grabbed the fishing poles and headed to the lake. My husband rarely goes shirtless and I made a special request that he work on his tan. After turning 50, Jim became very aware that staying fit would require extra diligence. Twice a day he take a few minutes for push ups, squats and sit ups, while I lay on the bed watching. I have always loved Jim’s trim body, but I really love the confidence he has gained from working out.
This last year has probably been the hardest year of my life. Five years into ministry I have felt overwhelmed by the endless needs and my own inadequacy, Jim has remained rock steady. He has prayed over me when my stubborn soul refused to talk to God. I have wept in his arms and soaked his chest with my tears. Jim has refused to retreat when my own nastiness lashed out over health struggles. Jim’s resilience and faith have bridged the gap when I felt hopeless. He has loved me well.