I had an epiphany on Saturday… a simple one.

“My wife is amazing.”

We got married on March 9th of 2007 after dating for almost two years (including our engagement). In those two years we almost broke up 643 times. We were at a wedding expo in Phoenix just a few months before the big day and we got in a huge fight. “Should we even do this?” she asked. I replied, “YES! I won’t end this over a lie.”

We always fought about the same thing: trust. My wife had recently experienced some first-hand betrayal from multiple people she loved deeply, and it had affected her relationship with me big time. She just couldn’t trust me, no matter what I said or did to prove that she could. She was seriously wounded.

We both wear our feelings on our sleeves, so when our relationship was on the rocks people knew it. It literally made the papers one time when an article was written about my church in a local paper. One of the online commenters said, “It looks like they hate each other.” I wanted to track that guy down and slap him (in Jesus’ name), but he was right. I’m sure it looked that way sometimes.

You ever heard the phrase, “I love you but I don’t like you right now”? Lindsay has.

When we received premarital counseling we joked that we had already been through more than the married couple leading us through it. They’d been married 20 years and we had already climbed steeper mountains. That may or may not be true, but it felt like it.

We didn’t break up, even when she took her ring off one day. Even when I was a horrible boyfriend and husband, we stayed together. Even after the miscarriage when our world felt like hell, we stayed together.

Last Saturday it hit me hard that I am married to an amazing woman. I’ve known it all along, but it was a heavy moment for me as I played the movie of our relationship in my head. These past couple years have been so good. Our relationship is better than ever. We would never know this kind of love if we had given up.

So many couples break up when things get difficult. They look for a new love, hoping Cupid will shoot that love arrow into someone else. So many people just give up, and never get to experience what we’re experiencing right now. A love that has been tested and has endured, because it is rooted in God’s promises.

We know that God is using our marriage to do more than just make us happy. He’s using it to make us holy.

We heard about another pastor that had cheated on his wife recently, and we both got upset and sad about it. I tried to break the tension by saying, “I’m a little tired of these pansy husbands who keep cheating on their wives because things at home aren’t perfect. Most of their wives aren’t half as difficult as you’ve been and I’ve never cheated on you!”

I love her because she laughed and then gave me a look that said “You’re right, but I’ll kill you if you ever say that again.”


weekend at the Ritz

You know those times when you just need to get away so you justify spending a bunch of money on the thing at the place… well that’s what Linds and I are doing this weekend. We aren’t exactly rolling in the dough, but we’re gonna stay at the Ritz Carlton tomorrow night, get some dinner at the restaurant there, watch a movie and just chill out! We’re checking in early tomorrow so we’ll probably just lay by the pool until our hands are pruny. I’m teaching on Saturday and Sunday, so it will be a great way to unwind before all of that madness.

I’m such a lamo when it comes to creatively loving my wife. Lindsay posted something on her Facebook that was like, “Ryan’s taking me to the Ritz for the weekend, and we’re staying in the same room as our wedding night!” and someone asked where they could find a man like that.

hhahahahahahahahaha! Try Starbucks… or a bus stop… or waiting in line for the bathroom at a football game… or um, anywhere!

It doesn’t help that my boss the senior pastor is CASAfreakingNOVA in his marriage! Maybe I’d be more romantic if I didn’t have manboobs (can I say manboobs?) and if I wasn’t the pastiest white blur you’ve ever seen when I’m shirtless.

But I do love my wife, and I do love a challenge. So watch out Rico Suave. Skinnyfat guy is scoring points this weekend at the Ritz!

love and marriage

brian wurzellDriving to Lake Havasu tonight to spend the weekend celebrating my buddy Brian Wurzell. These things always feel a little bit like a funeral… not in a “this sucks, I wish I was somewhere else…” kind of way, but in a “laying your singleness to rest forever” kind of way.

Promise is a lucky lady. Except, well… she’s gotta make out with a bearded dude for the rest of her life.

(My dad had a huge beard when I was a kid. Was kinda like kissing a grizzly bear.)


You’ve heard of March Madness (my bracket was HORRIBLE), but check out my APRIL MADNESS!

I started seminary last night. Class meets every Tuesday night for 3 hours.

I have youth group every Wednesday night and Sunday morning.

Then I have my own LifeGroup on Thursdays every other week.

I’m at a Bachelor party in Lake Havasu tomorrow through Sunday.

Easter is Sunday the 12th. I actually have nothing to do… awesome!

Phil Wickham concert on the 16th. Dopeness.

Lindsay is in Ohio from the 19-29th. Sadness.

I’m here at home but attending Catalyst West Coast from the 22-24th.

On the 24th and 25th I begin a 4-week intensive Old Testament course at Fuller that goes from 6:30-9:30pm on Fridays and 8-5 on Saturdays.

I’m at Hume Lake with my youth ministry team for a little retreat from the 27-30th.

And then EVERY WEEKEND IN MAY I have something. Three classes, one wedding, and one Guys Retreat with my high school students.

Dear God, please give my wonderful, patient, lovely, hottie, princess wife a whole bunch more of that patience and love this month ๐Ÿ™‚

sleeping on the couch

Lindsay was sick last year with the flu or the fever or something like that. The doctor said it was contagious, and I’m not a big fan of being sick, so… I slept on the couch for a few days.

I just saw my buddy Ron say that he’s got bronchitis. He’s also got a wife and two little boys at home. What should Ron do?

What about you… what do you do in these situations? Do you sleep on the couch? Do you, as the spouse, just accept the unavoidable fate of catching whatever they’re sick with, or do you protect yourself and your children and send the temporary leper into isolation for a couple days?

I know I just posted a blog about how the early Christians stayed and cared for the sick and dying, and how wonderful that was… but um, what about when its just a fever or cold?

Hook me up with some free marriage counseling!

Anniversary #2

lg2Today makes TWO YEARS that Linds and I have been married! They have been two of the most unpredictable, mysterious, character-building years for both of us. We’ve already experienced more craziness in our two years of marriage (and one year of dating) than a whole bunch of couples we know that are twice our age.

God’s definitely using our marriage to show us how good He is. It’s a crazy idea, this whole marriage thing, but it’s brilliant.

Love you Lindsay ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for putting up with me!