It was a rainy morning. The service was scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
I woke up at the hotel where my family was staying. A weird, surreal feeling came over me, Today, my life will change.
The skies cleared and we made our way to the church.
We were excited. Young. And in love.
It was a service of promises, tears, and wide-eye hope for a life full of adventure and blessing. 19 years later the promise means as much now as it did then. We've continued to share tears through the good and the bad. 5 amazing kids. The loss of a parent, grandparents, and even 2 little one we will some day meet in heaven. Multiple moves and ministry changes. And the wide-eyed hope for a life full of adventure and blessing...let's just say we had no idea where the adventure would take us.
This past Monday, May 18th, 2015, my wife and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. We spent the day driving home from a weekend visiting my family in Philadelphia. Long car rides are great, especially when the kids are all asleep. It gives you some peace and quiet and time to think.
19 years. That's a long time. This year I turned 40. That means I have been married for almost half my life. That's a weird thought.
When I was in my teens, I hoped and prayed for a marriage that was blessed. I wanted a relationship with my future wife that was filled with love, children, and fun. As I think back over the 19 years, I'd have to say that God answered my prayers.
In my bio, I say that I am a guy who can honestly say, I love being married. It's true. I do. I love my wife, Amy. I love our life together. I love that we are still in love. I love that we intend on being married a great many more years.
I am blessed. I know that. God has been good to give me the most amazing woman to share this life with. When I read Genesis 2:18-25, I believe that God, in His perfect wisdom, created Amy specifically for me. She is my suitable helper, my partner, my best friend, my lover, my wife.
Amy is why I left home. She is who I was united to on the Saturday morning. She is who I am becoming one with.
Amy is an amazing mom. 5 kids is a lot, but she does it so well. Not only that, but she still has room to love on others. Whether it friends or kids from the neighborhood, or one of the little ones she watches, her love and motherly expertise is well used.
Simply put, I just couldn't begin to imagine what my life would look like without my amazing, beautiful, godly, wife. Amy Higham, I love you. And I am so blessed and grateful that God chose you to be with me. Let's make the years to come as exciting as these first 19. And who know where God will lead us and what He might ask us to do!
Sunday afternoon. I have a few minutes to jot down some thoughts. Everyone is out either at a practice, game, or work. My amazing wife is playing chauffeur to allow me to grab a nap. Sunday's are exhausting days with teaching in the morning and youth group in the evening. So to have a few minute to myself is great. And since I am making May my month of best days, I want to just share a few things about the weekend.
Saturday, May 2nd.
- Yard work. The winter is over. Time to start getting the house and yard ready for the summer. And that is what I did in the morning. Unfortunately, I think I over did it in my first weekend. I jumped into creating a new landscaping project that wore me out. However, it was a GREAT work out. Lots of raking, moving stone, and shoving dirt.
The project is to reconstruct a walking path and play area we have in the back yard. The previous owners used stone in their landscaping instead of mulch, which was nice when we first moved in. We wanted to expand an area in the back your to include the kids trampolin, so we threw matching stone down in the newer area. However, we have grown to dislike the stone. It isn't as worry free as we thought it would be. So we want to do a little remodel and relocate the stone to make way for mulch and other landscaping elements. I probably have another Saturday of work before this project is complete.
Unfortunately, not much time was given to the inside, so by the end of the day, the house was a little less than perfect. Which is fine. I mean, it's a house not a museum. It's going to be lived in and thus get a little cluttered. That's what happens when 7 people live in a house.
Sunday, May 3rd.
Now we come to today. Sunday. I was up as usual at 5:00 a.m. taking time to shower and get ready for church. BUt I also use that time for prayer, to look over my teaching notes, to read through the text again, and to go through the worship media to make sure everything is in order. It was the normal Sunday routine.
However, this Sunday we made a change. After leadering worship at Harvest for the last 3, almost 4 years, I officially stepped down as a new worship leader stepped up. It was pretty great to be able to participate in the worship without having to lead it. Our praise to is now 4 strong (I was the 5th), and they did awesome without me.
Not only was this a blessing for me, now not having to worry about the weekly worship needs, but it also reminds me that the Church literally is a the 'BODY' of Christ. And that each part has their role to play within the body. This morning our body became a little more complete.
Alright, this blog is sound more like a journal entry and less like a blog. Nevertheless, it's a glimpse of life and what God is teaching me. So I hope that it might encourage you today.
Be sure to check in tomorrow and all month long. Like I said on May 1st, it's the rest of the BEST of my days! So join my on the ride!
It's May 1st. A Friday. A new month. And the last day of the work week.
It's an ordinary kind of day (except that it's Friday, the start of the weekend).
Nonetheless, it's just another day and the start of another month.
Or is it?
I'm thinking it doesn't have to be. Just another day, that is. I mean, it can be more. It can mean more. It can become more. If we so choose.
Well, I choose. I choose to make it more than just another day. I choose to make it the first day of the rest of my BEST days!
Wait a minute, Jay, you're beginning to sound a little crazy. Maybe. But hear me out.
Today, May 1st, is the first day of the rest of my best days.
Here's why I brought it up. Over the last couple of months, my wife and I have had many a conversation about where we find ourselves and our family. If you would have asked us 5 years ago, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" I don't think either of us thought we would be where we are today. Nevertheless, I believe we are where God wants us to be right now. And where is that you ask? Well, it's sitting at His feet, listening, learning, and being loved on by our Abba.
My wife and I have shared many times how difficult and challenging the last four years have been for our family. And we have continued to share how God has showed Himself to be true, faithful, and loving. We have learned how to rest in His arms, trust in His love, and bask in His grace. His mercy and compassion have reminded us of just how much He loves His children. So while it has been challenging, we have been so blessed.
Where do I begin?
I begin with what's most important, ME. Faith, family, and health. It's time I start working on taking care of me. So with this first day of the Best of my days, I want to begin setting my life back into balance. I want to focus on what God is teaching me as a pastor. I want to be a great husband and father. And I want to lose the weight that busyness and stress have helped me put on.
It's Day One. May 1st. And today it all begins. Time to renew my passions. Time to make the most of the best of my days!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.