Pictured here are the breakfast sandwiches that I made this morning for my wife, Carrie, and myself. Lightly-toasted "everything" bagel for Carrie and a little more toasted for me, lightly buttered, two eggs, cheese, and a couple slices of Canadian bacon. These breakfast bagels have have been a fairly regular feature of our marriage for the past two-and-a-half years. At that time, to help pay for the seemingly overwhelming adoption costs, Carrie went back to work part-time as the coordinator of Continuing Education and Retreats at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I'm the morning person in the family, so one of the ways I help on these grumbly mornings when she has to go in is by making some fresh ground coffee and a good breakfast.
Tomorrow (Friday, 27 March, A.D. 2009) is her last day in this position, and I want to publicly thank her, CTS, and the grandparents for the journey.
Carrie is an extraordinarily talented person. Back in our days working as legislative staffers in the Michigan House of Representatives she was easily one of the best in the business, trusted in ways that many senior staffers never would be. She has a nose for detail and yet brings an intellectual curiosity and wealth of creativity to whatever task she is given. She is perfectly happy being behind the scenes making sure things get done, and done well. She is the ideal staffer, and I suspect that she will be greatly missed at the sem.
That being said, I want to thank President Wenthe, Dean Rast, VP Wingfield, and all the folks at CTS for giving Carrie the opportunity. The seminary has been extraordinarily flexible with our homeschooling family schedule (Yes, in addition to working part-time, this talented woman also taught three children full-time!). Her wages over the last two-plus years have helped to pay for a considerable portion of the adoption costs. For that alone we are profoundly grateful, but the benefits go well beyond that. Carrie has relished the opportunity to put her skills to work and to have her work affirmed by the talented people working around her. Little kids, even great kids like ours, are more often needy than thankful. The folks at CTS have been thankful for Carrie's work, and that has meant a great deal to her, and to me.
Of course, as a homeschooling family headed by an often very busy pastor, Carrie's opportunity to work part-time would not have been possible without the time and considerable effort put forth by the grandparents. The grandmas stepped in to teach, often coming down for days at a time (like the last two weeks), so that Carrie could furiously get in her hours. There is simply no way that little Brenainn would be home with us if not for them.
Losing the wages will make things a bit tighter for us, especially in the present economy, but with the addition of the fourth child the schedule just got too crazy. So, Carrie is taking some things off her plate, and for that I am glad.
I have attempted in writing the above to pay tribute to a woman of almost surpassing grace and talent. Her kids know that she is a good mommy, and CTS knows that she is a good employee, but I see in ways that most people cannot how God has blessed this woman. I know that God will continue to use her in amazing ways, and my prayer is that he will help me to never take that for granted.
Thank you, Lord, for Carrie. Help us, who have benefited from her talents and service, to continually give thanks for the good gifts that you give.