Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thankful 30: Ally Wiley

During the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday, I am posting a letter a day expressing thankfulness for someone or something that has played a major role in shaping the first 30 years of my life.
(I have missed a couple of days in the past week, 
so some days may have two letters as I get caught up) 

Dear Ally,

  I first really got to know you when you moved to Siloam after you and Tim got married, during my junior year of college. I admired you and looked up to you instantly. You and Tim were some of the first newlyweds that I really spent time with, and I am so thankful I was blessed to have you influence many of my ideas about life after the wedding. Thank you so much for the time you spent, weekly, with my roommates and me. I know we all so looked forward to sitting down with you and talking about our relationships and what God was teaching us. 

  Thank you for your example of trust in the Lord when Tim was deployed to Iraq right after the war started, when you had only been married for 3 months. The emails you sent out during his time overseas showed such faith and courage.

  Thank you for teaching me to embrace the different seasons in life. I don't remember if you talked about seasons a lot, or if it just really impacted me when you did; but I do know that the grace and contentment you have displayed as I have watched you walk through a few different seasons of life has taught me so much. I often remind myself to just relax and enjoy this season that I'm in ... to cuddle instead of mopping the floors or to not care so much if everyone is having a fussy day. It's a precious, exhausting season and I am so blessed to get to have it at all. Maybe I don't leave my house much, and maybe my house is a lot messier than I'd prefer, but that's okay. Those things tend to come with this season and I want to swallow it whole. Thank you for teaching me about that.

  The other major way your influence has impacted me is in teaching me to find romance in the ordinary. You have a way of experiencing and describing events that seem commonplace as rich and full of meaning. You and Tim have been blessed with an incredible story and a wonderful life together, but I appreciate so much the sparkle in your eyes and joy in your voice as you would describe something simple like a dinner of tilapia and rice in your kitchen on a Monday night. Does that make sense? Your attitude is not one of grumbling or complaining, but gratitude. It taught me that the rosy, romantic, heart-swelling experiences of life are not limited to grand gestures and flowery words and big gifts. Rather, in you I saw that if I would just keep my eyes open and look for those moments of wonder in the circumstances God provides, I would find them.

  Thank you for being a precious mentor and friend. I love you!


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