Anna & Me on our 7th anniversary

Anna & Me on our 7th anniversary

Today I wanted to say a few simple words about the best woman in the world, Anna Kristen Schulte. Today she finished her fourth half marathon. A couple years ago, she could barely do a 5k. I feel like maybe in some of my posts I’ve given the wrong impression about her, like maybe I’ve implied she’s not supportive of my dreams or just not a good wife. So I feel like I should correct that notion. Anna has stuck by me and encouraged me to keep going with self-employment. Anna has always had a life and energy I strive to have. She has eyes that dance and a heart that welcomes you in. She’s everybody’s best friend. Everybody feels her presence when she’s around and misses it when she’s not, but none more than me. A kind word from Anna is enough to keep me going for weeks. I don’t mean to say she never says anything unkind or never gets upset or unfair. She’s human. She fails. But she keeps going. She lives from her heart and always does the best she knows to do. A couple months ago she was named head worship leader at our church, and as I told her at the time, she was born for the job. She’s an amazingly gifted musician, but more than that, she really and truly leads in worship and leads the team to be better worshipers as well. She often lacks confidence, but she doesn’t quit. A couple weeks ago, I was leading worship and had one of the roughest starts I’ve ever had. If it hadn’t been for her words and encouragement and prayer, I would’ve given up. Instead, I had one of the best finishes I’ve ever had as a worship leader. I know I don’t tell her often enough, but she makes me proud to be her husband and happy to be alive. I’m looking forward to the rest of my life with her.

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Levi & Anna: Day 1 Once upon a time, there was a young boy trapped in a man’s body, or rather, there was a man who didn’t know he was a man. This man once had dreams and desires, though disappointment and pain had buried them deeply. This man, for almost as long as he could remember, had wanted to be married and have children. Somehow, he had managed to get the marriage thing taken care of, though it turned out not to be so easy, so once again, disappointment settled in. Then came adoption. His wife asked him to come with her to a presentation on international adoption. After years of putting the idea of fatherhood from his mind, he decided to open up, just a crack. And then it came – the sudden realization that he wasn’t ready for this, that nothing in his life up to this point had prepared him for fatherhood.

And yet, desire came.

This man, this ordinary, insecure, disappointed man, listened to desire and began to let it grow. And grow it did. And suddenly, the man had something worth doing something for again. He was sure he was a disappointment to his wife and his parents and everyone else important in his life. But here was something worth fighting for, something worth getting up and becoming different for.

And it was hard.

And still, the man didn’t quit. He knew his own shortcomings. He knew the dysfunction in his own marriage. He knew how bad he was at loving anyone else besides himself. And still, the man didn’t quit. He opened up. He asked for help.

And it worked.

The man slowly became alive again, and in moments the man could never predict, God met him too. God knew what this man needed, and brought it to him in many ways, and after a hard couple of years, the man cared again. He was alive again. He was able to be a husband, and ready to be a father.

And suddenly, it happened. After God gave the man his heart back and his joy back, God brought a little boy into his life, out of pure chance, seemingly. His wife met the little boy on a quick stop at a friend’s mother’s house, on the way to somewhere else. The boy was in foster care, and the man’s wife told him about the boy.

And again, desire came.

Then came a year of confusion, fear, spiritual warfare, and heroism. And God was in it all. And at the end of it all, the family that should’ve had no chance to adopt this little boy prevailed, and on April 29, 2010, the boy became their son.

And the man’s life was saved.

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Today is my 33rd birthday, so today has been a day of reflection for me. I was thinking back on how hard my 20s were - I didn't do a lot of crazy things. I guess you could say I didn't do much at all. At least I didn't do much that gave me meaning. I leased a new car at about $700/mo when you counted insurance for a 21 year old and I spent about 2 years racking up $18,000 in credit card debt. Read the rest of this entry »
I'm sitting in Starbucks, reflecting over the last 3 years or so. I'm remembering the summer of 2007. My wife Anna and I had been married almost 4 years. We were both very frustrated people at this point. Frustrated with each other, frustrated with life. Thinking how far we were from where we wanted to be. In debt because we were using undisciplined spending to numb the pain. Unsatisfied, in pain, but at least admitting we needed help. Read the rest of this entry »
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