In honor of our 10th anniversary, and in honor of the man whom I admire more than any other on this planet, I would like to shout from my proverbial rooftop:
The Top 10 Reasons I Admire & Adore You, Keith Cash
1) I admire in you so much how your mind has come to hunger and thirst for righteousness. I know that this degree and all this reading you’re doing is not simply to climb some academic ladder or to make some human achievement. I know that the reason you burn the midnight oil so many nights a week is not just to make deadlines, but it is because you want to know more of Him and more of His ways and how to make His Kingdom come! I am absolutely awed at how devoted you have become to studying the things of God, Keith. I’m endlessly proud of you, and amazed at how much you’ve grown and changed. You have become an amazing writer and communicator, better than me, I really think. And I truly admire your mind!
2) I admire you for your unwavering faith in God. No matter what has happened in our lives (Agape, Mrs. Phipps, financial woes, the miscarriage), your faith in Him has been solid as a rock, “an etching upon your soul that will never pass away.” I can LEAN on YOU when I have not the faith to lean on God, and because you are leaning on Him, so am I ultimately.
3) I admire you because you tell me the truth. I can be pretty hardheaded and opinionated sometimes. Wouldn’t you say? For the first few years, I think I overwhelmed you in most of the verbal spars. But not anymore. You disagree with me, and with gusto! And I love it. You tell me when I’m overreacting, you contradict me when I need to be contradicted, you remind when I’m fretful that He is sovereign. You are agreeably disagreeable. You stand up to me when I’m being a bully, and I love it. And it’s changed me, made me softer and gentler even, I think. (Maybe.) Certainly your lips were always strong enough to smile and gentle enough to kiss, but surely over the years, they have also become quite firm enough to say no! And I admire those lips.
4) I admire you because you are a wonderful provider. Your chest is indeed broad enough to embrace a family. You leave the house early in the morning before anyone else in this house is even awake! How hard that must be for you sometimes, yet you do it with joy day after day! There are very few people who could do what you do every day, and you are nothing short of amazing at it. You work so hard so that I can stay home with our kids. Keith, I can’t even tell you how much that means to me, and how much it will mean to our kids someday. When we were both going to college to become teachers, do you remember how it seemed so impossible that I’d ever be able to become a stay-at-home-mom? We wanted that for our family so badly! Because of your faith in God and your hard work, I believe, it came to pass.
5) I admire you because you are so amazing with children. “His faith must be so much like that of a child that children cling to him…” Oh, and it is. Children know a pure, kind, and gentle heart. And yours is. And it’s not just like that because you’re a good guy, I know. It’s like that because you subject yourself to the washing of the Word. Your heart of heart is so pure and kind, sweet boy. It has been from the first time I met you, and that hasn’t changed. And when I see you with our children, it absolutely moves me. It blows me away that MY kids get to have a father like you. These boys will know how to treat and love a woman because they will have seen their father do it so well for so many years. Oh, how I love and respect you, Keith. The way you play with them, the way you read to them, the way you devote your heart and your time to them, and obviously enjoy it so much—I admire you so much for that. When kids all over the base shout across the street or the food court, “Mr. Cash!!!” my hearts swells with pride and admiration. When mothers find out that I’m the wife of Mr. Cash, and I can sense their admiration for you, I feel overjoyed to be your wife. Your name is always “praised at the city gates,” a “name like purified oil.” You are so amazing with children, and I love and respect that about you more than I can say.
6) I admire you because you think of others before yourself. I joked about it in the blog about your driving, how it drives me crazy. (And sometimes it really does.) But the bottom line is that you almost always think of others’ needs and desires before your own, which just baffles me because I’m often quite the opposite. And the Bible says we are to be that way, because Christ lived like that, and died like that. But most people just don’t operate that way, Keith. But you do. You really do, and I really admire that about you. The way you walk every day stirs within me the desire to be more like Christ.
7) I admire your how you protect the sanctity of our marriage bed. You have a passion for purity. I love to tell other women how you won’t even watch a rated-R movie or how you practically cover your eyes when a scantily-clad woman walks by. It means the world to me that I KNOW you would never cheat on me. It honors me so much that you are so loyal to me, and that you make no room for lust in your heart. I know this is a natural struggle for men, and something that you will battle your entire life long, but I admire you so much for fighting this battle so hard, my tender warrior.
8) I admire that you are slow to speak and quick to listen, that your words are “full of power and thought.” I am the opposite. I say nearly everything that flies into my head, but you are much cooler than that, and you also get yourself in a lot less trouble than I do. It’s actually inspiring to be married to you, to see how coolheaded you are when “offended” by others, and how you hold your tongue. And I admire what an amazing listener you are—maybe that’s part of what drew me to you so much! People often comment to me how quiet you are, but I always tell them that you talk at least as much as I do behind closed doors. I am so honored that I’m the one you let the floodgates down for.
9) I admire you for the way you love me, like it’s never going to hurt. Even though sometimes I know it DOES hurt to love me. With the frailest gesture, you easily unclose me. You are so incredibly patient and kind, and you love me so completely, with such heart, and such humor, and such grace. I think that I might not be the easiest person in the world to love at least a couple days a week, but you do it so effortlessly! And you have made me feel really, truly lovable for the first time in my life, Keither. Oh tears. You really love me as Christ loves the Church. I know that you would lay your life down for me or the kids in a heartbeat, and though I pray that you’ll never have to, I will honor you until the day I die that you would be willing to do that for me.
10) I admire that you are a man of many dreams. I remember in college fretting that I would never, ever marry because how could I possibly find someone else who felt the way I feel about the nations, this inoperable compulsion to make Him famous in the places where He’s not yet famous, whose tears would cover the lost. But yet here you are. Here we are. Sometimes I see this sparkle in your eye, or the lump in your throat, and I know that God has huge things for you and me. I can’t believe I get to ride this thing out with you. I can’t believe I get to be YOUR helpmeet! I am SOOOOOO blessed!!!!! I feel unworthy sometimes to be your partner, incredibly humbled. You have dreams in your heart that you haven’t yet articulated with your life, but I know that they’re in there. And that He’s not finished with us yet. And I love that you are a dreamer—that the possibilities are endless with you, “for He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you could ever dream or imagine according to the power that is within you through Christ Jesus.”
And so, Keith Cash, these are just a few of the things that I respect about you—things that were placed in you by our Father of Light, the Giver of good gifts. You have been a precious and incomparable gift to me for 10 years now, every single day.