Every year Exxon Mobil does a big sit down review. It is a big process (it started last spring) of writing a review for yourself, every manager from the world flying in and reviewing everyone, ranking everyone, and then finally sitting down with your direct manager and find out everything.
Every year I ask Chris, "Are you nervous?" Every year he says the same answer, "No. Looking forward to it."
I love that about him.
And since last year Karis wrote a review for Chris (you can read it here), I thought it was my turn to review him this year. Note: these comments are in no particular order.
I'll start with what I was just saying... I love that you work hard, but I love that you aren't a workaholic. You believe in your job, you believe in your company, you make work a priority. You learn from those ahead of you and take time to teach those behind. You became a leader on your team this past year and ExxonMobil is genius for doing that. You are, in all honestly, one of the greatest leaders I know. You don't play the game. You aren't trying to impress. You aren't into politics. You aren't into shortcuts or fast tracks. You are into working hard. I am proud of you every time I tell people what you do. Not because of what you do or where you work, but because of how you work.
Something should be said about your ridiculous consistency in the mornings. I love that for the past year you've woken up (nearly) every day by 5am. Even recently you have tried 4:30 so you could start working out too. I love knowing that spending time in God's Word each day is that important to you. I love knowing that you do this. You have no idea the confidence that brings me in you. How it makes it easier to trust you. Easier to respect you. Easier to honor you. Easier to follow you.
You put us first, like really put us first and serve us well. Carolyn O'Neal has reminded me of that so many times this past year, "Becky, you have a man, like Les, that really puts his family first. That is how he serves." I'm a doer and I've struggled in our marriage putting that on you. Expecting you to play the church game and serve/lead in whatever way is available (so ridiculous). But this year I've been able to step back and finally listen to Carolyn and appreciate that you aren't out to prove anything or be anything, other than what you've been called to do. You serve when called, by God not others. I love that about you. And, as Carolyn has said, it has opened up the doors for me to be able to freely do what God has called me to do. I am thankful for your true partnership in ministry.
You have brought back Sunday morning dance parties. That was a huge plus this year. I don't know when we stopped doing that but I'm so glad they are back. I am so glad that only I know that laugh you have when you and I are both dancing. I am laughing now just thinking about it.
You have broken out of what is comfortable for you and leaped into areas of trusting God. It has been really amazing to walk this journey of house on the market, moving and Apartment Life. It has been stressful. It has been hard. But it has been worth it. I have fallen in love with you all over again watching you say yes to where the Lord has called us.
Yet again, you amaze me with your Dave Ramsey skills. I think we are getting better together on this. It hasn't been an easy journey learning to do finances together. As much as I hate the budget and the trackers and the saving receipts, I am thankful for them. I love that this year especially you really have loosened up on things. You held our money with open hands. You are controlling our finances now, they don't control you. I am thankful for your vision to live debt free. I am thankful for your vision to save. I am thankful (most of the time) for your ability to say no to excess. But I am also thankful that this year, you learned it is OK to say yes to some excess from time to time.
This year you have worked hard to connect with me. It hasn't been an easy year for our marriage. I feel like this has been the first year we had to fight for it. The first year we just had to fight to figure out the whole sharing life together thing. This year we fought for our marriage. Having a baby, as much of a joy as she is, has made life hard. Has distracted us. Has taken our eyes off one other. You have fought hard to make date nights a priority. You have fought hard to make our Sunday Sync Ups a priority. You have fought hard to still be affectionate. I have felt loved by you.
You have been my biggest supporter. I know of no one else that believes in me and what I'm called to do and what I'm gifted in, like you do. You know my hard days. You know the days I just want to sit on the couch and get lost in Netflix. But you don't let me sit there. You speak belief over me. You support me in what I'm called to do as a believer, as a wife, as a mom, as a teacher, as a leader.
And last, but certainly not least, you are an amazing father. A beyond words amazing father. I knew when we dated you would be. It was a non-negotiable to me in a man. I knew I wanted to be a mom and have a family one day and I knew I wanted a guy that wanted those things too. You love Karis deeply and she flat out adores you. I love that she is undeniably a Daddy's girl. I love that she says "Dada" and squeals every time a picture of you comes up on my screensaver. I love how she pants and walks to you when you walk in. I love that you put every thing down and get right on the floor with her when she walks in. I love how you already protect her from any harm. How you smother her in hugs and kisses. How you pray over her every night before laying her down. I have fallen in love with you in ways I never knew my heart could by seeing how you love Karis.
So know today, honey, no matter what your boss says (and I'm sure it will be good), that we are proud of you. That you hit it out of the park this year. Now hurry home so we can celebrate!