My Best Catch
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain. —Proverbs 31:10-11
I first met Karen in the Sunday School of First United Methodist Church in Dearborn, Michigan. I was eight years old and she threw up in class—although she claims it was her twin, Kathy and I have no way to verify since they looked exactly alike to me at the time. Another 10 years passed before I asked her to the senior prom.
Marrying her was the best decision I’ve made in my earthly life. It was driven by God through the gift of common sense. We shared a similar family background. Our relationship was stable and reasonable. We shared values like God, family and church. We both wanted college educations. We loved the outdoors and travel. With all the overconfidence and naïveté of a college kid who got an “A” in psychology class, I figured we’d easily achieve perfection together. It was in those early years I discovered just how self-centered I was and how much I needed to change myself in order to be an adequate husband.
Karen gave to me two great gifts: our daughter Sarah and son Craig. I am immensely proud of her as a mother and partner in the enterprise of parenthood. Child rearing is exhausting work and nothing is more draining to a relationship. I learned firsthand of Karen’s strength, perseverance and resourcefulness.
No body eats better in their own home than I do. I am blessed frequently with the aroma of bread baking in the oven when I come home. Karen loves to cook which suits me very well since I love to eat. She studies the kitchen and makes most things from scratch. Then I must make special mention of her pies, for her pies sealed the deal for me back in the day.
Karen didn’t know she’d be entering the life of a pastor when we began. In seminary she worked and paid our bills so well, we actually saved some money and graduated with no debt and something in our bank account. She has been encouraging and supportive of me as a pastor in nine different churches in six different communities. This has been very taxing on her but I’ve admired her resilience and ability to embrace change she didn’t always choose. I am blessed to be able to trust and rely on her loyalty and support.
Karen is a great leader of children and youth. I’ve watched her blossom in founding, organizing and maintaining a dynamic summer camp program in the UP. I’ve seen her work hard to re-design a Sunday school and create a rotational program we had in a previous congregation. It is a testimony to her character to see how our kids respond to her and sing out loud under her leadership. The laughter and fun I observe on Sunday mornings is cause again for my deep admiration of this woman. I say with Proverbs, “Let her works praise her in the gates.”
Everybody needs clarity in life. When I need the unvarnished truth. I can count on Karen for her candor in wisdom served with kindness. This has saved me many a misstep over the years. Two heads really are better than one! As our son Craig put it, “Wisdom is when you figure out you should have done it the way your mother told you in the first place.”
In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Tom Anderson