The following is a repost from one of my Facebook “notes.” I wrote it last year right before Pearl’s birthday as a way to celebrate her day. Pearl’s birthday is a very special day to me for so many different reasons and I put a lot of effort into saying it just the right way in this post:
I’ve been planning to do this for months and have it ready to post on Pearl’s birthday, but my schedule changed a few times and then I ended up getting a call to play at Lakewood Church tonight. Now I’m not even sure if I have the time to post it before Pearl’s birthday is over.
Well, let me at least try anyway…
Before I met Pearl, I didn’t care much for celebrating my own birthday. My birthday didn’t mean much to me. Well, okay, I take that back. There was one year when EVERYONE in my life forgot my birthday and that made me take a real good look at myself and the way I relate to other people. But even after that, the whole birthday thing didn’t mean much to me.
Then I met Pearl and everything changed. I will never forget that first birthday after we met. From 8,000 miles away, she made me feel so loved and so special on my birthday that it changed my opinion about birthdays forever.
I remember very clearly what she said that affected me so much. She told me that my birthday was the day to celebrate God making me and bringing me to this world. She went on to talk about how much my life means, not just to her, but to all the people in my life. It was overwhelming the first time she told me all of these things because I had never really seen it that way. I always saw it the way most people saw it…..the day that people celebrated getting older. I never FELT older, and that’s why I never really liked birthdays. But to turn it into a celebration of God’s goodness….why yes, I can appreciate that!
So today I would like to do the same thing for Pearl. Only, this time, God has placed it on my heart to do it publicly. Our life together has been a private one so far. And really, I think we both like it that way. But I also think it is time for people to know how much she means to me and why I consider her life a wonderful reason to celebrate.
Simply put, I truly believe that God created me for Pearl and her for me. I have no doubt about this. I believe that He planned this before the beginning of time. Lofty words? I would have thought so before I met her, but meeting Pearl set into motion a series of “compatibility” matches that are nothing less than miraculous.
I remember flying back to Houston from South Africa after we had met in person the first time. I was compiling a list of things that I thought made Pearl so perfect. I had to stop at fifty because I couldn’t see an end to it all! Today, six years later, I feel just as awed by these matches as I did then.
Now here comes the hard part. I am not the most eloquent writer and what I’m about to share with you has to walk that narrow path between writing too much and not enough. You see, although I am not a celebrity (not by any stretch of the imagination), I do work in a very social industry. For that reason, I enjoy that what Pearl and I share is so private. I like that very few people know about the details of our lives. So the difficulty is in saying what I feel I need to say without betraying our privacy.
In 2005 I had begun working on a plan to find the woman God made for me. I was 41 years old by then and I knew myself well enough to also know that the woman He put on this planet for me was probably just as exceptional and unique as I was. Yes, I admit that I am an odd duck. It stands to reason that the woman God created this odd duck for was probably not so very typical herself. Knowing this, I incorrectly assumed that it was going to be impossible for me to find her just living the way I was living. So I made a plan to “broaden my circle of friends” until we met.
It was a disastrous plan and after a series of bitter disappointments, I surrendered my plan. I prayed to God and told Him that I was putting it all in His Hands. Yes, it was impossible, but I knew that He would work miracles if I just gave the entire thing over to Him.
Now, to understand just how miraculous this story is, you have to understand how unique the woman was who I was looking for. I had a list of qualities to search for knowing that many of those qualities contradicted each other.
Okay, I have to start a tangent here to clarify what this list was. I’m not saying I had a shopping list of the things that I just wanted. That sounds so shallow. That’s why I keep talking about my age in this context. If you believe that God made someone just for you, then it must also be true then, that this person should have contours and curves that fit into your own contours and curves…..like two pieces of a puzzle locking into place. So this list I’m referring to is not just some kind of juvenile wish list. It was a list based on the contours and curves of my own life….which made the task of finding this person all the more daunting because my curves and contours were so far out of wack with the rest of the world. I knew that I would never find her without God’s help.
So let’s look at some of the things on this list.
God at the Center
First and foremost, I needed a wife who was not only considers Christian as religious preference, but someone who was as dedicated to living a Christian life as I am. So far so good, right? I mean, there are millions of such women out there I’m sure.
Health and Fitness
Also on the list was that she had to be health and fitness conscious. Just as it is with religion, it is almost impossible to live a healthy life style if your spouse cares nothing for such things. Pearl and I eat right, we run together five days a week, we go to sleep together (that’s an old-fashioned custom that I think goes a long way towards bettering our health), and just generally have a health and fitness mindset.
Something else at the top of the list was intelligence. I enjoy learning and want and need to share this joy with my spouse and family. Pearl is the same way and we often learn things together and even challenge each other to learn things outside the box we came in. He he he…
Speaking of learning, I read a proverb this morning while looking for another proverb on another topic: Proverbs 2:10 “For skillful and godly wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you.” Pearl and I share the joy of learning in this way.
I should mention that Pearl has a Doctorate in Physics. When God answers prayer, He is capable of going so far beyond what we are capable of imagining. Living with such an accomplished scientist keeps me on my toes.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Life is a stage”? To that I say, “No thank you!”
I make my living “on stage.” I feel just as comfortable performing in front of fifty thousand people as I do for thirty. I know, first hand, what people do to “look the part” on stage and I have no desire to live that way at home.
For that reason, I don’t like makeup. I don’t like fancy hair doos, high heels nor trendy clothing. I prefer in a woman a more practical “look” that I like to describe as beauty without glamour.
For me, because of my performance background, I associate glamour with dishonesty. That’s not anyone else’ problem but my own. I recognize this and do not blame or condemn anyone for wearing makeup, getting their hair done and all that. But I don’t want to have to live with it.
Once again, Pearl was the answer to my prayers. I remember the day she tried to “break it to me” that she wasn’t like other girls in that way and my heart began pounding as I realized I had struck gold!!!! He he he…..
Pearl is beautiful and she doesn’t need any makeup to make it better. I don’t want her to cover her face with something that I think is inferior to the beauty that already shines from her face.
I remember when we first talked about this, and Pearl warned me that some more controlling husbands want to keep their wives looking more homely because of jealousy. I have thought about that many times over these past six years. Does it matter to me if people think I am forcing her to go without makeup……just so none of the other guys ever notice her? The answer is simple. God made us this way for a reason. THAT comes first! I don’t care what people think. This is the way we are, and the way we are honors God…..and I don’t have to explain myself to anyone.
Business Growing and Frugality
This is the last point from the list I will write about today. Just remember that the list is so long that I couldn’t possibly list everything that matches about us in a single essay.
The nature of my life and the business God placed in my stewardship is that of a self employed entrepreneur, and a very unique kind of businessman at that. I knew when I was looking for my perfect match that the woman I married had to be someone not only willing but also enthusiastic and eager to be part of a growing business. That means that she would need to be willing to work hard for several years and live frugally while the business grows.
Pearl is that woman. I do not want to boast or brag, but business has never been this good before and I owe all of it to Pearl for what she brought into the business when she moved here. This is no longer a one man show. In fact, I often tell people, truthfully, that Pearl does more work for our business than I do. She is so enthusiastic and gets so much work done, it boggles my mind the difference she has made.
Some of what she has done is obvious on the surface. For example, she did the art work for all of the covers for the books. That’s something people can see on the forefront of our business. But 99% of what she does is in the background of the business. She runs the music store practically single handedly. She proof reads and edits all of the publish materials we put out; journal articles, books, newsletters, etc. She does all of the administrative work for all of the “divisions” of our growing business. She handles ALL of our PR work (which recently landed us an interview for an article that may, God willing, be printed in five different community papers). She does all of our accounting work and takes care of most of the legal stuff. I could go on like this for hours, but I think you get the picture.
She does all of this stuff, a job that would pay a grand salary if she did those things for another company, because she is dedicated to growing our business into something bigger than what it is today.
You cannot imagine the sacrifices she has made. No one knows and I think this is part of the reason why I’m writing about this stuff. Our students need to know that there would be NO lessons with me if not for Pearl. People who buy our books need to know that those books would not be available (some wouldn’t even exist) if it weren’t for Pearl. I am the front man for the business, but Pearl IS THE BUSINESS. Without her work, the whole thing would collapse.
I know that all of what I have written seems to be very self centered. I admit that it is. I think that is the point I am trying to make. Pearl’s birthday is a day for me to celebrate because it is the day God blessed this world with the one who fits me perfectly. I have so much to celebrate that you could not possibly imagine. People often use the cliché, “You complete me.” For me, Pearl is no cliché. She is a miracle from God, a gift greater than all other gifts save one (Christ).
Her birthday means so much more to me than my own because I am literally half of nothing without her in my life.
Pearl and I both believe that a husband and a wife who remain dedicated to keeping God at the center of their marriage have a potential for great spiritual power. We came into this marriage with that as our objective, to keep God at the center of everything we do, and to walk in the power of His grace and protection.
Pearl, you are such a tremendous blessing to me and I want you and everyone else in the world to know that when I say that I love you, it is so much more than words. We are Children of God and I know that what lies ahead of us is nothing less than a continuation of the many miracles we have already witnessed.
Thank you for always being true to who God made you and I praise You, my heavenly Father, for caring enough for me to match me up with someone so wonderful.
Happy Birthday Pearl