Completed - A tribute to my bride

Today is a significant day in the Guerino household, as my bride celebrates her 38th birthday. Her birthday in April and our anniversary in August are two times I try to carve a little space out of the daily schedule and reflect on who Amy is, and what she's meant to me.

This year, the word that comes to mind is "completed." I feel completed by her in ways that are probably not evident to others. I specifically benefit from the way Amy's mind works, and how her thinking completes mine. I tend to be a big picture, thinker-type (just look at my last three posts for evidence!) which has its strengths. For one, this helps me be an effective teaching pastor because God has so wired me that I enjoy understanding and explaining.

But it has its downsides too, and maybe the biggest is that most of us don't live life on the "big picture" plain. We live in the here-and-now, and while we need to see how that relates to the big picture, we also need the big picture to relate to us. What I'm getting at is that I can tend to miss people, or fail to connect with "real life" as I get lost in a multitude of ideas. And this is where Amy comes in. She keeps me grounded.

Most people probably don't realize the extent to which I lean on her for this. Even in sermon prep, she helps ground my conceptual thinking in daily living. I typically talk through most sermons with her while they're still developing. Sometimes she just listens, often she comments or makes suggestions. And 99.9% of the time her suggestions focus or even change the direction of where I'm going, because in having talked to her I suddenly realize what needs to be said.

She is able to play this role because of how hard she has worked to internalize the Bible, theology, and biblical worldview. She is able to understand me when I'm up in the conceptual clouds, and so she serves as a bridge from the clouds back to the earth. I'm extremely proud of the way she's studied, learned, and allowed her mind to be stretched, and her example challenges me to allow my soul and my feelings to be similarly stretched. All that makes me a better preacher, leader, and father. So, to the extent that any of you enjoy my teaching on Sundays you're benefiting from Amy's influence whether you realize it or not.

Amy, I'm proud to be your husband. And I wouldn't be the man, the father, or even the preacher I am if I were married to anyone else. I thank God for making you exactly the way he chose to, and for letting me walk the road of life with you. Happy birthday!

Matthew


NOW, for any readers who know Amy please consider this post an online birthday card: consider leaving a comment for Amy (she'll read them all) and expressing what you appreciate about her on this 38th anniversary of her birth. Thanks!

Amy and I at the 2008 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco (where Cal beat Miami 24-17!)


18 comments:

Judith Guerino said...

Can it be that I get to be among the first to leave a message on this birthday card? If so, it's most appropriate. As Matthew's mother, I have yet another perspective on this dear young woman who was my son's friend long before she was his love.

We all want the best for our children. Many times we have thanked our good friends, Don and Jan Larmour, for the wonderful job they did in raising Amy. Herself the daughter of a pastor, Amy is uniquely suited to be a very special help-mate to Matthew. We are not at all surprised that Matthew is a dreamer of great dreams for he has been since a small child. That God would provide him with someone to reconnect to the earth and to see this done with kindness and respect is a joy.

We love you, Amy Kathleen. I think it began that first day when you and your mother entered my shop and I wondered out loud why you and Matt weren't "an item." Shortly after, you were!

I love you for the way you love the Lord and your deliberate and constant efforts to allow Him to work in and through you - no matter how much pain you have to endure. I love you for the way you and Matthew have raised our grandchildren and the millions of small ways and hundreds of large that you have taught them to love and respect others.

I love you for the creative ways you have found to help your children know their Heavenly Father.

"Dad" and I have always loved your mind and the wonderful discussions you and the boys can enter into (with me as a happy audience). And a further treat for me, Dad even loves the movies you recommend.

We are grateful for you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and being willing to allow God to complete the good work He is doing in you and through you. You are a treasure to this family.

All my love,
Judy-Mom

Elizabeth Guerino said...

Mom,
Happy birthday! i hope we made you feel special, 'cause you are! here are a few things that make you a great mother and mentor
1) your always there for me
2) your always ready to listen to me
3)you give great advice for things I'm going through.
4) you devote your time to care for us (feed, shelter etc)
5) your always ready to reach out to others, whether its at church, or down town Portland.
6) your always ready to lead me or Tommy
7) you love to spend time with me and let our relationship grow.
8) I'm able to trust you (Because of what I previously said)
9) you don't let diffrences get in the way of friendship
10) your always ready to lend a helping hand

those are ten things I love about you. Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Amy! I don't know you well, but I know you're better than Matt. Come to think of it, my wife is better than me. Hmmm... Maybe there's a pattern here. Any how, I appreciate the fact that you've always got a smile and that you'll give a friendly hello to anyone... even someone like me. And I very much appreciate your making Matt's sermons good. Whew!
Happy Birthday!
Dana

PS
So did Matt have a typo on this blog? Certainly, you're not a day over 30.

Matt Guerino said...

Cool, a blog post with all three of my main ladies in it: mom, wife, and daughter!

And thanks Dana for chiming in, as this isn't a family-only post! I hope some more non-Guerinos will add their 2 cents

Kelly said...

Amy,

So funny from day one....one of the search members said if it was possible they would hire you as the new teaching pastor....haha I won't tell you who it was maybe you can guess? :-) Anyway HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I am so glad God loved Harvest enough to give us such a wonderful team as you and Matt. You two compliment each other in only a way our great God could of orchestrated. I hope your day was full of honor and joy and thank you for your obvious faithfulness to Father!!

Kelly

Katie said...

Amy-

Happy Birthday, even though I have only gotten to have a few conversations with you I always enjoy them. I'm guessing the ones you have with Matt are even better. I hope that you we able to enjoy your birthday.

John and Ronda said...

People in the know in Montana say HAPPY BIRTHDAY Amy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Brithday, Amy. You are one that I sort of sit back and admire knowing a small bit of the effort you put it to be the kind of wife and mother that is pleasing to the Lord and your family. I hope this year is especially meaningful and fun for you since it appears the big 40 is looming on the horizon.

Take care!
Sandy Olds

Kenny and Kimberly Stone said...

Well the Stoners would like to say Happy Birthday. We hope that you had a awesome celebration of this wonderful day. What did you do for your special day? We hope it was really enjoyable whatever it was. I am sure your family came up with some great ideas for you. Have a wonderful Birthday week. See you Boss!

Ken said...

Happy Birthday Amy!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday sweet Amy!!! It has been a pleasure getting to know you and Matt and your fun kiddos. You are a blessing to us and Harvest. You have such a grace about you that I love to watch and learn from. I hope your day was wonderful and if I would have known it was your birthday I would have brought you some tea and scones!!! Blessings to you this year.

Anonymous said...

By the way.... that last post was by me, Shalee...ooops

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Happy Birthday! You are the better half and it is a good thing Matt knows that. I appreciate you in so many ways....you are always there with your beautiful smile to help when asked. Hope you enjoyed your birthday.
Barb

Matt & Sharon Mormance said...

Happy Birthday Amy! We really appreciate you and how you embrace life - even the hard parts of life that the Lord has entrusted to you. Your authenticity is encouraging. We hope that your special day was one that you will never forget!
Sharon & Matt

Amy Guerino said...

Well, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the flattery (I should say encouragement) in all these comments. This week has been very emotional with outside stuff which I can't control but God has given me a gift this week of better health. I've loved the sun which is unusual for me, enjoyed popping over to this blog post to see a new comment, received beautiful cards and a few surprises, and spent much time out in garden nurseries planning out what physical labor I'm going to make Matt do. Thank you for your friendship, love, and connection with me as we all age and hopefully become more like Jesus every year.

Amy Guerino said...

Darling Matthew, I've not adequately addressed your very uplifting tribute to me. I don't fully understand how our conversations help you process and prepare. I just love listening and engaging in big picture discussions with you. I'm glad my wiring to see how it connects with everyday life is a God thing. I've also come to slowly realize and accept that my chronic pain has brought about a simple living that makes me more available to you to have these talks. It wouldn't have been my plan and I'm thankful God has helped me open the palm of my hand to sacrifice my desires for His greater ones. It is a privilege and joy to be your life partner. Thank you for publicly loving me this way! I love you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday....well just a bit late...Hope you have a great 38th year...I almost put 28th..you know because you look that young.
You are your children's mother...and they love you. I just want you to have a great year have...fun/laugh/play/rest/drink tea(even if coffee is better)/and just hug those kids~ and keep taking care of the hubby...he really loves you...and it shows.
Glad you are part of the family at Harvest. Happy Birthday from the crazy Esther (my birthday is in May)

Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Amy,
Somehow I never knew it was your birthday on April 20...and I was not available on that day to send you a greeting anyway.

I just happened to read Matt's recent post, and I saw a comment he had written about baking you a birthday cake 12 days ago!

So here's a belated birthday greeting for you. You look lovely in the pictures, but the words that your husband wrote about you speak of a different kind of beauty.

It is 2010 already...and I do want you to know that I thank God for giving me a chance to know you. You are a gift!

Love
Lidj

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