I'll just give 5 quick examples of qualities that make me respect Andy so much...
- His consistent pursuit of God. There is rarely a morning that you won't find Andy up before the rest of the family either reading his Bible or on his knees in prayer. He sets the pace for our home spiritually. There is also rarely a night when Andy doesn't pray over me before we go to sleep. He inspires me to love Jesus more.
- His discipline with working out and eating right. Andy has always struggled to maintain a healthy weight. Many of you have heard his stories from middle school when the kids would bang on the lunch table and chant "Chunky, chunky!" :-( Ever since I've known him, he's worked out pretty consistently, but this year he took his health to a whole new level. He has diligently exercised and watched what he ate all year and has lost almost 20 pounds. Andy is typically either losing weight or gaining weight, but this year he has learned how to maintain his weight and is doing an awesome job! I'm so proud of him!
- His growth as a leader. Andy is an avid, maybe even rabid, learner! Last year he read over 30 books on various topics such as leadership, spiritual growth, marriage, parenting, etc... He intentionally seeks out other leaders who are a step or two ahead of him to learn from them. He asks great questions (and he's full of them!). He is always looking for growth opportunities such as coaching networks to be apart of. Andy is humble enough to want to learn from anyone. When he meets with another leader, he asks one question after another instead of filling up the whole conversation with his own thoughts. The Bible teaches that God gives grace to the humble, and I believe God continues to provide learning opportunities for Andy because he humbly makes the most of every opportunity given.
- His pursuit of me. Andy adamantly protects our date night each week so that we consistently get some one-on-one time. It's hard for parents of small children to find time for meaningful conversation, so we prioritize that night. I love that date night is seriously his favorite night of the week. I know that I am a refuge for Andy and that means the world to me.
- His growth as a dad. When Caedmon was born, Andy was finishing his masters degree and pastoring a church full time. He had virtually no free time and, thus, I did most of the caretaking for Caedmon when he was a baby. However, he has been so involved with Sammy's transition home. He rocks him in the middle of the night, helps with bath time routine and putting him to sleep, wrestles with him and plays with him after work...Sammy actually seems to prefer Andy much of the time! "Boy's club" is a standing appointment for him on Saturday mornings. I fear I am quickly being "out-awesomed" by their dad!!