Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dutch Dutch Baby

Dutch dutch baby . . . sounds like a bad song from 1990, yes? Ok I am a huge dork. I won't pretend not to be. We did go to a great concert at the Wonder Ballroom last night, though. With some really awesome friends. To see a super-talented musician from 2012. Ben Howard. Check him out. He's just that good.

Okay, okay, moving on to the real topic of the day... Dutch Baby. Growing up, my family spent many weekend mornings eating breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Dutch baby has always been on the menu. The menu notes that it takes extra time to prepare. And it comes out a big, puffy glorious platterful of yumminess. I always figured something that special and delicious must also be difficult to create.

Then I married Eric. And gained a fabulous cook of a mother-in-law, Robyn.

One morning, after Eric and I had stayed the night at their house, she made a dutch baby. I was still asleep when she made it. When I came into the kitchen, and discovered she had made a dutch baby, I was in awe.

Eric and I started having kids of our own. Robyn passed down some of their family's favorite recipes. Including the recipe for dutch baby. One morning I pulled it out. Wait. What?? It's that easy??

So, I'm sharing the recipe here today. Dutch Baby is just so easy. It's one of my go-to recipes for a easy, hot breakfast. It's always met with cheers and squeals of excitement. It's impressive to serve for company (not that I'm condoning pride :)! ) And you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

1/3 cup butter
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour (I've heard that it even tastes good with gluten-free flour alternatives)

Optional for serving:
Powdered sugar

First, occupy your toddler.

Put butter in 9"x13" pan and set in a 425 degree oven to melt. (I set pan in oven while oven is heating).

While butter is melting put the eggs in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, then flour (slowly). Blend for 30 seconds. Having a little red-headed helper is nice too.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour batter into the hot melted butter. Return to heated 425 degree oven and bake until puffy and nicely browned. Approximately 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Seriously delicious with syrup. Or fresh berries. Or berry compote. Or with some sauteed apples with sugar and cinnamon.

Now, of course, the one day I decided to take pictures of a dutch baby it didn't turn out so puffy. I forgot to set the timer, and I don't think it cooked quite long enough. But just imagine all of the sides puffed up with buttery goodness. And go listen to some Ben Howard to get that Vanilla Ice song out of your head. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Ray of Sunshine and a Happy Leprechaun

Dance recital day! We were excited here at the Compton house. As Eliza says, she's been waiting every day for a whole year for this day. Highlight of her year. As we sat waiting for the performance to begin, Eliza said to me, "Mom, I can't wait for this magic day to begin!" Always a little extra drama with that sweet girl around.

On Friday, we spent part of the morning and afternoon at the Elsinore Theatre for dress rehearsal. Costumes, make-up and hair had to be done. All of the preparation had to be re-done on Saturday! I was grateful that Robyn offered to come help with the kids while I got everyone dressed. More specifically, to help with Jameson while I did Eliza's hair. Since Eliza chopped a big chunk out of her hair sometime this spring, I had to have her hair cut back into a bob. Which makes creating a bun on top of her head difficult. Jameson likes to interrupt the process. Usually this means sneaking the bottle of hair gel to squirt it out on the carpet. Then I have to let go of Eliza's hair to stop Jameson's mischief. And the process starts all over again. Praise Jesus for Gram's help.

Well, after a lot of Dep hair gel and hairspray, and a plethora of clips, bobby pins and a hair net, the bun was cemented in place. Eliza is thrilled because she gets to wear blush, lipstick, mascara and eye shadow. She watches me do my make-up every day and so badly wants to wear it herself. Her dream comes true once a year at recital time. Serious delight.

The recital makes me thankful that Marshall is a boy. Marshall is so easy. Just put on his costume. And a little blush so he doesn't look washed out under the lights. And he's ready to go.

Eliza's sweet little class waiting for the magic to begin

These are videos from Marshall's dress rehearsal. It is amazing to me to watch these videos of Marshall. Just two years ago, he was so shy that there is no way he would have danced on stage. Let alone in front of so many people. It was so much fun to watch him up there, dancing front and center!

[To hear the music on the video, go to the Mixpod box on the right of the blog and pause the music before you watch the video.]

Our videotaping of Eliza's rehearsal went a little haywire. So, here are a few pictures from her performance. Including a couple from her mama's backstage view.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Goshen

There were four of us back then - Jocelyn, Keira, Mary Beth and Nicole.

I had known Mary Beth since second grade; Keira since third grade; and Nicole since middle school. I cannot believe I am posting these pictures. Keira might kill me (love you Kiki). And yes. We are reading Sweet Valley High books. Uhthankyou.

Wow. Keira. You are an amazing friend to have stuck with me through that hairstyle. And yes, I am wearing black knee high socks with that dress. I have no explanation for it. None at all. 

But, we became true friends for life our junior year of high school. We were not the most likely bunch to end up together. To this day, I'm not totally sure how we all became so close. But, these girls blessed the heck out of me. 

For lack of a better description, I felt lost in early high school. Then I had my first encounter with Jesus. Sitting on the floor of Terry and Joann Watson's garage, at Young Life club, I heard the whole Gospel for the first time. I went home that night and asked Jesus to be my Savior. Right after I started following Jesus, He provided these dear girls to walk alongside me.

I have sometimes thought of our friendship as similar to the way the Lord provided Goshen for the Israelites. At the very end of Genesis, God has moved the young nation of Israel to Egypt. The Israelite brother, Joseph, had ended up a key figure in Egyptian government. Through his political power, the people of Israel escaped famine. Long before the infamous days of slavery, they were given food and beautiful, lush land to live on in a region of Egypt called Goshen.  Israel was a fledgling nation, and young its faith. Living in Goshen, Israel was less likely to be absorbed into Egyptian culture. Israel was able to grow and flourish, learning how to live as God's people. People belonging to the one, true God.

Keira, Mary Beth, and Nicole, and their collective friendship, were my Goshen. They are the best kind of friends. They don't just tolerate my imperfections, loving me in spite of them. Instead, they fully embrace my quirks and my dysfunctions and love all of who I am. Each of them encouraged me to pursue Jesus. We attended Young Life Campaigners together to study the Bible. There was no pressure to party or chase boys. I still remember Mary Beth introducing me to music like Steven Curtis Chapman (see . . . my KLOVE roots run deep). And we ate lunch together every day at Mary Beth's house, across the street from our high school. Such a safe haven to grow up in my faith.

We graduated.

Mary Beth, Nicole, our faithful Young Life leader Joann, Jocelyn, Keira

We went our separate ways in life. Keira to Santa Clara University, Mary Beth and Nicole both to Pacific Lutheran University, and me to the University of Oregon. Each of us developed new friendships. Yet, these girls remained dear to my heart. When I was leading Young Life in college, I would email high school girls' names to Mary Beth and Nicole up in Tacoma, who faithfully prayed for my ministry. And I can still laugh at the mere thought of inside jokes that Keira and I have from elementary school. Oh Keira ... Do NED 661 and "ice cream in my armpits" ring a bell? Laughing out loud as I write this.

All the while, we knew that our dear, sweet Nicole was suffering from the effects of Cystic Fibrosis. Not that we ever heard a complaint. Nicole rarely said a word about CF. She was a serious fighter. There was the reality that she had to fight. She took on the challenge with vast amounts of courage. And faith. Nicole had a fierce love for her Savior. Jesus shined through her in her struggle and in her trial.

Jocelyn, Nicole and Mary Beth at Young Life's camp, Woodleaf 

We said good-bye to Nicole in the summer of 2003. Our little group of friends here on earth is one member short. She is already in the heavenly realms with Jesus.

Today we walked in the Great Strides walk in her honor. With Nicole's family and friends we walked together. It was a rare treat to be with both Keira and Mary Beth this morning, remembering Nicole in the pouring down rain. We cannot wait to get to Heaven and hug that girl!

Keira,  Jocelyn, Jameson, Mary Beth (oh, and the back of Eliza's head is next to me. She refused to turn around.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taylor Swift Theology

Breathe. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. I sometimes catch myself holding my breath. Often it is when my kids first get down for naptime/quiet time. I have to stop and take a really big breath. And then stare at a wall for awhile.

I am an outgoing introvert. Does that even make sense? Do I love people? Yes! Do I love to talk? If you know me in real life than you know that the answer is a resounding, YES. A challenging verse for me is always "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak . . . " (James 1:19). Let's just say that God is working on my tongue . . .

A few Mother's Day memories thrown in

I love getting to know people. I love hearing their stories. I love knowing where they came from, what they've gone through, their personal twists and turns. Chatting over caramel macchiatos or cake at Konditorei until we get kicked out at closing time is my idea of a great time!

But, I have always been happy on my own. I get why Jesus was always going off to a solitary place by Himself. Even in high school, I was content to spend hours in the peace and quiet of my own bedroom. Now as a mom, you might think I'd be dying for adult conversation by naptime. What I really want to do is get our house picked-up without a toddler on my hip, sit down with the Word or some other book, or pour out my thoughts on my laptop or in my journal. In total silence. Or maybe sleep. But just maybe.

So, here I sit. With my thoughts. That have been dancing around in my head for a few days...

There is this Taylor Swift song titled Fearless. The chorus goes like this:

And I don't know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless
And I don't know why but with you I dance
In a storm in my best dress, fearless

It's on my running playlist. It always comes on when I am running UP Sunwood Drive, this HUGE hill by our house (well, it feels HUGE when I'm running UP it anyway). And EVERY time I listen to Fearless, I get to the chorus and I catch myself wanting to raise my hands to worship Jesus. [And sometimes I do. I'm sure I'm known to the people who live on Sunwood as the crazy girl who runs with her hands in the air.] What? I don't know. It's a Taylor Swift song. Not Hillsong or Chris Tomlin. But it moves me.

There is something about that chorus.

The last two years of my life have felt like a storm.

And it has felt like God has grabbed me by the hand and dragged me headfirst into a storm. Like the way He dragged the disciples into a storm in Mark 4:35-41. Read it. Jesus says to the disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." It was Jesus's idea to head out. in a boat. onto the lake. He is the Sovereign God of the universe. Look at the end of the story. Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Only God could control the wind and the waves with His voice. Now, do you think Jesus didn't know what was coming?

Jesus knew there would be a storm. And He still suggested that they get in the boat. He knew they were going to face fear.

God, in His Sovereignty, dragged me into the storm. I was in what I thought was my "best dress." My life was exactly the way that I wanted it. Exactly the way that I had planned. I thought it was pretty. I was in control. White picket fence. American dream. Handsome husband. Two beautiful kiddos and one on the way. Law school degree for security. But, stay-at-home mom. Attending church and Bible study. Even a Bible study leader.

And then came the storm.

And I learned to dance in the storm with Jesus. In some ways to ruin "my best dress." Only to have Him re-fashion it into something better. More beautiful. More perfect. Because HE did it.

The more I dance with Jesus in the storm, the more fearless I become. I see Him show up. He provides everything I need. Through His Word. Through people. Through all kinds of things He chooses to use.

Now, I find myself saying "I'm all in." All in. With everything I have. I want to be in that boat. Even in the storm. To dance in the rain. To take what I think is my "best dress" and hand it over to Jesus. And wait expectantly to see what He will create.

Photo Credit: My Hubs

Sunday, May 13, 2012

No More Hot Chocolate. Never. Again.

I am thankful this morning as I listen to two little people watching cartoons, and can see a third on the monitor peacefully asleep. This Mother's Day, I'm not feeling so much like Mom of the Year. Thursday morning, I made both of my kids hot chocolate and set about unloading the dishwasher.  All of a sudden I heard a crash and hysterical screaming.

Marshall had spilled scalding hot water down his front. As his pajamas came off, I could tell that his burns were much worse than I'd expected to see.  I was screaming for Eric to come downstairs.  Poor Eric was getting dressed for work, and had no idea what was going on. But when he came down the stairs, he could tell immediately that the burns were bad. I think at this point we both went into auto-pilot parent mode and just tried to do what needed to be done.

There are so many things to praise God for in the midst of a horrible accident. I just can't stop singing the old hymn: "To God be the Glory, great things he has done!" Amazingly wonderful paramedics were at our front door step within minutes. All of them were about our age, with young children at home. They were well aware of how we must feel. And they were so wonderful with Marshall.

Marshall had an emergency appendectomy about two and a half years ago. From that experience I knew he would be just fine on morphine - which was the only pain medication they had available in the ambulance. Because I had experienced God's hand in the appendectomy experience, I was able to trust Him more fully to come through in this emergency. It gave me an immediate peace that transcended my own understanding. I was able to wait with expectation for the ways that Jesus would show Himself to us in this trial. Not that I'm a sadistic trial-seeker! I never desire to go through another trial. And yet, when a trial appears, I seem to experience God in a more real way than I do during "normal" everyday life.

In God's timing, Eric had not yet left for work. He was able to ride along in the ambulance while I prepared Eliza and Jameson to go to Gram's house. As I saw the ambulance pull away, one of my dearest friends from law school, Yvonne, drove up. Yvonne moved in down the street last summer, and in God's timing she was leaving home just as I was outside. To see the face of such a dear friend, who also loves the Lord, was exactly what I needed! It reminded me that God was in control, and was going to provide everything we needed.

Back in the house, I was grateful to know Jesus, as I sat praying on my family room carpet with Eliza and Jameson. Grateful that Eliza knows Jesus as the one who takes care of her and her brother. That even though Eliza and I both had tears flowing down our cheeks, Eliza is learning to go to the Lord immediately when she is scared and overwhelmed. I can seek Him with my 4-year-old and know that He will give her a peace that I cannot provide. 

My next thought was to call my best friend. She is more like a sister than a friend. And since Eric was in the ambulance, I was hoping to find comfort in her human voice. But, she didn't answer. And, I think God was saying, "Talk to me. Your human, tangible comfort is unavailable, and I want you to talk to Me. I'm real and tangible and right here with you." Thank you Jesus for taking every opportunity to demonstrate yourself and redirect my way of thinking and doing things.  

Gram graciously welcomed Eliza and Jameson to her home, even though she was having a meeting there that morning. Being somewhere so familiar and fun as Gram's house distracted Eliza from the trauma she had just witnessed. And blessed my heart, as I knew Eliza and Jameson were so comfortable and felt at home with Gram. 

When I arrived at the emergency room, Marshall was virtually pain-free and had found new friends in the paramedics, doctor, nurses and a sweet teddy bear later named Crutches. He happily told me that he had to go to Portland. The doctor at Salem Hospital was more comfortable sending Marshall to the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Now that the pain was gone, I think Marshall was experiencing a slight sense of adventure.

So, Eric rode with Marshall in the ambulance again. I followed behind them. And soon we were up in Portland, getting settled for an overnight stay. Marshall entertained his doctors and nurses with stories about his siblings and being homeschooled. At one point he proudly announced that being homeschooled means he gets to stay in his pajamas all-day, just about every day! Thanks, buddy. LOL!

And, God showed up even in the smallest details. For example, the pajamas that they give kids at Emanuel have penguins all over them. Marshall loves penguins. There was a really wonderful chaplain who visited us twice in the hospital. And, in many regards he spoke the same "language" that we do in regards to Jesus.

In God's mercy and loving kindness, the burns were limited to second-degree burns. It is almost 100% certain that Marshall will not need any surgery to heal his skin. The burns to his chest are mainly superficial. His left thigh bore the worst of the wounds. Changing the bandages daily is proving to be the most difficult part of the healing process.

But there is beauty, even in the pain and suffering of our six-year-old. And, Marshall can see it too. There is beauty in listening to Marshall pray for himself, asking the Lord to make his bandage changes happen without pain. As Marshall and I considered all of God's blessings in the midst of the pain, Marshall thought "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" was a good hymn to sing.

There was beauty in listening to Marshall and Eliza share a sweet conversation over the phone while Marshall was in the hospital. Beauty in hearing Eliza spontaneously praise Jesus for the details - in particular that Marshall's face, feet and hands were not burned. Beauty in seeing the joy in Marshall's face when he heard the list of names of those praying for him.

There has been beauty in experiencing God's love as friends, family, and neighbors have poured out their love on our family in so many ways. I think Marshall experiences God's love even in the cards, treats, and balloons and in the sweet neighbor who loaned Marshall his helmet from his firefighting days.

There is beauty as our family has the privilege of experiencing God's provision, even down to the smallest details, and the reality of who He is.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Compton/Cole Sunriver Takeover

Our weekend adventure to Sunriver was full of things to remember. Swimming. Lost teeth. Dr. Mario. Pirate Ships. 10 Barrel. Vultures eating roadkill. Goody's. Pretend camping. A bunkroom. Donuts. A bridge over the Deschutes. Walkie talkies. Deer poop. A random, and surprisingly awesome, museum tour. Instagram tutoring. Wii playing. Sunshine. Two families. Four adults. Five kids. One toddler. One house.

Thank you Dallas, Whitney, Carsyn, Kennedy and Lane for an epic weekend!

If you've never been to Central Oregon, this is what you've missed out on.

Photo Credit, Eric Compton

Hello. My oldest son is a ladies man. Sorry Dal and Whit. 

A pretend campfire. Five seriously creative kids. 

Some pretend sleeping under the stars. 

How Marshall lost his tooth. 

Their version of "make a funny face!"

Sweet Girls!


Life as a toddler

Us. Dal and Whit - not sure how you escaped having your picture taken ALL weekend!

Daddy's Boy 

This pretty much sums up our High Desert Museum experience. It was so much fun. And Whitney and I decided that the tour we went on counts for at least a week's worth of homeschool! Vacation for us - woohoo! (and yes, i know Eliza's sweet little face is blurry. boohoo.)

Eliza reading everyone a bedtime story. Good Night!! Sort of . . . I mean, there were four kids sleeping in the same room. The adults said good night and turned out the light. There might have been talking for hours!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mr. Compton has a blog!

This amazingly handsome guy has a blog. About running. and craft beer. And Jesus. With awesome photos. Read it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Mom

My mom, dad and I during my dad's campaign for judge in 1981. I still have that Daddy for Judge t-shirt tucked away.

My mom's name was Susan. She was beautiful. And funny. A talented athlete. A gifted teacher. The life of every party. She was a devout Catholic. She hardly ever cooked dinner from scratch. But she could make the best pie crust you have ever tasted. And homemade cinnamon rolls. And chocolate chip cookies. And chocolate bundt cake with maraschino cherries on top.

My mom taught me to bake. And to love shopping. at Nordstrom. To sing the Lord's Prayer. And the Oregon Fight Song. To spend time chatting with my kids at bedtime. To find what looks good on me and buy it in three colors. To wear high heels. To use giant-sized velcro rollers in my hair. To be kind-hearted to those who might be disregarded by society. To water ski. To do a cartwheel. To have holiday traditions.

My mom and baby-me. In this photo, she was one year younger than I am today.

Now, there were things we clashed on. When I was little she wanted me in dresses with matching hair bows. I wanted no part in it. I think my mom wanted me to be the life of the party. And I was shy. My mom was Catholic. I am Protestant. For various reasons, my mom did not see the virtue of full-time homemaking. I have wanted to be a stay at home mom since I was six years old.

And, there are a few things that I did not inherit from my mother:

1. A green thumb - my mom planted silk flowers in our front yard. In the dirt. Lining the walkway. And also in planters. She even spritzed them with water. No. Of course they did not look real. Please. But it was humorous.

2. Love of lipstick. She was always trying to get me to put on "just a little lipstick." My mom took off all of her makeup every night. And then re-applied red lipstick. She wore the same color my whole life. Wine With Everything by Revlon. Covered by a layer of Black Honey pot o' gloss by Clinique. And you'd better believe when Clinique discontinued pot o' gloss she bought up all she could find. She had a drawer completely full of it. Lifetime supply. My parents' room was always decorated with a raspberry color. With raspberry sheets. Always. This was so her lipstick would not stain sheets.

3. A love of country western dancing. I will never forget my mom teaching my friends to line dance in the hotel at cheerleading nationals. She was the coolest. At the time, I was mortified. I didn't fully comprehend how fun my mom was back then.

When I was eight, and my brother was four, my mom was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She was 40. She had gone in for her baseline mammogram. And just like that, her world was turned upside down.

This was pre-menopausal, estrogen-driven breast cancer. Aggressive. Mastectomy, chemo, radiation. I remember very little of the hair loss or nausea or the emotional trauma my mom must have endured. But, endure she did. Endured and conquered.

Fourteen years later, my mom started experiencing some severe back pain. After much uncertainty, a tumor was finally found - it was wrapped around her spine. The breast cancer was back. I know it is strange that it was breast cancer around her spine. I don't know all of the technical medical jargon. But I know it was a recurrence.

I got the call from my dad when I was working at a Young Life camp at the Oregon Coast. And I cried. hard. on the whole drive to Salem. I knew that this would change my immediate family's life. Things were probably never going to be the same.

And they weren't. My mom was in the fight of her life. Knowing that it wasn't going to end well. She was fighting for time. Both of my parents retired early. My dad took care of my mom. Their life became a series of doctor's appointments, treatments, and medications. And medications to offset the side effects of the medications.

There is much that my brother and I were insulated from. Much of the pain and emotion my parents endured on their own. But, I will never forget my mom's attitude at her treatments. Hooked up to an IV at the oncology office. She was so encouraging to the other patients. Cheering them on. Offering a smile. Assuring them that they could keep on going. They could endure.

And, she was my greatest cheerleader. The last few months of my mom's life are a blur for me. I finished my law school finals on April 29, 2004. Eric and I were married on May 1, 2004. (we were insane. i know.)

Dad, Mom, Me, Eric, Robyn, Randy

After a whirlwind of travels in May, I was scheduled to begin my bar exam review course (read: six weeks of living hell). Within a few days of starting my studies, my mom was in the hospital. The cancer had moved to her brain. She had between six weeks and three months left to live.

There was no way I was going to spend the last weeks of my mom's life studying for a test. I could skip the July exam and take the February one. What was seven months? But my mom would hear nothing of it. She insisted I take the exam in July. Have you ever tried to argue with a woman who has terminal cancer?  So, I took the exam for her.

My mom was so sick by the time I finished the bar exam. Bed-ridden and frail. Unable to eat. Or talk coherently. Delusional at times. But as I walked in the front door of their house that day, my mom raised both arms in the air and cheered "Yay Jocey! My girl did it!"

My mom took her last breath four days later.

A beautiful life. A beautiful wife. A beautiful mother. A beautiful friend.

How I remember her . . . 

I grieved hard. Especially when I had Marshall. And she wasn't there.

But with every month the loss was more bearable. And life continued. And, I came to trust God in His Sovereignty - in His goodness and His love for me, even in the loss of my mom.

We had Eliza. She is my mom in so many ways. Loves being the center of attention. She is ready to go at the word "party!" She loves making new friends. She loves shopping. She loves wearing dresses. Yes, with matching hair bows. And lots of big jewelry. The more glitter and sparkles, the better. My mom would be so thrilled.

Marshall named my mom Grammy Sue. Our kids love stories about her. Eliza loves hearing the ways she reminds me of her. And I love to talk about her. So, thanks for listening. There are pieces of me that come from pieces of her. And she is missed. And loved. Even by three little people who never knew her for themselves.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us

Eric and I started dating on October 21, 2003. By Thanksgiving, Eric had picked out a ring. We were officially engaged on January 21, 2004. We were babies back then!

We were married on May 1, 2004 in an old little church on a hilltop in Hopewell.

I was preggers with Marshall Thomas nine months later. We move fast, to say the least.

And, the last eight years have gone by lightning fast. Some of the harder days have seemed slow. But where have the years gone? We have learned that there is still a lot to learn about each other. We have seen each other at our best . . .  and at our worst (including my short haircuts and the sixty pounds I gained with each of my first two pregnancies. thank you Eric for enduring - it was brutal. ha!)

We have faced joy and heartbreak. The miracle of new life in welcoming three beautiful kiddos into the world. The miracle of new life, as God has breathed new life into our marriage. By God's grace alone we have made it this far. It is a miracle that God can take two sinners, hold them together and sustain them through the power of His Son.  ... in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17b). To God be the glory. Great things He has done.

After all we've been through, I wouldn't choose anyone else, Eric Compton. You love me, encourage me, and know me in a way that no one else ever has. You continue to point me to Jesus as we grow in the Gospel together. You forgive much, and offer me grace every day. Eight years later I love you more than ever.