In honor of her birthday….15 of 1,000,000+ reasons why Margaret Nicole “Nikki” Flynn Akridge is my favorite person in the land. (2018 version)
“Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her…” Proverbs 31:28
Some of these scream for an eye roll… but the older I get, the less I care. Roll away, world.
1. She loves her Lord. That love fuels the good in her. That love fuels her love for me, our daughter, and everyone else who crosses her path. The best thing to happen to me and our daughter is that #1 is so very true.
I could stop the list here and it would explain it all…but what fun would that be?!
2. She lives life passionately gentle. Not weak. Not passive.
You need real passion to navigate this life and the people in it to engage them with a loving and confident gentleness that changes lives…..not a judgmental self-righteous bravado that alienates them.
One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands says it this way…..
”She’s leaving her mark without leaving a bruise.”
3. She doesn’t try to change me. She loves me in a way to enhance any good that is in me in order to help me become the best version of myself.
4. She is passionate about sleep. I admire someone who can be asleep seconds after they turn out the light. She loves sleep so much she grins when it’s bedtime.
5. Her support. If I said I felt like God wanted us to head into hell with a bucket of water she would ask one simple question, “When do we leave?”
Her support doesn’t encourage in me some pompous testosterone-filled dictator…. her support encourages a humble and fearless sacrificial servant leader for our family. Though I don’t always succeed in being that leader…the encouraging support is always present.
6. She will demolish a long held belief the second it occurs to her it was simply something indoctrinated into her mind by flawed man, and not inspired in her heart by Truth. I’ve seen it happen. She’s not afraid to veer, even uncomfortably so, if it will lead to Truth.
7. She doesn’t give me a courtesy laugh. Ever. This guy’s gotta earn it.
(Or maybe I’m just not that funny? Ummmm….nah. That couldn’t be it. Perish the thought.)
When we were dating I promised her I was going to make her laugh at least once a day for the rest of her life. Some days I’ve reeeaaallllyyy gotta work. But when I hear that unmistakable laugh? I’ve learned over the years that promise was as much for me as it was for her.
8. She never feels inferior. She never feels superior. She’s not impressed. She’s never condescending. She knows everyone has their peaks, everyone has their valleys.
Kings and strangers are treated the same.
9. This list will not help me “score points” with her because I’m never required to score any. She doesn’t keep score. Her love for me isn’t based on what I do for her….which inspires me to do things for her. (Funny how that works. She’s pretty smart. Hey, wait a second.…)
10. She is diabolically forgiving. I don’t mean simply with me (though she very much is), I mean with everyone else.
She has faced hurt, betrayal, slander, disrespect, sexism, and ugliness. She doesn’t fight back. She simply rises above. She knows who she is in Christ. She forgives. Not as some poor little helpless flower…but as a powerful and confident woman of God.
Observing that forgiveness helps me. She’s probably a bit further down the road with forgiveness. I forgive….I say the words and mean it….and sometimes my guts still turn. But she is my example that my bravado, my anger, is misplaced. Move the passion to something more impactful. Something eternal. Change this world. Impact the next. She is a tower of example.
Aren’t we all a work in progress? I certainly hope so. Oh wait… I checked the Bible… it says we are. No worries. I forgive you. See?! I’m learning!
11. She allows me to sing purposefully bad and dance purposefully awkward (in order to fulfill what is mentioned in #7), and never raises a fuss.
(Ok…not entirely accurate…she keeps a straight face to show disinterest in order to discourage said singing and dancing.)
12. People want to be around her. She’s calming. You feel at home. At peace. When I got a sense of it for myself shortly after we met…it was game over. You can have this, that, and the other…I want peace. I want “home”.
“Charm is deceitful and ‘beauty’ is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, will be admired and praised.” Proverbs 31:30
13. Before we started dating I went to a country music saloon (not a big country music fan) just to be around her. At the time I didn’t know what it was about her that made me do it, but it had something to do with #12.
14. I never knew how much I would enjoy watching her be a mother. During our years of marriage and ministry together, engaging numerous lives, I’ve watched her be a mother to far more than just our daughter. I never tire of being a witness to it.
15. She loves her Lord.
This past year has been a challenge for various reasons. Many of the “15 reasons” I’ve written here have been voiced and/or written by me before. But they feel deeper now. They hold a more holy and unspoken space deep in my gut. They hold more sway. Our devotion to one another, to the Lord, has taken a deeper turn. God is so good.
She would be uncomfortable with me sharing this list if I didn’t emphasize that anything and everything good in her comes from God. From our loving, holy, gracious, and merciful God.
So in a way this is also a list of appreciation to the Lord. For being so good to me. For being so good to us. For allowing me to meet Margaret Nicole “Nikki” Flynn Akridge… almost to the day…over 16! years ago. God is good.
Now let’s party!!
“An excellent wife who can find? Her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts in her without reserve, And never has reason to regret it.” Proverbs 31:10-11