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This continues a previous post: [Introduction]  [Part 1]  [Part 2]  [Part 3]

julie portrait3BW[From Julie] We love our fourth response to the question, “What changes in your spouse have surprised you the most since you first got married?”

Today we’ll hear from Kerri Kennedy. She is an English Teacher at Great Lakes Christian High School. She has been teaching at GL since Noel was a math teacher there and incidentally she is one of Noel’s favorite people to tease.  🙂 Her husband Jeff is the principal of Oakville Christian School. She and Jeff are some of our best friends.  Kerri is one of the most positive and giving people I know.  I can’t count the number of times I have witnessed both of them helping out someone else in the midst of their own very busy schedules just because they saw a need.  We have been on the receiving end of their help many times from very practical help of cleaning our house when I was pregnant with the twins and couldn’t do it anymore to offering suggestions for our kids who struggle with school and the many occasions when they were just there to listen.  They are true servants and we are blessed to know them.  Thanks for doing this Kerri.  I love your answer and I’m not surprised Jeff stuck around.  You’re awesome and he’s a keeper.  Love you guys.

JW

KerriJeff and I have been married for 15 years and dated for 3. I have almost spent half my life being in love with him which seems pretty amazing. Jeff and I were good friends at university and then became a couple which I think was really important for us. I was sort of a reluctant girlfriend in some ways because I had high expectations of a husband. (Jeff would joke that I had low expectations of my boyfriends!) I was a teenager when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and that fundamentally changed me. I watched my dad patiently deal with her cancer, still go to work and raise us during that difficult time. He was a picture of concentrated love. There was laundry and ironing to do, meals to make and a host of other jobs that moms just do naturally. The man I wanted and needed in my life needed to show me that he could be the guy in my mental picture. I had in the back of my mind that I might be diagnosed with cancer some day too and wanted to have some assurance that my husband would take care of our children and me. It is amazing that Jeff even stuck around knowing that I had those kinds of expectations!

The first few years of our marriage were easy. We worked and lived together, we had more money than we had ever dreamed about and our future looked bright. I have never had to deal with disease but unexpectedly we needed to work our way through infertility. I learned that neither Jeff nor I handled that perfectly. I also realized that the picture of my dad was one dimensional and limited by my teen eyes. Now I realize that Dad struggled, felt hurt, got angry, wished for something different, prayed for strength and made mistakes. I know this because Jeff and I did this to each other too. What I also understand is that my parents are so close because they walked that path. Our struggle with infertility and miscarriages was a path that grew us too. I know that Jeff loves me because he was able to be imperfect during that process and he allowed me to be that way too. If I could tell my university self anything it would be that I had the right idea choosing a man after my father’s heart but the real blessing would be finding a man after my Father’s heart.

My husband is hard working, relentlessly loyal, funny, he believes in me and my potential, he loves our kids, he listens and he knows my favorite chocolate bar. What I have learned is that he is willing to take the time to study and know all of me and that has made all the difference.

This post is continued here.

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