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Indulge me here, folks. We have a milestone to celebrate–one of several coming in rapid succession in the next few weeks.


Jenni turned in her thesis late last night.


It’s the winding down of five years of hard work and effort that this represents. Sure, she’s got one more part of this process left, but this was the biggie–the “show us what you’ve learned” aspect that was, quite understandably, very daunting.


And the paper itself wasn’t an easy thing: she crafted an online survey, parsed the data from that to see if it supported her theory, used that data to augment the reading and other research she’d been doing on the topic, and then had to somehow massage and cram it into an 18 page or so package.


So I am duly proud of my wife. I don’t think any of us knew where this journey would take us over these five years, even when I think this academic approach to religion has probably taken some of her own notions of religion and faith and pulled them inside out. She can talk about so many aspects of religion now on so many levels that honestly it makes my head spin a bit. But she still talks about it just as enthusiastically and passionately as she always has, which is reassuring to me.


School pulled her in another direction for these years, and she somehow managed to still share herself with me and the kids. She did it all while still balancing a part time job, and even an “internship” at a church for a few years. In short, the last five years could not have been easy for her.


Oh, I know she’ll deflect this a bit, saying she couldn’t have done it without us. And that’s fine, but we didn’t do the hard work. But if anything, we as a family have come through this whole process in much better shape than when we went in, on so many levels. And a lot of that I also will credit her for.


What I think too few people see when they look at Jenni is that she is a very strong person, not just a strong personality. And to be sure, the last five years have helped bring that strong person to the for much more than before and helped her to be a much better individual, mother, wife, and friend. She is incredibly smart, resourceful, passionate, funny, and talented. She’s a great leader, but also a great doer–someone who can envision a plan but also carry it out. And, while she doesn’t acknowledge it as much as I think she should, she’s an amazing teacher.


So this five year trek is nearly finished–only one month left until she receives her sheepskin and will be able to put those letters (M.A.) in a title. And I’m so proud of all she’s accomplished. We all should be proud of her for so many reasons. And I hope she is too.


See you tomorrow.