Archives For marriage

Top Posts of 2010

Erik Cooper —  December 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

According to Google, these were my most read posts of 2010 (and seriously, who argues with Google and lives?). Since this is the week of top 10’s and best of’s, I thought I’d join the end of year festivities. Hope you enjoy a little stroll down BeyondTheRisk memory lane.

10.  Memorabilia: What Do You Hold Onto?

Our lives are full of memorabilia. Some trigger beautiful memories.  Some conjure up nightmares. [Read more]

9. Should Churches Ever Go Out of Business?

A question I still question if I should have even asked. [Read more]

8.  Should the Church Really Be Promoting Social Justice?

Glenn Beck made some strong statements against churches who talk about social justice. I tried to engage the conversation [Read More]

7.  Saying Goodbye

After 32 years, my parents finally moved from my childhood home. These were my nostalgic thoughts as we closed those doors for one last time. [Read More]

6.  The Problem with the Church

With all the condescending finger pointing and pithy diagnosis, I thought it was time to talk about the real problem with the church. [Read More]

5.  You Can Keep Your Hymnal

How often am I guilty of trying to relive the past? What are the “hymnals” in your life? [Read More]

4.  Embracing Biblical Values and Completely Missing the Point

Is it possible to love Jesus without truly following Him?  [Read More]

3.  Goodbye Maddie

Directly or indirectly, relationships will hurt you (confession: cried again re-reading this one). [Read More]

2.  I Hate When People Tell Me About Their Missions Trips

A trip to Honduras once again messed with our normal. What you hear from these two guys sums it up perfectly. [Read More]

1.  Fifteen Years Ago

My wife and I crossed a major milestone this year. This is my tribute to her (to us). [Read More]

Mandy and I are heading to San Diego for a week. Our marriage crossed a fifteen year milestone this past July, and thanks to Delta bump-vouchers and an extra week in my aunt & uncle’s timeshare, our “crystal anniversary” will be properly celebrated (and nearly free of charge).

This will be the first full week we’ve spent away, just the two of us, since our honeymoon (save the hate mail ladies, I know).

I love my wife more today than ever before, but relationship thrives in pursuit. There’s always something more to learn. To share. To unmask about one another.  And nothing facilitates that more than getting out of the routine, the familiar scenery, and the expectations of life.

I’ll be checking out of the blogosphere. Sleeping until I wake up. Reading some good books. Inhaling the Southern California ocean air.  And all with the love of my life. Fifteen years and just getting started.

Fifteen Years Ago

Erik Cooper —  July 29, 2010 — 11 Comments

Fifteen years ago today, I woke up early and went for a jog.  I’m not a runner (and wasn’t then either), but it seemed to be the most logical way to unload some of the nervous energy pulsating through my veins.  After all, I was getting married in a few short hours.

It wasn’t the anxiety of losing my manly independence, or the question of whether I was committing my life to the right woman. In retrospect, I think I feared my ability to become the man she needed me to be. A husband.

I don’t know that I’ve arrived, but I do know one thing:  If I had it all to do over again, I would still choose her.

We’re far from perfect. We disagree, irritate each other, communicate poorly, act like broken humans.  All the things other married couples do.  But love is where we’ve made our home. And love miraculously devours a multitude of dysfunction and self-centeredness.

And from that love, the most beautiful things have emerged. A life, a home, three beautiful children, (a handful of irritating little dogs), and a willingness to follow the voice of God on some of the strangest and most risk-filled adventures.

After 15 years, I couldn’t love her more. Her wisdom and ingenuity.  Her faith in God (and somehow in me).  Her willingness to sit through bad action movies and (sometimes) even pretend she likes them.  Her commitment to our children.  Her ability to give up security for the sake of obedience to God’s voice.

But most of all, I’m grateful that every morning when I wake up, she still chooses to be there.

I’m the luckiest man alive.

Not just because we made it 15 years.  Because these first 15 are just a small sign of what’s yet to come.

I love you Mandy.  If I could do it all over again, I’d still choose you.

Happy anniversary.

Amanda Lynn

Erik Cooper —  June 5, 2009 — 2 Comments

I’ve written songs for and about my kids, blogged about my wonderful mom, and told stories of my selfless father over and over again.  But I’ve never shared anything in this kind of context about my wife, maybe subtly due to the fact that I think that’s too private or intimate, but probably because I’m just far too often oblivious to some of the sweetest blessings God has given me.

I married up...way up.  And while Mandy is human just like the rest of us (although some days I wonder), her God-given traits and spirit are life to my bones, a strength I impulsively lean back into far more than I think I even realize.  I know husbands are contractually obligated to say it (but I really, really mean it), she is undeniably gorgeous.  I often find myself secretly staring at her in the quiet moments, thinking how lucky I am to have a wife who’s internal and external beauty blend into such perfection.  I just love to be near her.

I don’t know another woman more qualified to walk the paths God has asked us to walk.  As the daughter of a pastor, she never wanted to marry one…and she didn’t.  She married a business man, who turned into a musician, who became a pastor, who is now a church planter.  If she would have seen that in the contract, I’d undoubtedly still be single.  But she never blinked, never questioned, never feared (even when I did) as we turned our focus from highly controlled, unlimited earthly upside potential, to a life of risk, big questions, and buckets full of unknowns.  I’m still amazed at her steadiness as this journey has unfolded.

But more than anything I love her heart…her heart for others.  It can seem hidden in her somewhat introverted nature, but she derives so much satisfaction in doing things for other people.  Her dream is to one day have a decorating firm that is both a business and a ministry, serving less fortunate people by bringing new life to the interiors of their homes.  (Secretly, I tihnk she just wants her own TLC show!).  If she wasn’t a mom she could be running a Fortune 500 company.  I can’t wait until the time is right to help her get it started.

So here’s to my unbelievable wife.  I love you Mandy.  As I look around, it’s undeniable that I have been blessed in ways I can’t even begin to quantify.  But I would trade them all in for you.  Thank you for being my wife.  Thank you for taking this journey with me.  Can’t wait to see how the rest of it unfolds.

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.  Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.” (Proverbs 31:10 MSG)