Today I want to share a little bit about the friendship that I have with Jeff Jacob. I am very thankful for my bff’s husband who has become one of my closest friends and someone I respect more than almost anyone else. Not a lot of people understand my relationship with Liz and Jeff. Most people think that it’s just Liz and I who are close and then Jeff comes along with all of it :) And that’s definitely how it started, but I believe that one of God’s greatest gifts to me has been my friendship with Jeff.
On his birthday today I thought this was a great time to write about what a gift he’s been in my life and the things that make him so great! Some people don’t know, but Jeff is the son of one my dad’s old best friends. His dad, Kip, and mine were youth pastors together back in Eugene in the 70’s and had a close friendship. I’ll never forget when Liz came back to Spokane from a visit to Portland to see her new boyfriend all excited to tell me that she thought our families might know each other! I am so thankful for this family tie with Jeff and his family because I truly feel that God has brought a little bit of my dad back into my life through Jeff. Many people have told him and myself that he reminds them of my dad a lot which I just think is pretty cool :)
Although Jeff isn’t TOO much older than I am, I feel like God has given me the example of what it looks like to be an incredible husband and father that I’ve been missing by losing my dad. I can not begin to express how much I respect Jeff as one of the most devoted and loving husband’s and father’s I’ve ever seen to his wife Liz and their four beautiful children. Over the past year especially as well I feel like I have been able to learn from Jeff on a whole new level on what it means to stay true to who God has called me to be and how to balance life and ministry and to never stop moving forward. In the past year there have been a few moments when he has actually been the single thing causing me to hold onto the calling. I respect his opinion and his wisdom from God in huge ways and can’t believe I’ve been so blessed not just by one of my best friends Liz, but that God would use her amazing husband to be such an inspiration and example to me in my life.
Because of Jeff in my life I feel like I have become a better person. Jeff, you’ve taught me how to not take life too seriously, (and yes that’s me admitting that all of the jokes you’ve played on me have helped shape me into a better and less stressed out person haha) and yet at the same time you’ve caused me to be more grounded and serious about pursuing the heart of God like never before. You’ve put up with a lot of my crap and at the same time NEVER let me get away with being an idiot when I was making stupid decisions :) You’ve taught me a lot about the kind of standards I will always keep for my future husband and family and have set the standard high as my friend and brother, and for that I will always be deeply thankful to you and to God. Thank you for showing me what it means to never back down on who you know God has called you to be. The way you bring all of who you are, even when people question that, and never defend yourself, simply show people God in a new way, is incredible to me! I don’t only look up to you for the type of husband and father I want in my life someday, but I also see crazy similarities between us that is very encouraging to me :) Thank you for showing me what it means to be in this crazy ministry world and for constantly encouraging and challenging me to be better and to be true to God first and foremost. Thank you for your advice when I’ve been facing huge challenges in my life and when I’ve been facing new opportunities in speaking and leading.
Like I said before, I don’t know if anyone will ever understand the relationship that Jeff and Liz and I have haha :) And that’s ok. But on his birthday, I had to acknowledge the gift that Jeff has been in my life and how he continues to shape and lead the world around him in HUGE ways. He’s one of the few people in my life I would trust with absolutely anything and would follow his leading no matter where he goes next. So where are we going next?? :) No matter where it is I know that your character and love for God will lead you in the right directions when leading your family and the church that you love so much. I celebrate you today Jeff! May you be EXTREMELY blessed the way you’ve blessed so many others!