It happens every time. Every time I am with Chet when he speaks, at least one person comes out to tell me that I am a wonderful person. I politely say, “thank you” and turn to greet the next person. I enjoy getting compliments. Who doesn’t? But, every once in a while, someone says what they are really thinking.

“You are such a wonderful person to marry Chet.”

“I know life must be difficult for you since you have more to take care of.”

I find it a little disheartening that Christians are usually the ones that are saying these kinds of things. Shouldn’t we be encouraging one another instead of pointing out the difficult aspects of life?

It always catches me off guard and I really don’t know what to say. Strong, quick comebacks have never been my strength. Just because my life looks a bit different on the outside than others doesn’t mean that I am not happy. It doesn’t mean that I love my family any less. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy doing the little (and sometimes, big) things for my family.

I could list all of the ways that Chet contributes to our family, but marriage isn’t about record-keeping. It isn’t about keeping score or seeing which person “contributes” the most. I always tell my girls that this family is a team, that we work together to get things accomplished. All four of us contribute to this family in our own way, with God holding us together and encouraging us all the way.

I chose this life. I chose to marry Chet. I chose to raise a family with him. I chose to love, honor, and care for him just like any bride does. Just because he looks a certain way, doesn’t make me a better person. I could even turn it around to say that he chose me. My limitations and needs may not be as visible, yet he still chose to love, honor, and care for me.

Ten years ago, I chose to marry Chet when he asked me. After just over nine years of marriage, I still choose to honor, love, and care for him each and every day. We have a wonderful relationship and I wouldn’t change a thing about the way our family functions. And, after only seven years of speaking engagements, I think I finally have my answer ready for those that ask.

I choose this life!