It used to be considered impolite to ask a woman’s age. I’m not sure if that is still considered the case, but If so, then revealing a woman’s age on the internet is surely a faux pas of the rudest variety.

My wife turns 34 today, and if you can overlook my lack of manners in this one instance, I can assure you that the rest of this blog will be hard to interpret in any other way than flattering.

I met my wife two months after she turned 18. As such, I sort of know her pretty well. So since she’s turning 34, I thought I’d share 34 things about Kari Benton that you might not have known. Some are fun; others are heart-wrenching. All of them reveal a strong, brilliant, beautiful human being that many MANY people love & admire (judging by the Facebook traffic she’s getting today with folks wishing her well), and I’m among that group’s most sincere members.

  1. Kari’s middle name is Nichol. There is no “e” at the end. No one really knows why.
  2. During a single semester of nursing school, we moved, my wife commuted two hours one way to class four days per week, had a root canal and contracted bronchitis, and got the flu AND had a 5 month old — and still made straight A’s.
  3. As a kid, my wife once set some curtains in her house on fire…on purpose.
  4. My wife is one of the strongest people I know, and if you read the rest of these 34 things, you’ll get a peek into why.
  5. There might be a few things on the planet prettier than my wife’s eyes, but I’ve never seen any of them. Neither have you.
  6. Kari was named “Most Improved Player” on her JV soccer team in High School. She is well aware this was just an award given to one of the less talented team members to be nice.
  7. My wife can absolutely sing. Girl’s got pipes for real.
  8. Kari twitches like she’s experiencing electroshock therapy when she is falling asleep.
  9. On our first date, I spit on my wife’s face by accident. She didn’t call me out on it and even when I called myself out on it and apologized like crazy, she played it cool.
  10. Most people have ugly feet. My wife is not one of those people.
  11. My wife is terribly bad at geography, but has one of the best memories I have ever encountered. This does not serve me well in arguments, but it sure is impressive generally.
  12. Kari was named the Best Family Nurse Practitioner Student in her graduating class, earning her masters degree with, you guessed it, straight A’s.
  13. Though she could make much more money other places, Kari chooses to serve the un- and under-insured in our community by putting her medical skills to use at a nonprofit clinic.
  14. A few years ago some powerful people did some bad stuff, and my wife was among those who took a stand. They hammered her and hurt her pretty bad, but still she stood. Because if there’s one thing Kari Benton doesn’t let slide, it’s bullies.
  15. My wife served a group of teenagers in our church from the time they were 12 to the time they graduated. She taught them the Bible, listened to them complain, prayed with and for them, and pointed them toward Jesus. They are an exceptional group of girls with a lot of good people in their lives. But I’ll bet my wife is invited to all of their weddings.
  16. Kari Benton has a great sense of humor.
  17. Kari owns about fifty million blouses. I may be exaggerating by one or two million, but not by much more than that.
  18. My wife doesn’t tolerate my nonsense in all the best ways. She’s just a really, really good wife.
  19. When the power goes out all we have to do is get Kari laughing, because her smile can light up the room bright enough to where we can all see just fine.
  20. When homegirl sets her mind to it, she can do anything. I mean, a stand-back-and-watch-her kind of anything. It’s impressive.
  21. Kari is a survivor of childhood trauma. I choose the word “survivor” intentionally, because goodness has she survived. She has faced her demons and not let them take control. And now, at every turn she is using her story to help other people.
  22. In the past several months, my wife has endured (again, I use that word on purpose) trauma therapy and intense counseling. Her rallying cry all along has been “Fix it, Jesus.” It has been one of the most beautifully redemptive things I’ve ever witnessed watching her lean on the Lord for strength despite all the challenges.
  23. As she has opened up with her story, scores of individuals have thanked her for sharing, saying “Me too!” and encouraging to continue to minister to people with similar experiences.
  24. At her clinic my wife is adored. She has the respect of peers, bosses, and those over whom she has authority.
  25. Kari is a fantastic leader.
  26. Kari played violin growing up. She later sold her violin in a garage sale for like fifty cents. I was upset, but whatever.
  27. As a mom, Kari is fantastic. Our kids really look up to her, even if they do say she’s the weirdest person in our family.
  28. I know a lot of husbands say this, but my wife really reminds me of the woman described in Proverbs 31. She works hard, loves hard, thinks hard, is shrewd and tough and tender and beautiful, and she fears the Lord. She is worthy of honor.
  29. My wife supports my work and my ministry, not out of compulsion but because she wants to. That includes pushing me in different directions when I sit content in my comfort.
  30. My wife is not a good runner and she can’t draw. I know this is all supposed to be very uplifting, but I didn’t want you thinking she was perfect.
  31. Kari has taught me a ton in 15 years about grace, relying on Jesus, and what redemption looks like.
  32. I’ve tried to delay this as long as I could so as to not appear shallow, but Kari Benton is just a flat-out, beautiful woman. She is getting better looking as she ages. Sometimes I catch myself staring. Sometimes she catches me staring and asks me what I’m doing and I just have to answer, “You’re really pretty” because there’s no other way to describe it.
  33. My wife likes to do puzzles.
  34. I’m only scratching the surface here, and could repeat this exercise annually, adding a fact as she ages year by year. I would not have to repeat any facts ever, even if she lived until she was 100. Let’s just leave it at this: I am so stinking proud and honored to be her husband. 

Happy Birthday, Darlin’.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Kari Benton

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