There is something to be said for sticking things out.  Some of the best things in life come from consistent commitment, from sheer longevity, from a general sense of ‘stickability.’  Take marriage, for example.  It truly yields its rewards when you ride out the rough seasons, learn to face your imperfections and those of your partner, and sacrificially build a life together.  Parenting is the same – perseverance through those sleepless nights and relentless days, the friction of moulding and shaping another human being, and the forging of character and family culture, one day emerge as the most gratifying and fulfilling experience of your life. Matthew 24:12-13 says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” It is fair to say that it is a sign of the times that the love of most will grow cold – love for God, love for the Church, love for one another, love for the lost, love for the broken, love for our leaders, love for our spouses, love for our children, love for the mission.  Jesus told us that this would happen.  But he encourages us to stand firm in that conviction of love, to stay committed, to stay solid and unmoving, to be consistent, reliable, steadfast.  Because it reaps a reward.  It makes everything worth it. So, this week, Ric and I celebrate ten years of being at Hawkesbury Church (now Strong Nation Church). It is quite an epic milestone – especially when we consider what has happened over these last ten years.  In some ways, it’s been an absolute marathon!  There have been days we could have chucked it in, and others when we could not stop counting our blessings.  We’ve had the full range of potential leadership experiences!  We’ve seen many come and many go.  We have laughed and cried and hurt like mad.  We’ve married friends.  We’ve buried friends.  We’ve welcomed over 100 babies!  We’ve dreamed, planned and gone back to the drawing board.  We’ve sent out 10 missionaries, planted two churches, bought and renovated buildings and grown services to the community. We’ve seen lives restored and healed.  We’ve preached a lot of sermons!  And all of that has got me thinking about the power of consistency and stickability. I guess it’s the benefit of age that helps me see the tremendous fruit of hanging in there for the long haul!  Life is marked by seasons, days and nights, sun and rain.  You begin to appreciate what the long waits, frustrating delays, and endless wilderness periods can produce in your life.  Even loss and grief, betrayal and struggle begin to define the most significant victories in your life.  And with victory, comes the spoils of war.  And what treasures they are!  We just need to see our journeys through. So, if you will indulge me a little, I want to take a moment to thank my incredible husband for his profound stickability.  He is always evolving but ever consistent.  I think he must fill his shoes with concrete to remain standing through some of the most harrowing of moments.  I know he relies heavily on the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit.  But he is also brave and noble and as solid as they come.  I’m just going to take this opportunity to brag on him a little bit because I’ve had a front row seat to watching him navigate the last 10 years and he’s proof that good men still exist and that consistently pursuing God is all that really matters in this life. I also want to thank our kids – Jesse, Judah, Elijah, Solomon and Charlie.  They left a church they had been born into, friends they loved, and a family they had always known to follow their parents into the great unknown of obedience to the Lord.  The sacrifices they’ve made over these ten years have largely been unseen, yet their maturing love for God and His Church has seen them adopt the same passionate stickability that they’ve witnessed in their dad.  I know it will serve them well.  It is an overwhelming joy to be on mission with our kids, to see them embrace their calling and run beside us.  There truly is no greater joy!  I absolutely crazy adore them, and their beautiful spouses, who add more wonderful to our family every day! And to our friends and family who have stuck by us, we are beyond grateful for you.  Your belief in us, and support of us, have truly made the difference on those tough days.  You put the ‘sticky’ in our stickability! Above all, I’m so thankful to our beautiful Saviour.  It is all by Him, through Him and for Him.  As Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  He is at work, indeed.  I’m just getting started.  I cannot wait for what the next ten years will bring.  Hope you’ll all stick around to see. x