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Happy 34th Birthday, Love

13th March 2017. Today is the 34th birthday of the Love of my life, Candice Ava Valdez Isaac.

In the days leading to today, I kept remembering this thought I had when I was courting Candice; I see myself growing old with this person. Fast forward 9 years on, I know that deciding to live with this person was the second best decision I ever made. This first one is my choice to make Jesus the Lord of my life.

Words cannot describe how grateful and privileged I’m to be Candice’s husband. I consider it pure joy and an honor. Through the years that I’ve know Candice as an acquaintance, friend, girlfriend, fiance and now wife, there has been a lot of changes in who she is. I blogged about how I married some else because she is different in many ways. All for the better. But at the very heart of who is she is, very little has changed in Candice.

Here are some of those unchanged things about Candice that I love and honor her for:

  1. FAMILY

Candice puts a premium on family. Before we got married, I saw the way she loved her family. After we got married, she was able to effortlessly extend that same love towards my family. In fact, there are so many times I get a sense Candice loves my parents more than I do. She models what it is love and prioritises family to our kids better than anyone else. Our weekends, holidays or any random day would not be fun or memorable had it not been Candice’s heart to put a premium on family.

Not to mention, the way she would document every memory and milestone with a picture. There are so many times the kids & I get frustrated on why we need to pose for a picture, and then some more. But I’m so glad she does it anyway, because of which we have a beautiful journal of memories of our family.

 

Fun times with the kids

 

The day Dani ruined Candice’ favourite lipstick. Look at that innocent face!

2. EXCELLENCE

Where do I start with this attribute of Candice? It’s probably a series of blogs by itself. Simply put, Candice is the epitome of excellence. I remember when we were friends, our group would be so amused to see the way Candice would arrange her living space. It felt like we were in a shop where the merchandiser spent hours setting up the display. When we got married, one of the first lessons I was given was on how to be excellent with my living space. Now that we have three kids, sometimes their play time is a tutorial on how to arrange toys and bags with a system to make it easy to repeat. I’m not exaggerating.

Excellence is at the core of Candice’s very fabric. Be it at work, home or ministry, nothing Candice does lacks excellence. And Candice does it that way because she knows who she is accountable to (GOD). A great testimony would be how she has worked in the same organisation for 13 years now. Excellence exudes from this amazing person.

This photo was taken when Candice started her career in Al Futhaim. From a receptionist to a manager, it’s been a faithful 13-year journey.

 

Candice being awarded for academic excellence. Even as a kid, she wanted to excel.
  1. DILIGENT
I’m an Indian. If there’s one thing we are good at, it’s managing money.  Some we go overboard and become something called Kanjuice.
Candice took this to a whole new level. The managing the money part, not the being Kunjuice bit. She is what the Bible would describe in Proverbs 14:1
“The wisest of women builds her house.”
Every decision is well thought of, thoroughly examined, very alternate option exhausted. I’ve lost count of how much value Candice adds into our lives while reducing the cost or ensuring we don’t hit any snags because of it. All the vacations we’ve had, home makeover enjoyed, investments made is handled with so much of diligence that sometimes I feel I would be like a reckless kid who left to my own would get run over by a bus.
Travel plans are always set with the highest diligence.
  1. GOD
My favourite thing about Candice is her love for God. I remember when I first got to know Candice (from a distance), the most obvious thing I noticed was her strong, confrontational character that pierced through my very being. The second thing I noticed was her love for God. It was so undeniable. The way she would pray, exhort, worship, encourage others was nothing but an overflow of her relationship with God. Once we got married, I can only imagine how difficult it would have been at times for Candice to accept me as the husband to be the head of the house. Had it not been for her relationship with God, she wouldn’t have been secure to do so. Now that we have three kids, I love seeing how Candice is intentional is ensure we inculcate spiritual disciplines in our children.
I believe every good and beautiful Candice does, is all but an overflow of her knowing who God is in her life. As a result, I’m confident that her best years are still ahead.
There are so many more things I could keep writing about the exception life of my wife, which I’m privileged to be viewing from the front seat. It’s my absolute joy, blessed, honor and privilege to be growing older with this amazing person and call her my wife.
Happy 34th Birthday again sweetheart, I love you so much.

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