A Proud Wife and her Graduating Handyman... {Life}

He says it's not a big deal.

But I still tell him how proud I am of him... over and over.

This handyman who has worked for nearly five years as this loyal apprentice is so close to seeing this journey through.

He asks what he should wear, and the bed is full of all these shirts.

And we hum-and-haw.

And although he says it's not a big deal, I can so tell that this day is a significant one

He's got this big smile on his clean-shaven face.

He knows he accomplished something great.

How he did everything that was asked of him... because that's what apprentices do. It's not easy to be on the bottom.

And he did it all with this great attitude and incredible patience. Long hours, travel, weekends, school.

And he never minded being an apprentice, he says.

It takes a strong character to be always willing to learn, grow, be mentored, coached, refined, and sharpened... even when it hurts. 

And how we should always be willing to be an apprentice... and do it with joy.

His teacher steps up to the microphone and congratulates these apprentices.

And he says, remember...

Remember how it wasn't easy for you, so that when a young apprentice arrives at your door, you open it willingly.

How the apprentice becomes the coach and teaches others. How you're the one that knows the answers now. 

It's this cycle of learning then teaching... it's this responsibility to take what you learned and pass it on.

My new graduate opens his folder just to double check that yes, it's all there.

This is real. Time has flown by.

This red stamp of approval signifies this great milestone.

I comment how soft and clean his hands look, having been at a desk for the last ten weeks.

He rubs them together and says how this is the last time his hands will ever be like this. How the callouses and the stains will return to those hands, the callouses I've come to love.

Because he's willing to work hard and serve... and those rough hands are an indication of his heart.

And I know that this apprentice will become a kind teacher, never forgetting those humble roots.

Congratulations to my new soon-to-be-journeyman.

I'm proud of you in more ways than you know.