My very best friend in the whole world is turning thirty tomorrow and though he's ridiculously humble and chill about it, I'm not..... Ricky Bender is the man and deserves an Ode To Ricky for the thirtieth anniversary of his birth. It's pretty wild that only ten short years ago I was complaining to our friend Brandon in his Cadillac about how in love with Ricky I was and how he'll never make a move, just say all sorts of kooked out stuff that only left me totally confused.
He doesn't have a facebook account, so there's probably a lot you don't know about this guy.... If you know him, you love him and here are some little known facts about Ricky Bender:
He gets up at 2:30 in the morning for a twelve-hour work every day, six days a week. And he loves it- doesn't complain a bit. When we all call him at breakfast every morning our conversations usually go like this:
Me: "Hey man, whattcha doing?"
Ricky: "Just truckin in the USA!"
And then our kids get wild and there's a lot of "DADDY!" and cereal spillage.
He does the dishes every single night, and then he almost always joins me in bright yellow running shorts for forty minutes of cardio craziness with Shaun T (we do these DVDs called Insanity). He works out with me because he knows if I have a buddy it's so much easier to keep at it.... He's usually exhausted and pretends he's on a skateboard half of the time, but it's really, really fun.
He does stuff while he's at work that is seriously awesome. For example, there's an old dude who works at one of the tire shops Ricky ends up at pretty often and he has a bad heart condition that makes it really hard to do some of the heavy lifting his job requires. When Ricky rolls up he'll do that heavy lifting for him without saying a word... He's just that guy. And he does that heroic stuff all the time- he's even rescued a kitten in LA. He knows all of the workers at the truck stops he delivers to and people (other truck drivers and truck stop workers) ask Ricky to pray for them all the time.... Like totally random over-the-road truck drivers will walk up to him while he's unloading and pour their hearts out to him. Things like their kidney troubles and their hernia surgeries (why wouldn't you tell the guy unloading gas that stuff?), stories about their wives leaving them and how much they're missing their kids. When we got married we really thought we would be missionaries and I'm so proud that my man is a missionary no matter where he is.
He has Biblical insight that would blow your mind. And I think the person benefitting from it the most is our son. They have Bible time every night and I absolutely believe that Caleb could sit in on an Old Testament class or an Acts class and hang. Those two will kill you at Bible trivia. If you're a girl looking to get married, find a man who will do this with your kids and marry him. And if you're man looking to be a dad study up and teach your kids the Bible- it'll affect every single aspect of their lives.
I've been reading through the Bible chronologically this year and it's been sick. Isaiah made so much more sense to me this way! Anyhoo, in my chronological Bible Song of Solomon and Psalm 127 are right next to each other and as I read through both of them I was really struck by how both of them are love stories. Psalm 127 is the "Unless the Lord builds the house" one. Ricky Bender isn't the most romantically inclined guy- not in the roses and candles and dreamy phrases sort of ways. But he will Psalm 127 with me joyfully till the cows come home, and that's the kind of romantic that means business.
I love that man.