An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Amidst the fury of joyous Paschal celebrations, something passed relatively unnoticed. Pascha marked the beginning of my wife and I's 14th year together. That she has suffered me for 13 years thus far is a testimony to her goodness, love, and patience.
During the Civil War, a famed nurse named Mary Ann Bickerdyke was known for some extreme methods in taking care of injured soldiers, but her devotion to them won her wide support and admiration amongst the troops while some officers found her methods to be disruptive (e.g. she once insisted that some breastworks be torn down so that the logs could be used for fires to keep some injured soldiers warm).
General William Tecumseh Sherman when receiving a complaint about Mary Bickerdyke is reported to have replied, "I can't help you. She has more power than I - she ranks me."
For all of your wonderful traits, and particularly your selfless devotion to me and our family, there is little doubt, Susan, you rank me. Thank you for 13 wonderful years and may God grant us many many more.