In case you are wondering, Steve is the real deal. He is one of those rare souls who may get beat up and bloodied by life, but he manages to grow through it—and maybe even laugh.

On August 5, 2012, Steve’s wife, Christina, passed away after a life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Steve and Christina had lived with her illness for their entire relationship. Perhaps that was why it was such a great one. They knew going in that they might not have both of their lifetimes with each other. So, they lived the life they had with the passion and grace of those who know their days together are precious.

To know Steve is to know that he still misses Christina every day. Yet, Steve amplifies joy. He has a ready laugh, and a big bear hug for anyone who wants one. He continues to live the passionate life that he and Christina shared. He loves to scuba dive, take motorcycle road trips, hit the shooting range with his favorite sidearm, and off-road in his jeep. Despite this penchant for adventure, his daughter will tell you that his favorite theme park ride is the park bench. Steve will tell you that the “best movie EVER” is the Princess Bride. Rumor has it that he can quote every line.

In difficult times, passion softens to compassion. Since he walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with his wife, Steve frequently accompanies others on that hard road with their loved ones. When my own father was in his last days with bone cancer, Steve was the one who knew exactly when and what to do for me. Even though I was in another state, his texts, e-mails and calls always arrived at just the right moment with just the right words. Countless others have experienced this grace as well.

Yes, Steve is a rare soul. He is also very ordinary. He is not a famous celebrity, or a wealthy entrepreneur. He has no fancy titles or position of authority. He’s just Steve. He goes to work during the week, plays with his kids in the evening, and volunteers at his church on the weekends. Yet, in his ordinary life, Steve finds the little joys, the treasures hiding in plain sight, the humor and the grace available to all of us, if we will pay attention. Then he writes about it—and some of the pain, too. That’s in there.

Reading a blog post of Steve’s is like curling up on the couch on a chilly day in your favorite sweatshirt with a mug of hot cocoa and your best friend to keep you company. You will laugh, you might cry just a little, sigh a few times, chuckle some, and the whole time you are reading, you will have that wonderfully warm and satisfied feeling. And you know what? That’s what a conversation with him is like, too. Talk with Steve, and you will feel like you are his best friend. Spend time with Steve, whether in person or in writing, and you will come away knowing that you, too, are One Who Is Blessed.  –  Dawn Whitestone