My 40th Birthday Party/Roast

Jessica threw me a 40th birthday party this weekend (my birthday is actually Oct 4) and decided to make it a party/roast. She did a phenomenal job preparing the evening and what actually transpired was insanely appropriate and ironic. Read the whole post to find out why.

Jessica planned on introducing the night with her own take on roasting me, here is the text of her speech (which I found to be amazingly well done)...

"Thank you for coming out to celebrate your very old friend, Derek Bonesteel!

40 has been a momentous milestone in Derek’s mind for quite awhile. He has thoroughly relished being in his 30‘s while those of us who are slightly older than him have gone on to the next decade. 

But... as Derek has realized that he himself is about to cross over into his 40s, he has had to find comfort from other sources (because he’s not finding it from those of us who are slightly older than him). 

No, he has had to turn to...his hair. 

Graciously, God knew that all his friends would fail him at this time in his life, so he gifted him with a full head of hair, (even late in life).

You may have noticed that he’s been starting to wear his hair a little longer these days. Now you know why...comfort in his old age.


It’s been both fun and stressful to plan this party for him.

I chose to host a roast for Derek, because it seemed fitting and fun.

The fun part has been thinking about all of the awesome relationships that Derek has made over the years, and creating an event where those relationships can be celebrated, and Derek can be encouraged (in a sarcastic way). 

The stressful part has been that I made the mistake of not double & triple checking the guest list when I sent it out, so I sent out quite a few very late invitations to some of our dearest friends...and amazingly, many of you have shown up in spite of that (without being too offended). 

Then I realized that I have to stand up in front of people and give a speech (with lots of adrenaline shaking & sweating)...stressful!!!


But Fun & Stressful are words that have often described our marriage and our lives. In fact, I went ahead and coined a term for “simultaneously having a fun & stressful time”. That term is “a Bonesteel adventure”

So, I made a list to share with you, from examples in Derek’s life, to flesh out this newly coined term for you and help you understand exactly what “a Bonesteel adventure” entails."


-When you are hired right out of college by Young Life becoming the youngest staff person to do a job that you are passionate about and that you’ve been driven to do since you became a Christian through Young Life in high school, and then they place your young, single, good looking self in Conroe, TX, instead of inside the loop where the single people’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you’re dating your good friend, and you think you want to spend the rest of your life with her, but you’re just not sure; then you hear a biblical talk on how Jacob married Rachel & Leah, and you realize that in order to marry your Rachel, you have to take your Leah also (figuratively speaking, of course). So, you go ahead and buy a ring, but then you sit on it for a month in stressful’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you just got engaged and life is surreal, and then your fiance finds out that she has melanoma & fears she won’t make it to the wedding, but then it turns out they caught it very early and removed it’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you have an amazing honeymoon in San Francisco & Monterrey with your new spouse (your biblical Rachel, so to speak), and then the very next week that you start living life together 24/7 in your small apartment, & your spouse turns into your biblical Leah, & you both think you just made the biggest mistake of your’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


 -When you move to Katy, because your boss asks you to, and the first thing you do is get onto a bus with your wife and 60 kids to go to Frontier Ranch for a week, and you don’t know any of the & stressful, you’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you’ve struggled with infertility for a few years, and you finally begin your first adoption, and they tell you that the wait time is only 6 months from the time you turn in your paperwork, until the time you receive your match; and then as you’re in the process, the wait time mysteriously and uncontrollably extends out to a’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you’ve only been back from adopting your first child in China for four months, and then you find out that your wife is pregnant, so you’ll be meeting your second child within a year of meeting your first & stressful, you’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


-When you close on your dream house, and then have to be out of your old house the day after you’re home from the hospital with your newborn second’re having a Bonesteel adventure.


When you begin the adoption of your third child, knowing that you don’t have the means to pay for it on your own, and you get matched to your daughter who steals your heart, and you know the bills are looming, but then God provides the rest of the expenses through a family at your church that you don’t even’re having a Bonesteel adventure.

 When you’re in China and you’re about to adopt your third child, a one year old who’s body clock is on China time, but you, your spouse and your 4 & 6 year old are jet lagged out of your minds because you’re still on Houston’re having a Bonesteel adventure, fun & stressful.

When you are leading the biggest Young Life club you’ve ever had at Taylor, and you’re shepherding Young Life & Young Lives in the Katy area, & leading a men’s Bible study, & raising three daughters, and living life with your Rachel & Leah wife...well, you’re probably just stressed all the time!

So, Derek, I don’t know if you’ll find tonight be fun or stressful, or both; but remember, that it’s a Bonesteel adventure, and you’ve still got good hair.

So, sit back, relax & comb your hair of comfort."

So that is what Jessica planned to say. However, about 2 hours before the party started our oldest daughter Zoe started crying and telling us that her stomach hurt very badly. She had vomited the night before, but then recovered and felt good enough that she demanded to be allowed to go to school that day. Half way through school, she felt terrible again and Jessica brought her home.  Later that afternoon she felt pretty good again, so when she came to us crying and complaining of abdominal pain, we weren't sure what to do. Zoe isn't a crier and she has a pretty high tolerance for pain.  So we decided to take her to the Texas Children's Hospital (just about 2 miles from our house) and make sure this wasn't anything serious.  Well, they saw her and checked her out and ruled out appendicitis, but that all took several hours and Jessica missed the entire party (she sent me to the party after I waited with them for about an hour).

Thankfully our friend Kit Sublett stood in as Jessica, and emceed the event, and also delivered Jessica's speech, but of course she missed the party she planned, and didn't get to publicly share the new phrase she created, "A Bonesteel Adventure."

So, the whole night was truly yet another Bonesteel Adventure.

PS - Zoe was fine, it was just some weird stomach virus (we think) and she is back to normal now.