Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thankful for the "Top 3's"

My husband and I are lousy daters. This might be simply because we never dated, we met and married. We were living in separate states and on our third meeting, he proposed. We were married the next month and never did date night. It wasn’t until about 5 years into our marriage that we “attempted” date nights and usually (for lack of planning) we would end up on the couch watching TV. When we finally did get a good rhythm of planning date night and actually going out I have to admit they were a bit awkward. We would sit there kind of staring at each other and asking the “so how are you” questions that would fall pretty flat with the “not bad” answer. This might surprise most of you who know us as my husband is really gifted at getting right into the heart but date nights have never been like that for us.

Last Valentine’s Day was the best and worst ever. We started the night off just completely missing each other. I had planned a very romantic evening, with a special gift, and we had reservations at one of our favorite restaurants. I don’t even remember what my deal was but I remember throwing a fit just before it was time to leave and not wanting to even go out but we worked through that. I think another argument ensued before we even got to the restaurant and again we worked through that. Our dinner was absolutely the most amazing meal we have ever shared together and during this time we were pretty connected. The food and wine was spectacular and my heart warmed up to my husband again however on the way home yet another argument broke out, this one landed my husband on the couch and me upstairs crying alone.

So I think the distant memory of that night plus just a heavy season I had pretty low expectations of this Valentine’s Day. We started the evening off both kind of tentative. This was more from just a very hard couple of days and wanting to share and be vulnerable both neither of us desiring for the “situation” to overshadow our evening so we sat there for a few awkward 20 minutes or so trying to find a rhythm of checking in but protecting that which neither of us wanted to speak of. We both agreed we were both feeling the weight and heaviness but we were feeling ok.

Then my Mr. leaned and asked me what my “Top 3” ways I feel loved by him and an area for improvement. As I thought about this question it just opened up the flood gates and I couldn't even respond through my tears. As I tried to gain composure in the middle of this intimate setting (there were only 3 other couples in our area), my mind reflected on the last few months. One of my “endeavors” this year is to write a weekly blog about things I am grateful for. As I have mentioned, I have a hard time relating to what I’m thankful for because that which I’m not generally thankful for overwhelms my being. My husband has been one of those things. I have for years been far more focused on his areas of lack and where he doesn’t love me well, and those things he does that drive me crazy, and how I would fix him if I could. So as we have reconnected the last few months I have become a little more fearful of losing him. In one of these moments of considering all things I have lacked…God showed me how much my Mr. truly cares for me. As I consider everything…how he serves me, how he pursues me, how he is never ok with disunity, I’m in awe of how God picked the perfect man for me. He protects me, he guards me, he adores me, me honors me, he provides for me, he challenges me, he grows me…he truly cares for me, unbelievably. As I considered life without him for even a moment, I drop to my knees and praise God for loving me so unbelievably well through this man.

The next two hours were spent reminiscing about all the Top 3’s in our eight years of marriage. This was such a sweet time of sharing and laughing and crying…simply beautiful. This was an evening of intimate sharing and thanking God for all He has done and is doing in our life. At moments, the conversation was heavy and serious and at other moments full of giddy laughter and silliness. Absolutely, one of the most intimate and life-giving evenings of our marriage…full of intention and purpose and a beautiful reminder of how much God has given us and grown us. We occasionally added the question of how could we improve and these were received openly and thankfully.

This was truly a beautiful evening that has overflowed into our entire week together. I have been so open and soft towards my husband and just yearn to be in his presence…truly a gift!

Thank you Mr. for your love, service, and care of my heart, soul and mind…always and fervently. You are a true representation of Jesus Christ in my life and I experience Him more and more each day because of you. I love you, always!

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