Because He Loves Me

Nine years ago today, Stephen and I said, “I do.” We had little idea of what we were really getting into, but we were in love and ready to find out what marriage was all about. Nine years later, I’m not sure I know even now exactly what marriage is all about, but I’m so glad that I have Stephen with me while we figure it out.

Nine years ago, we committed to love each other forever, and for the most part, this has been an easy choice. But it has not been always been an easy road, and we have experienced firsthand loving one another “in sickness and in health.” My health issues over the past few years have tested us–tested our faith, tested our relationship, tested our endurance. I have seen Stephen function almost as a single parent at times when I was too sick to get out of bed. He has helped me use the bathroom, helped me get out of the shower, and lifted my legs up into the bed because I couldn’t do it myself–all things I wouldn’t have expected to need help with until much later in our married life. He has pushed me around stores in a wheelchair after my hip surgeries. I have seen him come home from work and immediately start playing with Charlotte, who loves her daddy more than anyone in the world (even me, as much as I hate to admit it). I have seen him make countless lunches for Charlotte, fix endless cups of coffee for me just the way I like it, save the last dessert for me, and put up with my indecisiveness about, well, almost everything. I have watched as he held our girl for the first time, eyes heavy with sleep but filled with love. I have watched as he paced the floor with our girl while she cried and cried and cried as a newborn. I have watched as he has prayed over our girl, read stories to her, and tickled her in all the right places until they are both collapsing with laughter.There were times when we looked at each other after a night of toddler tantrums, not knowing what in the world to do, but I remember being so thankful that in those moments, I could at least be clueless with him instead of clueless alone.

I knew when I married Stephen that I loved him, but that love has only grown deeper as we have walked the valleys of the past few years and as we have shared in the joys and struggles of parenting. He has done more for me in the past year than I ever thought he would have to do for me, and this humbles me and brings me to tears even now as I think about the many ways he sacrificed for me and our family. He would never want me to feel guilty about any of it, and I know he would do it all over again–each and every day if he had to–because he loves me. And not only does he love me, but he loves the Lord, and it’s because he loves the Lord that he is able to give of himself so fully and so selflessly. We only love because Christ loves us, and I have a daily reminder of God’s love for me in the form of Stephen. Because he loves me, I do not have to fear the future because I know I can face anything with him. Because he loves me, I am safe because I know he will take care of me. Because he loves me, each day is a gift. Because he loves me, I can see a glimpse of the immeasurable love that God has for me through his words and his actions towards me. Because he loves me, I love God more.

I love you, Stephen, and am happy to say “I do” to you every day for the rest of our lives.

Days 15 and 16

Once again, I am playing catch up on the weekend! I will try and do better next weekend!

Day 15: I am thankful for the date night that Stephen and I had on Friday night. Our church sponsors these every so often, and all the parents get to drop their kids off at church for a few hours of free babysitting and then go on a date! We went to Outback and had a yummy dinner and loved spending time together while having conversation that didn’t revolve around a toddler. 🙂

Day 16: I am thankful for the fun day we had as a family. We got several chores done in the morning and then had lunch at Chic-fil-A and let Charlotte play on the playground before going shopping at Target, where we got gifts to put in our Operation Christmas Child box. I love Saturdays when we can all just relax and spend time together as a family.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Day 6: Let It Rain

It has been a rainy day, and while I sometimes think of rain as a huge nuisance, today I am thankful for it. I love the sound of rain hitting the windows or lightly drumming on the roof. I love the way it makes the streets glisten. I love the way the air smells right before it rains. Without rain, we wouldn’t appreciate the sunlight nearly as much. Without rain, there would be no rainbows.

I also have some fond memories attached to rainy days. I wrote about this at length in an earlier post, only a year after Stephen and I had been married. What struck me when I went back and reread that post is this sentence: “And while we’ve been dealt several times of physical rainfall, thus far we’ve been incredibly blessed not to experience that metaphorical rain of hardship, rain that seeps into your soul and causes you to take cover.” I almost laughed when I read that because we’ve definitely seen our share of hardship since then, most of which occurred in the last year. But I am grateful for the difficult times we have faced because they have strengthened our faith and also strengthened our marriage.

Tonight, as I listen to the rain fall outside, I praise God that He will always provide shelter during the storms we face.

Day 3: Wuv, True Wuv

This was one of those weekends where I happened to be gone for a majority of the time. Yesterday, all of the morning and a portion of the afternoon was spent at choir practice. Today was another choir practice and then assisting with children’s choir, and before that I went to run a few errands. This meant that Stephen was with Charlotte for most of the weekend. I am so very thankful that I am married to a man who is not only a good husband but a good father.

I knew I loved Stephen when I married him, but my love for him has only grown as I have watched him parent Charlotte. He is such a loving, kind, thoughtful, and fun father. He is often far more patient with Charlotte than I am, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing the two of them laughing together.When I was sick last year, he bore the brunt of the work at home and was practically a single parent, but he never complained or even acted like he was tired. He was my rock during that time, and I can’t imagine going through the past year without Stephen.

I am so grateful for how God has blessed me with my husband. I pray that I will never take him for granted.