A Birthday Letter to My Husband {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Congratulations to the randomly chosen winners! Stacy and Bethany – an email has been sent your way.

Dear Husband,

This week you turn a year older. Lately I’ve noticed how good older looks on you. The gray in your beard makes you look distinguished, the crinkle around your eyes reminds me of all the laughter we’ve shared, usually at inappropriate times. No doubt about it, you are getting better with age. Forget going over the hill, you make it look sexy.

Yesterday you quietly turned off my alarm clock and did my morning routine, so my head cold and I could sleep longer. How did you know this one small act would make my heart smile and make me feel better? I’ve lost count of all the small acts of kindness over the years, but they do not go unnoticed.

I love the way you love me.

A young married mom from church sent me a thank you note recently. She wrote that she loved watching the way we love each other. She’s only been married a couple of years and wanted to let us know our marriage inspired her. She doesn’t know how easy it is to love you, how unselfish you are, how far we’ve come….

But I know. And when I read her words, my heart beat wildly because I remember the hard days when we tied a knot at the end of our marriage and clung for dear life. I remember wondering if we would make it another day, much less a year. I remember wondering if we’d ever feel the way we do about each other today. I am thankful for those hard days because they make the good ones better.

Today, I celebrate you.

Happy birthday, honey.

I’m wearing this super cute shirt to let the world know. (I’ve been stopped by two people already asking about it. I beamed telling them about you. I used to think love like this was gross…):

Your love covers me.

Love,

Your Wife

P.S. Here’s the back in case anyone wonders how I really feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In celebration of my hubby turning a year older (42!), Union28 is giving away two of their adorable new Umbrella Tees. They come in all sizes/styles. Winner’s choice.

PLUS: Use code: U28TFK15 to get 15% off your order! Great sales going on right now…

Leave a comment telling me how your spouse takes care of you as your entry!

This giveaway ends on Thursday.


Dear 22 Year Old Me:

We were packing the living room, surrounded by a mountain of boxes, when she found it.

Her eyes lit up as she held the white fabric up for size. “Mom, can I try it on? Please.“ My almost 13 year old was holding my almost 18 year old wedding dress buried deep in the entry closet.

I hesitated. Not for sentimental reasons, just because I’m task-oriented and it would be another pause in the long road of packing up our home for the pending move.

But I just couldn’t extinguish her shining eyes. And we needed a break.

I love times like these, the ones where I live in the moment.

I swallowed the lump as I zipped the back of my beaded dress.

Then she turned around:

Her Daddy could hardly speak. A flood of memories, doubts and fears, dreams and expectations assailed me. It was surreal seeing my child, so radiant, wearing my dress. The last day it had been worn was the day I committed my heart and future to her daddy, eyes brimming on the other side of the room.

I couldn’t help but think about that young naive girl so long ago. There are a few things I’d love to tell her today. I will share them with the my daughter standing in front of me when she walks down the aisle in her momma’s wedding dress one day …..

Dear 22 Year Old Me:

This marriage thing is going to be harder than you think. But it’s also going to be better than you could ever imagine. ”Marriage is made in Heaven, but so is thunder, lightening, hail and tornado.” -unknown

The big stuff you’re worried about won’t really matter. It’s the little things you need to know:

  • Remember why you fell in love
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Kiss everyday for various and numerous reasons
  • Respect each other
  • Laugh when you feel like crying
  • Don’t fret the God stuff
  • Leave the past behind you
  • Lock your bedroom door
  • 40 isn’t old
  • One day your little girl is going to look amazing in your wedding dress. Breathe.

18 years ago today, we fell in love, after 3 years of being best friends. Remember when we “accidentally” kissed while hugging hello and then got married 10 weeks later?

Yeah, after all these years, I love you even more. The best is yet to come.

Love,

the 39.5 year old me


How to Host a Marriage Revival

He’s my best friend, my closest confidant, the guy who helped me get my only demerits in our strict college when his hand found my knee.

I’ve never regretted those marks my husband helped me get on my perfect record.

We’ve been together now nearly as long as we’ve been apart. We’ve grown into one these 18 years and I don’t know where he ends and I begin. I am 39 years old and I am beginning to understand Oneness.

And with all the familiarity, comes, well, familiarity. It’s not a bad thing, but the common can be too common. With three kids, busy jobs, Mercy House and now moving for the first time in 8 years, the distractions abound. Irritation and exhaustion are partners to distraction and we rub each other the wrong way over unimportant matters like where to hang a towel rack.

It started out as a convenience: timing our kids annual visit to their grandparents farm in Oklahoma within the week of moving into our new house, along with a few of my hubby’s vacation days. For the first time, our youngest would be old enough to join her siblings and stay without momma and daddy, running hay bales, naming baby cows and eating homemade ice cream. Ya know, suffering without internet and stores.

I was work-focused, a list a mile long. It didn’t occur to me until he returned from delivering our kiddos to his farming mama how significant this week would be.

He walked in slow, voice husky, house quiet and for the first time since we started birthed babies more than a dozen years ago,  I realized we would spend the next four nights and four days in our house alone.

!

I don’t think we knew how bad our marriage needed a revival. Sometimes you just have to hush the world around you. We didn’t recognize the dead places until we started to feel alive again.

After these days and nights together, where we have recaptured and remembered some of what we’ve lost in this hurried life, it’s like we’re living a new production of an old play.

We are in synch again, leaving the little irritations little. Why are we tempted to make the little big and the big little?

I catch him running hot bath water for me because he sees me massaging the muscles in my neck. This is big. He sees me. It touches something deep within me and the desire to give back makes my blood pound.

When I hear of marriages young and some as old as ours, ending, I break too. After so many years of trying to figure this out, we have discovered joy in the endurance. And if you’re not getting my point, let me just make it plain: marriage is like fine wine, every area gets better with age.

We’ve had the bad, the raw pain of a marriage so shattered, only God could mend the broken places. Maybe it’s so good after all these years because we remember when it wasn’t. I don’t know, but it makes me long for more.

This ebb and flow: it is good. We worked hard last week, sweaty from the hot Texas sun, exhausted from getting our house in order. We chased our confused dog around the neighborhood (twice) and laughed our way back home, excited about the renewal we experienced that mattered the most.

5 Little Ways to Revive Your Marriage:

1. Go out of your way to touch: Walk across the room to hug your spouse, hold hands every chance you get, kiss in the kitchen, whisper in her ear, make him blush, push yourself out of your comfort zone to physically connect, even for just a moment.

2. Get alone: Somehow, someway, make time together a priority. If you don’t have family who will take your kids for a day or two, find good friends to switch with or a trusted babysitter. Regular date nights are a must and an occasional overnight alone, even better.

3. Give up the excuses: Skip the illusion that it must cost money to kickstart your marriage with fancy restaurants (our favorite $11 meal was the highlight of several “dates” last week) and exotic trips. We fell in love again at The Home Depot, y’all. As we drove to pick up our kids, hands touching, he said, “this week was the best I can ever remember.”

4. Go slow: There so much noise in our lives, we are ruled by distraction, always rushing. Be purposeful and quiet the distractions. I confided to my husband how I struggle with relaxing and letting go. I am so task-oriented and it perpetuates the fast-pace hurriedness. I am working on setting aside the lists and living more in the moment.

5. Get naked: I read this list to my hubby and said, “What would you add?” His quick answer, “When all else fails, get naked.” He explained that nothing renews his focus on our marriage like physical connection. We ended up having a really amazing conversation that was enlightening to both of us. Being vulnerable (emotionally naked, too) with your spouse is a great way to ignite the spark that leads to fire.

 


Father On

I roll over and the empty spot next to me isn’t even warm. He’s been gone since dawn, maximizing the hours, shouldering the pressure.

He comes in from a long day, and starts his next job of husband and father, crouching to build legos, cleaning up dinner, reading a book before bedtime. His head won’t hit the pillow until he spends a couple of hours preparing his teaching sessions for our trip to Africa.

He starts it all over again the next day.

He gives and he gives. And then he gives some more.

He is tired, weary from all the giving and yet he continues to father on.

My eyes fill as I run my hand over his broad shoulders carrying the weight, shielding our family, offering protection and provision.

With a word, I can add to his load or lighten it. I can demand more money, more time, more stuff, more, more, more and with every complaint, I weigh him down.

Or I can ease the burden by encouraging and whispering, reminding: you are enough, thank you, I trust you, thank you for giving, you are doing a great job.

My husband is a better father, when I’m a better wife.

How to encourage your husband as a father:

  • Tell him you respect him
  • Even better, show him: don’t question or scrutinize every action he takes
  • Trust him as a father: let him have a say in parenting decisions
  • Thank him regularly for being there.
  • Give him a break: from the honey do’s and the house-encourage him to take time for himself

Part of the reason our world is so broken is because of father’s who aren’t there. If the father in your life is a constant, they need to know they are appreciated every day.

We are celebrating my husband’s health too, today! In November 2010, he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, with a devastating A1C (overall blood sugar average) of 8.4, which indicates poor health. For 18 months he has changed his lifestyle by exercising and eating right. This week his A1C was 5.9—excellent health (for a non-diabetic)! He is focused on living well and living long so his children can have a father.

Happy Father’s Day, Terrell. We love you!


Just Because

Iwant to celebrate him just because.

Valentine’s and anniversary’s are shoo-in days when we tell our spouses why we love them.

But it’s the in-between, regular days, that make me love him most. My hubby is awesome just because he…

  • Fills my car with gasoline
  • Sets my alarm when I forget
  • Rubs his hands in my hair when I can’t sleep
  • Brings me sweet tea
  • Texts me in the middle of the day
  • Checks my writing for typos
  • Lovingly (and carefully) points them out
  • Cleans up all dog and kid vomit and poop (keeping it real)
  • Warms up my side of the bed
  • He keeps my secret stash of chocolate a secret
And then there are the big things…like him driving 19 out of 24 hours to get to his sister’s bedside when we thought she might not make it. My mother-in-law called to tell me that my husband sat by her bedside and sang to her, read scriptures, peppered her face with kisses (like he does our kids) and told her jokes, hoping it would reach her in her unconscious state. Later, when she started improving, she said she remembered every bit of it.
Y’all.
That’s my man.

What’s something little you love about your spouse?

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In celebration of those just because moments, here’s 20% off all regular-priced TEES at Union28:
Here are the code details:
1.Your Discount Code is: U28T4U20
2.This code is good for 20% off any regular-priced Union28.net TEES! (Simply enter code at checkout.)
3.This code is valid through 3/31/12

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