….Although, come to think of it, you’d better not because about all I have to my name are these two snotty-nosed germ habitats:
Anyway, this is a Valentine’s post about my husband. I don’t celebrate the day; heck, we didn’t even hardly acknowledge that we missed our second-best excuse to binge on chocolate (being non-celebrators of Halloween, we still purchase Reese’s cups in October in those ridiculous 5 lb. bags … just to have them). We were quite busy this past Valentine’s day, driving 17 hours back to our snow-covered home after a lovely three-day vacation in icy South Carolina. Really, we just wanted to make it back before the iPad battery died, lest we ran out of entertainment for the tots. Gushing my romance out on the internet wasn’t even on my list of things to think about.
However, since then, I have been preparing for what will officially be the most awkward event ever where, this upcoming Saturday, my husband and I will sit in front of a group of couples from a church (not our own church) and speak about marriage. We are under 30 years old. We have been married for 4.65 years. I am a Christian only 5.35 years. What qualifies us for this? We have no idea. Someone thought it was a good idea.
Well, to be completely truthful, we were the second choice. But still, somebody agreed to this nonsense.
And then, as I began to read and write in preparation, I realized that what qualifies me for this is that I have an extremely blessed marriage. I’m not putting ourselves up, or putting others down, nothing like that — but looking at my life, my husband, our walks with the Lord, the ministry at our church, the way that our house is held up by duct tape in some places, and yes, even those snotty-nosed kids, we have been given a real gift in even just our sanity alone, never mind our desire to still spend time together at the end of a long week.
We do have something to share. And while we may not have all the experiences that various couples in our audience might have, nor the wisdom that comes with upwards of 20, 30, 40 years of marriage, we do have something real and that something real is affecting the way we live, the way we see the world, and the way we seek to serve God in it.
This sparks, for me, what I think might be a small reflective series on marriage. Not sure how many people will come across it and actually take the time to read it, but I do hope that if you do, it’s a blessing to you.
I will begin with what inspired this post in the first place: and ode* to my husband.
Oh, pale and quite Irish sir!
You who must believe in such things as the fairy of laundry,
have you yet noticed that your underwear is folded,
every week, stacked and sorted, by color, by frequency of use?
Have you yet noticed your jacket, not left on the coat hanger,
waiting there for you upon your morning departure,
day after day? Must it have climbed up there with it’s own two arms?
Have you yet noticed that shiny toilet?
The stains and drip lines very nearly erased, week after week — I suppose, who would even dare to see these things?
You, with your stylish goatee, admirably busy about the things of the Kingdom,
Your teenage fanclub following close behind as you breathe and sing and share the bread crumbs of Life, transforming souls — encouraging the trading of ashes for beauty.
And did you know how marvelous you would look in your skinny jeans when you got them, with that guitar slung high over your shoulder, that a certain wife of yours in the second row would not be able to praise because she is distracted by her affection?
So the mismatched socks and snow traisped in and papers left about hardly matter;
I’m just glad you’re home.
And if you don’t notice the floor was mopped, and if you don’t notice the bruise above my eye (where the baby head-butted me) because we are catching up after long days softly in the darkness of our sagging mattress and downy comforter, toes touching and breath meeting sweetly halfway,
well, it’s okay; I am free to do it all over again the next day because I love you, because you love me.
How could I even begin to fathom this grace of God, if you had not shown me grace extended over my sloppy hormones and unbrushed hair?
How could I even believe in a forgiving God, had you not shown me such readiness in covering my spills, my holes-in-the-walls?
How could I even know this Love so deep, to death and back, had you not laid aside your own self, died to the things of your desires, to serve me and honor me and love me in the way you know is right, and good?
And when you gather those boys up in your arms, when they are so happy to see you, and when I feel the loneliness in my heart cast out by your presence, I sit and I smile and I wonder at the goodness of this great God we serve,
That He would give me you, to be mine.
*This is not really an ode, structurally speaking. Creative license.