Saturday night, Bryon and I found time to reconnect on the living room floor with the iPod. With workloads increasing over the past few months, those romantic, lyrical late nights came fewer and farther between. We found other ways to communicate and flirt and be close, but music is sort of "home" for us in that way.
The night started early. God was so present. Bryon hugged all 4 of his kiddos, tucked each of them into bed himself, and prayed with them. He knows how very, very important it is for him to pray with and lead the girls in particular, so he spent just a few extra minutes in their possibly pink room. We turned off the Tinkerbell light. He sat on Hayley's bed and I kneeled (like my daddy used to) beside Mabel and held her hands. Bryon prayed for their protection, he thanked God for sending his son Jesus to die on the cross for us. He thanked God for our family and asked for blessings for those less fortunate. He asked for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts for church the next day, to allow His Word to enter into our hearts and lead us all week long. I didn't need to be proud of him, but I was so proud of him. He is maturing as a Christian, my husband. Still new - still unknowing of all the joy God has to offer (like all of us, right?), but his heart is THERE. Oh the feeling I had. It was amazing to hear him pray. I love hearing him pray!
After our four were tucked into their beds and snuggled under their quilts (even the boys got mugged instead of high-fived on this night, he was feeling so grateful for FOUR children to raise), Bryon and I settled on the floor in the living room in front of the iPod. Lots of Christian music floated through the air, selected by my husband. We shuffled through some Neil Diamond, Volbeat, and Kenny Rogers [because love WILL turn you around], but most of the tunes cranking were of the Jesus variety.
He was in a special place, my husband. The Holy Spirit was working on him something fierce. "I want to teach a couples retreat with you, for people that are getting remarried. I think we have a responsibility to share our story, show people how to do it with God in it," he said. My heart just leapt into my throat. How very, very awesome. Not that I feel in any way qualified yet, but I knew what he was feeling. He spoke about doing a mission, speaking to young people with a Christian mentor. He asked about doing a national mission trip with me. He told me that he was done with the corporate climb. Yes, despite my husband's brilliance, he says he is quite happy leading his troop right where he is - on the floor. He doesn't need anything more; money is not important. He's not interested in more. He is interested in MORE. God's MORE. Love it.
Later he stood in the kitchen with tears in his eyes. Ben Folds was singing The Luckiest when he said, "I never would have heard this if it wasn't for you. And I never would have downloaded it onto my iPod so that I could surprise you with it in the car. I wanted you to hear it and be excited." And I remember that day, when it just shuffled on. I was very excited. And learning why it was there in the first place? Yeah, this is how I stay in love with him. He is amazing. And he loves our 6 pack.
When we finally decided the next day that it was time to tuck ourselves into bed, I stood at the bathroom sink to remove my contact lenses. He went on into the bedroom to straighten the covers.
"I can't do this without you," I heard him say.
I stopped and blinked at myself in the mirror. The independent, still sometimes hurt from past scars girl said, "What can't you do - life, or make the bed?" Sarcasm. Sigh.
I finished with my eyeballs and walked into the bedroom. He was standing on his side of the bedroom with his arms crossed and a tiny smile on his face. "Woman, I said I can't do this without you." His voice was even and patient; he was not upset but he wanted to make sure there was absolutely never any doubt in my mind about his words. "I could have been talking about making the bed, but I wasn't. I was talking about life. I cannot do this without you beside me. Every day." When he calls me 'woman' I know he means business. Good business. And I thank him for having the patience to repeat those words to me as many times as it takes for my heart to realize that this is different. I love that this is different. I fell asleep listening to his heartbeat.
Somewhere around 4am Bryon rolled over to face me again. The quilts fluffed and crinkled around him. I was still perched on the 3 pillows required to breathe through my snotted nose (still have the cold, see). He reached out and took hold of my hand in the dark. I woke just enough to smile and wonder what he was thinking.
We were still holding hands when the alarm went off for church.