July 6, 2012

THIS IS A GIFT




We are still barfy. We cause people to lose their pancakes, I mean.

I could tell you that we have been married for only 493 days, but... that is not why.

I could tell you that he made my eyes well up a night ago when he tucked me in to bed and said that he loved me enough to gift me with new cowboy boots, just because of the way they made me smile, but... that isn't why either.

I could tell you that looking at him brings me peace and that the way he moves against me when he sleeps brings a joy I've never comprehended before, but... that's not why.

The why = JESUS.

We are trying to live IN this sinful world without becoming part OF it. One of the ways we work on our marriage and keep it prioritized is by spending a lot of time together. We are truly best friends. Mindy is my co-uterus, but Bryon is the most important earthly relationship that I have. God chose us for one another. We operate in unison. I've operated BESIDE a spouse before and that, I can tell you from experience, is NOT what God intended. We aren't supposed to be roommates with separate lives and interests, with nothing in common but our children. Husbands and wives were created for companionship and joy. EVERY DAY. Look at Eve; she was given to Adam so that he would know love and would not be lonely. We are designed to support one another so that the needs and interests of each compliment the strength and weaknesses of each. Each couple looks different, of course, but it is all in, everything. Period.

We still choose to do almost everything together 493 days later.

Folks, when Bryon gets up in the morning to go to work, I feel like half of me is driving to work and the other half is laying in the bed. I feel separated from him and I miss him. Barf if you must, but there it is. Sure I could sleep in, but I'd much rather keep the same schedule as the husband I'm trying to serve and support. So I get up and dig the crusties out of my eyes (and yo, SO NOT A MORNING PERSON!) and I start my day at the same time. 

When he is gone, I miss him. When it's been too many hours, he appears at my desk just to check in. On a particularly emotional day I once accused him (all girl and pink-like) of not needing me like I need him. Silly me, I am equally blind to Boy. He's a big Jedi man. He explained to me that he DOES miss me during the day. He misses my smell and the light inside of me. And so, when it's been too many hours, he appears at my desk. Even a 30 second dose of me is enough to keep him going, he said. Sweet, huh? Our God is GREAT. This is the gift He gave me in my husband. THIS love.

People comment on our relationship all the time. Friends, coworkers, even neighbors notice that we are a grown up version of inseparable besties. Good. That means we're doing something right. To some of them, it's interesting and welcome and to others, it is intrusive and misunderstood. Certainly can cost you a friendly invite, I reckon - but oh well. Maybe it will inspire them to ask their own spouse to join as well! Most of the guys we know are still computing this behavior. A man who WANTS to spend this much time with his wife and is happy doing it, and often - what is that about? 

I will fully admit to you that the ridicule of our attentive nature sometimes pisses me off. I have a coworker that sits nearby. She is a believer and she's married, so I was surprised at her attitude. She is actually quite lovely, but every time she overlistens to a conversation between Bryon and I, she makes a comment. "Oh, you guys ride together, too? Geez! I don't know how you do it," she says with a lilt to her voice. Her attitude is passive-aggressive. It's not positive. It's... sad, the way she says it. "I could never work with my husband. I mean, I love him, but no way." Oh my. "Awww, do you eat lunch together every day? My goodness, you guys. Don't you get sick of each other?" And she chuckles and rolls her eyes.

No. No, we don't get sick of each other. And... I'm not sorry that you feel threatened by that.

No offense to my sweet, well-intentioned coworker, but we are not called to be quiet or to live in the dark of our society. We are not called to blend in with all of the other married people. We are called to be DIFFERENT. We are called to be HIS - ALL the time, not just when it's convenient. I know we are newlyweds. And I am fully aware that the amount of time that we "hang out" together may decrease as our marriage duration increases. But, Folks, I really don't see this changing a whole heck of a lot. When I told Bryon about these recent comments, he said, "Well, uh... isn't that how it's supposed to be?" Awww... This is the gift He gave me in my husband.

I never golfed until last year. I'd gone to the driving range once before in my life and it was miserable for me. But I've now fallen in love with this sport - for me - because my husband loves it and shared his love with me. And now we have something more to do together. When I sew, he sits beside me and holds the fabric, or cuts when I need an extra hand. That means SO much to me! When the kids (and that common ground) are grown and gone from the house, we will have only each other. Our plan is to spend years investing in our marriage so that it is fruitful all on its own, without the children. It is for this reason that we can think of no better way to spend an afternoon than telling stories, goofing off, or giving the gusto to each other - THIS is our most important earthly relationship.

We sleep intertwined many nights. My limbs put him to sleep when he is restless. His wolfness keeps me warm when two quilts aren't enough in the winter.

We shower together just to continue a conversation. Almost never any canoodling. I realize that's almost too much information, but keep hanging with me for another second... This isn't about society's version of intimacy. It's about love, friendship, and closeness - and never getting enough of one another - God's version of intimacy. Loving another person thoroughly, the way He loves us. Loving your wife as Christ loved the Church. Serving your husband. It is unconditional. Well, how can you love someone thoroughly and unconditionally if there is a whole slew of stuff you don't know about them and a whole slew of time you don't spend with them.

I would imagine, as every couple is different with different schedules and responsibilities, the amount of time they can invest in their marriage will be different. That's for them to evaluate. [My intent isn't judgey.] For us, it's this much because we are comfortable with this much. It's just... well, we are well-aware that we're barfy. That's all.

Let me tell you what this intimacy and time built for us. When you're new and you can finish each other's sentences, it's because you're new and hypersensitive to that other person, voraciously soaking up all that you can about them. When you're not new anymore and distracted by life, it is harder to be that empathetic for another person. It's also hard to spend time studying someone that you think you already know pretty well. Particularly if it's sacrificing yourself in order to do it. But if you're living and breathing their lives with them a little more, it all comes back. You already know what they are going to say. You ripple with feeling for them. The excitement of something new, something hilarious, or something shared is heightened. When we are out and about, Bryon can give me a look and speak volumes without saying a word out loud. He is more sensitive to my feelings, the more time he spends with me in a day. God affords him that consideration of my heart. I can still respect him when he's acting like a jackass because I have perspective of his life. AND AND AND - he knows that my underlying effort is respect and I know his effort is love and kindness even when our actions and words aren't showing it BECAUSE of that time together. The trust is laid in, brick by brick.

Now I want it to be said that I believe we are all individuals. We each have a responsibility to God to make ourselves righteous and merciful in His image - to work our whole lives long at that. We have a responsibility to use the talents that He designed us with. And nobody should ever depend on another human for their own sense of self and confidence - that is for God alone. So I am not talking about codependence, Folks. I'm talking about furthering my relationship with my husband the way that God intended. I'm talking about falling in love with his weaknesses and with supporting him. I'm talking about watching him sacrifice to meet my needs and love me unconditionally.

I think a lot of people are overwhelmed at how HARD it is to be actively involved in your spouse, to be married the way God intended for us to be. I am NO EXPERT at this by any means, but I do know that I am more involved than I've ever been and it is hard. Look, it is very hard to keep on smiling and supporting when your person is being a buttface. And believe me, it's equally hard for him to be loving and kind when he's talking to a woman who is nagging at him. Its HARD hard... like hard in a way that you cannot breathe and you sacrifice your selfishness in favor of your spouse. That hurts to do, it hurts our humanness - but it glorifies our Heavenly Father. He sees it. He will reward us exponentially for that giving. Just as he rewards our mates when they gut it out to speak pink. All the time spent together builds intimacy. That intimacy bridges the gap, I think. It allows the sacrifice. It is for this reason that I love arguing with my husband. Not the chore of it, not the words or the feelings that get jumbled up in the middle of the battle, but because we are both better after. BETTER. Freaking awesome. This is the gift He gave us.

This feeling that we have? I don't EVER want it to end. I want to take it to Heaven with us.

This love that drowns us every day, I can't figure out how to breathe in it sometimes because I never imagined anything so vulnerable. It's... deeper than anything. If I'm being completely honest, I never knew I'd feel this. Even when we got married 493 days ago, I never knew it would feel this good and complete and awesome. This is the gift He gave me in my husband.

And so I was thinking this weekend about our summer together so far. My 3 are with their dad until July 28, so it's been just the two of us much of the time. We've taken a small vacation and worked on the house. We've done chores and gone golfing. We've worked a lot. We've become addicted to Duck Dynasty. We have been blessed with this time together. If I were asked to describe our summer together, I'm not sure I could find the right words. Joyful. Fun. MEANINGFUL. Honest. THICK with the meat of life. Sticky with love. Deeper than it was before. Amazing.

Those are a lot of words. Truth is, I've fallen head over heels in love with my husband again. AGAIN. How is that even possible? Thank you, Jesus. And? I've fallen head over heels in love with our marriage. With us.

I think the best words are this: THIS IS A GIFT.

1 comment:

  1. My hubs and I have been married almost 29 years. I dread Mondays 'cause we have to be apart during the workday. After all these years, his face is the one I want to see most often, and he is the person I want to spend my time with more than any other. You go girl, it IS a gift, and AWESOME, humbling, wonderful, sexy gift! Enjoy!

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