To the one who loves me well.

I meant to post this on Valentine's Day, but computer time is so limited these days.  Seems that today is just as good a day to celebrate...

Today I have to pause and acknowledge the love of this man who's been by my side for almost 10 years now.  Our love has evolved and changed in so many ways during these years, and like any real relationship we've had our valleys.  But I get to say again today that I look at my life and am so thankful for the richness of love that surrounds me...a husband who genuinely loves me and our children well.

In the newborn fog again over here, I've seen with clear eyes how blessed I am to have a husband like him.  Yesterday morning, he told me what happened in the middle of the night (after being awakened by our little Norah).  He said I was fast asleep, snoring (moi??) and he couldn't fall back asleep.  He laid his head on my thigh for 45 minutes, watching me sleep and watching Norah peacefully awake in her co-sleeper bassinet, looking around the room.  He says it without the slightest sense of complaining in his voice, just a man who was treasuring the moment.

And last night, he's the one who quietly and without hesitation partnered with me in the wee hours of the morning once again to rock our little girl back to sleep.  I had been awake with her off and on for hours, as she just couldn't settle down to sleep for any real length of time.  As I finally started to drift off with her cuddled on my chest, I entered that place between awake and asleep and heard him whisper close to my ear, "Norah, did you know you have the most caring mother in the world?"  I didn't feel so selfless at that moment, craving sleep with every bone in my body, and I'm not sure if he knew I could hear it.  But he knew just what to say to encourage me.

Ann Voskamp says, "Marriage and love and time, these are the enormous forces that inevitably chisel and change us into strangers. The springs sag. Mattresses sigh. Marriage changes us into strangers who have to meet again and introduce each other to love."

With each big change in our lives, we have to recapture and reintroduce our love.  That's why I wrote this and why I got this necklace to remind me.  If we're not careful, having a new baby can cause all kinds of distance, but this time we were more prepared.

Ann goes on to say, "They didn’t tell us that at the beginning: The moment you let love into your heart, your heart starts breaking. The only way to stop your heart from breaking is to stop your heart from loving. You always get to choose: either a hard heart or a broken heart. A broken heart is always the abundant heart — all those many beautiful pieces only evidence of an abundant life."

My heart has broken for him and with him.  We've walked through a lot together.  And as they say about life with little ones, "the days are long and the years are short."  Things don't get easier really, they just change. I look at our two darling daughters that we've made together and all I can say is that God is gracious.  He has given me so much more than I deserve.  My only hope is to continue to build an abundant love and life together during these long, rich days and to glorify Him through the love our family holds together.