lying in bed the other night i asked shayne, “what makes you happy?”
“i’ll tell you what made me happy today, ” he says.
and i listen to him talk and smile into the dark..
his list isn’t typical what i think alot of men would say makes them happy.
and this is what i love most about him.
“the way reese smiles at me every time she sees me.”
“when kate and i were singing along to a song together on the radio in my truck.”
“wrestling with ben.”
“emma coming and sitting next to me on the couch and putting her head on my shoulder.”
“having people into our home…”
his list of happy is all about others.
and that sums up what he is all about as a person.
i feel this sudden need to explain he’s not feminine or weak, or even remotely metro-sexual.
that’s our society rubbing off on me and the fear of man creeping in..
not wanting to portray him soft, less a man.
but what is wrong with a man who is soft? when it’s softness towards good and right and godliness.
why do we buy into stereotypes and think ruggedness can’t combine with tenderness?
truth is when God has a hold of someone He’s molding them to be like no stereotype out there.
a new creature. fashioned in His image. mirroring His character~
we need more men not afraid to climb on the Potter’s wheel and let God make them into men that are different.
the world tells us the way to respect is through power and position.
God says, the servant is greatest.
the world says a man must take charge, show who’s boss.
God’s way is lead by example.
i haven’t always been grateful or seen the value of the man God gave me in shayne.
especially in recent years when the “for poorer” part of our wedding vows have filled the majority of our days
and pressures of jobs and future and location have near snapped us in two by their tension.
i’m ashamed to say there have been times i wished for someone richer. someone more set in their plans.
and yet, these years living in canada..
of having nearly a whole year of wrestling with lies and what if’s and blame of my unhappiness -
of thinking divorce would solve it all and then God just bringing me to a place of complete brokenness.
were it not for these years i doubt i’d know the love i do now.
one night shayne and i had probably the worst fight of our entire married life.
it was late. the kids in bed.
we had been going round for more than an hour..
finally, as anger escalated and selfishness controlled i said, “i’m done!” and walked out. slamming the door hard behind me.
i went downstairs and started digging in the closet for my shoes and coat and tears were streaming so hard i couldn’t even see.
then i felt shayne’s hands on my back as he turned me and i fell into his arms weeping,
saying i was so wrong. please forgive me.
and he said, forgive me too.
and never underestimate, men, the power of going after your woman! we like that. need that!
and we stood in the laundry room just holding each other for a long time and then prayed and committed those words would never come out our mouths again – “i’m done!” because at the end of the day it’s not money that holds you together or fun times or great sex or a fantastic job or big house or secure future~ we chase the illusion of an “easy life” and there’s no such thing. as long as there are people there will be hurts because we’re flawed and needy and seeking something and often someone to fill our gaps.. so we look to relationships. to love. but love brings vulnerability and the potential for pain and when that happens the enemy tries to convince us the answer is to shut down, pull away, run away, build walls, think only of our own happiness – but we were made for one another. and there is no greater joy than to love and be loved.
but this was the thing for me of finally realizing..
knowing, yet not really – that my source of love cannot come from myself.
if so i will end up hurt and disappointed every time.
my source of love, the kind that stays and keeps giving regardless of circumstances or what i get in return..
that kind of love must come from the Lord!
not some conjured up false, phony spirituality.
but an emptying of self and pride and wrong mindsets and expectations and being filled with Him.
i used to think it sounded so unromantic. loving my spouse with the love of the Lord.
i wanted hot, passionate, shades of grey kind of fire!
but i’m discovering more and more when God is at your center, the source of your love, holy moses!! you better believe there is passion and fire!!
when we love from a place of selflessness -
seeing through the eyes of the other person and not through eyes of pride and comparison and entitlement.
that kind of love is the purest and deepest and truest and most passionate of all!
who knew the scripture was actually right when it said in dying to ourselves is how we discover true life.
and in losing ourselves we truly find who we were meant to be..
the next day after that turning point night in our marriage i realized in our room when i had slammed the door it had knocked the picture off the wall, hitting three vases that sat on the dresser underneath. the vases were from the dollar section at target i had picked up several years ago, short, white, with black lettering across the front. one said LOVE. one said LAUGH. and the other, LIVE.
picking up the picture i saw that two of the vases sat unmoved and untouched, which was odd because the other, that was sitting between them actually had been knocked to the ground and broken. as i got down on my knees and began picking up the pieces i suddenly realized which vase it was. the one which said, LIVE. and i thought there couldn’t be a more perfect visual than right there in my hands of what God had done in my heart. and that the only way to find the life i longed to LIVE was through brokenness.
i still have those pieces. tucked away in my dresser drawer.
someday i want to put them in a shadow box and hang as a reminder of what must happen in order to find real love!
and i was thinking last night as i wrote in shayne’s birthday card how hard these few years have been..
and yet, i find myself so, so grateful for them.
grateful for my husband in this kind of deep way that is so beyond just liking someone and being glad they’re with you.
no. when you’ve ENDURED together.
almost quit TOGETHER.
screamed. yelled. cried. fallen in a heap. prayed TOGETHER!!
this is the kind of comradery born only out of war!
and we all better believe we’re at war for our marriages.
to be aware. intentional. active. watchful.
and the battle always starts in the mind..
so even if you feel you’re doing good by not letting your emotions show or temper flare -
it’s the thoughts that shape our actions and why we need to continually, daily, be renewing our mind with the truth of His word!
this might seem like a weird post to write for my husband’s birthday. that’s okay. :)
i’m past feeling everyone has to understand or the need to explain myself.
and really, there’s nothing to explain or try to make lighter or hide..
this has been our life and it hasn’t always been easy,
but i’m glad i can stand in this place and declare loud and clear for all the world to hear -
i wouldn’t want to be doing this with anyone else other than this man who was born on this day!!!!
i am blessed beyond what i deserve.
i am grateful.
i learn from his humility, from his kindness.
and i’m excited about what God has done and is doing in our hearts.
He is writing a story so much bigger than just us.
and i’m glad i get to be on this journey of learning with the one i have grown to call, the love of my life.
happy birthday to my husband that never quits
pursuing the hearts of our children.
love that man!