This year's "Day of Love" is tomorrow.
I know I have expressed it a couple other times this year but our love looks much different now than it ever has. Don't get me wrong, I am still deeply in love with my husband, but in new ways. Stronger ways. More passionate ways. More thankful ways. Deeper, harder, more intricate ways. It is something that has grown over time, but also over trial. We are in a great place but it is not for the lack of pain and heartache. We have had that too and have experienced it together this year.
This year I am most thankful for a husband who has embraced this special needs journey alongside me with a whole lot of grace. It's hard for him, I know. He doesn't express it much but I know it must weigh on him. Recently we watched the movie, "Courageous." Daniel cried alot and I could tell that it re-ignited something in him spiritually. It was something that he needed, as it has been a hard year with a lot of wrestling with what we know to be true and what we feel.
Thankfully, we have a couple families with whom we can openly talk about our struggles and joys. Daniel has a couple really great guy friends who have experienced their own struggles and have in turn built back a strong relationship with the Lord. It's been crucial for Daniel to pick up the phone and have someone on the other line who will just listen and support him. I am incredibly thankful for the Godly wisdom that these men pour into his life. Last night we were part of a 'resolution party' at Katie and Adam's house. It was just a casual, intimate time. Dad's resolved to do the right thing for their families, to love their wives, to forgive others and to raise up a household that loves the Lord.
As Daniel read his resolution to our family I could see he was nervous. He didn't take it lightly. He doesn't want to screw up. Inevitably, though, we all do at one time or another. So I later whispered my resolve--to show him grace and mercy in times when he does fail and to try desperately to support him in this resolve.
Sure, he signed a marriage certificate and he vowed long ago to love me and care for our family. But men often need visible reminders of these promises. And the fact that this man was not ashamed to join others in reading aloud something that he believes in and stands for--now that is sexy.
And that is love.
New, profound love.
I listened to him read his resolutions and although he didn't say it, I felt him pleading with me to know how hard he's trying and to know how incredibly he wants to be a good dad and husband.
I do know those things. At the end of the day, I do know.
I also watched him, not as a typical dad but as one who has a fragile little girl and my heart broke a little in that moment. I know this isn't what he expected either, and yet here he is-still trying to keep it together and be great at this role that God has entrusted to Him.
I'm really so proud of him for standing up and just doing it. For being a dad who is determined to show his children that although he is flawed, he is doing his very best. And I know that our kids will look back and be really grateful for that.
This year, I am far more in love with him than I've ever been--but in ways you would probably not ever expect or believe.
[and in ways I cannot explain in words alone.]
We had a really good weekend and I'm sure Daniel had a great week of vacation. We got to spend time together and we talked very little about our life this past year and how difficult it has been. There are times that we block it out completely and everything feels very normal. And then there are bitter, cold moments when reality creeps back in and I am reminded that things aren't quite normal; or not like they once were...
But that is all ok. I'll take it.
I'll take every bit of it.
It is sweet, sweet, sweet.
Wild, annoying, loud, aggressive.
Not much has changed. It's still beautiful chaos and we're all still just trying to do the best we can with what we've been given. Life is quite simple in that way, really. It expects very little of us in reality.
All we truly have to do is wake up, try our best, and go to sleep.
And then repeat accordingly.
And I know for sure that in this home...
we're at least doing that right.
What are your 'love day' plans?