This week I've been encouraged to tend to my marriage. It started at Square One, where we talked a little bit about loving our husbands in the midst of adapting to life as a mom. One of the challenges we were issued was to look at our husbands when they're holding our babies, rather than just looking at the babies. The "seasoned" moms have been assuring us that we will fall in love all over again as we watch our husbands change diapers and make silly faces at our tiny ones. So I took up the challenge. I love looking at Story. I think she's the cutest (I know, I'm biased). But, looking at Andy with Story might just top Story when she's solo. I love watching her tiny body rise and fall in rhythm with his breath when she's asleep on his chest. I love his laugh when he thinks she's doing something funny. I love how he calls her "little girl" and "munchie." And I love how excited he was to receive this birthday present. I know he will faithfully read this to her every night when he puts her into her crib.
The next encouragement came from the Awaken Love seminar I attended at Grace yesterday morning. Our discussion at Square One got me motivated, but what I learned at Awaken Love really challenged me. I have a LOT more to learn about how to more completely receive the blessings God intends for me to find in marriage, and I'm going to take the Awaken Love class this fall to learn more. But one of the challenges from yesterday that I wanted to immediately implement was to spend time really trying to know Andy better. I shared some of the lessons I learned at the seminar with Andy over lunch yesterday and he was super supportive of my desire to dig deeper in our marriage. So last night, when we went out to dinner to celebrate his birthday, we didn't talk much about Story. We didn't look at our phones. We didn't talk about school or work or logistics. We asked each other questions, we talked about what we have learned about each other and about marriage. It was awesome.
|Out for birthday dinner at Sway|
And it's easy to understand why. It's pretty easy to slip into a rut in marriage. It's easy to believe the lie that it's boring. Or to just get so side-tracked by the other things that are going on in life. But I was reminded yesterday that the purpose behind marriage is to mirror Christ's relationship with His church. When I buy into the idea that marriage is boring, I'm also saying that Christ is boring in the way that He loves His people. How can He be boring when He is infinitely complex? Obvious answer is that He can't be. But if I'm honest, I get into a rut with Him, too. Sometimes it can feel boring with Jesus. But the reason for that is that I'm side-tracked in that relationship, too. I'm not responding to His pursuit of me. He's a Romantic, that Jesus. He has never stopped trying to chase me down and thrill me with His love and grace since I said "yes" to life with Him. But sometimes I'm too focused on my own agenda to receive any of it. Yesterday we were encouraged to pray this prayer, "Lord, help me to be interruptible." Because to receive the best love, you have to be willing to drop what you had going on and take in love when it makes itself available to you. Love doesn't fit onto the pages of my day planner.
But love isn't all spontaneity, either. It takes dedication to really know someone. To know Jesus, I need to read about Him in the Bible. And I need to talk to Him all the time. I need to believe that there is enough about Him to keep me engaged and interested in learning more. And to know Andy, I need to dedicate intentional time to learn about him, so that I can keep exploring the person I said "yes" to. I didn't marry Andy so that he could cheer on the side-lines of my life, but I think I make him feel that way sometimes. I married him because I wanted to explore life with him. Together, I wanted us to live a wonderful adventure. Now I'm realizing that he is my adventure, and there's much more to explore. I couldn't be more excited. :)
Andy, I love you so much. You are my greatest adventure. Happy Birthday!
|Story and I both love to snuggle Andy. :)|