Here's to missing turns, and a lifetime of unflashy love.

Dear Craig, When we started on this journey so many years ago, I didn't have the slightest idea that you would be the one who asked for my forever.

And now, here we are -- two years into marriage, and every second still feels like magic. Every second was worth the wait and the fight it took to get here. 

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You did not propose on Valentine's Day.

No -- instead, you made me wait nine excruciating days after, and all the while, I felt like I was about to burst.

See, the February you proposed, I was smack in the middle of taking a class on counseling and marriage. We read a book about how a woman's primary ministry should be to her husband, and yeah, it was conservative to say the least, and maybe the author had taken scripture out of context on more than one occasion. But as I was writing my paper on what it meant to be that kind of wife, the only thoughts I could muster were of how I didn't just want to be a godly wife, I wanted to be your godly wife.

I still remember your boyish grin when we accidentally missed our turn, and how in the entire time I had known you, you had never missed a turn. And I remember how just enough of the day didn't go according to plan for everything to be absolutely perfect.

There was no flash mob to some Hall and Oats song, no trail marked by rose petals. You didn't even prepare a speech.

It was just you and me, and a few curious onlookers who had been walking through the park.

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And on our wedding day, instead of talking about all the things love is or isn't, we chose to talk about what love does.

Love drives out fear.

Lord knows, I am fearful. But I am also learning what it means to bloom.

And I know over the next ninety-nine years, there will be a lot of missed turns. There will be mountains, but there will also be valleys. There will be sickness and health, plenty and want. There will be days when we just don't feel like it. There will be days when we fight with each other, but there will be a lifetime of fighting for each other. 

Our first act as husband and wife was to take communion together.

For I had received from the Lord that which I have also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NASB)

Even in this, these final moments before the cross, Christ gave thanks. And there is no cross we could bear that He did not carry first on our behalf.

There is nothing flashy about this kind of love, the kind that bears burdens and makes the hard choice: the choice to serve and die a thousand deaths to self. But oh, the joy. Because at the end of the day -- at the end of every day -- there is no one else in the world that I would rather have beside me on this adventure.

On Becoming Rooted and Established {A letter to my Husband on Valentine's}

Night before last, with your head on my chest, you told me you love the sound of my breathing. After three snow days worth of sleeping in, I felt fully prepared to write, especially when the post went live at 10:30 instead of midnight. But you, always the dedicated worker, always waking up before the sun, convinced me to come to bed. And when your sleepy head found my chest, I knew I was done for. There are no words for the way your breath mingled with mine, how your chest rose and fell, the feel of your skin. I could only whisper thank you, I love you, thank you. 

Love is always about creating space for the heart and soul to breathe.

One of my favorite lines of poetry says "beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you hold me so well." Like the earth holds a seed, warm in the soil, and we have only begun to peek through.

The song we danced to at our wedding was about a garden, how it starts little by little.

We started the same way, remember? First as friends, without the faintest idea that we would someday wind up here. We stood by each other through the hard times, the quakes of life that seemed to very nearly do us in. And love grew. When we began to catch glimpses of who we would become, we prayed hard.

We promised before God and our family and friends that this journey would last until death do us part.

Through rich and poor, sick and healthy, every up and down. When my heart becomes overwhelmed, I always look to you.

Perfect love casts out all fear, and we are being made perfect day by day. Little by little. Less of us and more of Him.

We chose that passage from 1 John for the homily of the wedding ceremony. And oh, how my knees knocked as I could barely whisper the vows through the lump in my throat. I told myself I wouldn't cry, but even before I walked down the aisle, I was a mess.

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You took me anyway, in spite of my fear. And oh, how fear can grip me at times. But never for a single second have you looked at me as less. Instead, you've taken my hand and reminded me over and over again to breathe. 

You always remind me that this life is the greatest of adventures. And there is no one I would rather put down roots with.

I love you, forever and ever. What a blessing it is to tend and expand the kingdom-garden with you.

Five Minute Friday is for lovers, ya'll. This week, Lisa-Jo shared about how to get more passion in your life, and, well, who doesn't need a little more passion?