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? 

A Marriage Prayer

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Lord, thank you.

Thank you for the past two months, the past four years. Time spent putting down roots -- laughing, crying, dancing, cherishing roots.

My heart is full.

But Lord, as we continue to grow, I know there will be times of emptiness. You promised that there would be trouble as long as we are in this world, on this side of glory. Help us to remember that You have not given us a spirit of fear, and that two are always better than one. Help us to remember that everything that happens here is for the purpose of making us more like Jesus.

Help us to remember that love, most often, has nothing to do with how we feel, and everything to do with our commitment, our will, the strength You have given us. We love because You first loved us. You have shown us the perfect way.

Father, we want Your Word to be at the center of this marriage. Forgive us for the times when we lean on our own understanding, and help us to forgive each other in the midst of the frustration that ensues. Remind us of Your character -- slow to anger, rich in grace and mercy.

I pray for our purity, because I know it will be challenged. I pray for our eyes, for our minds, and for our hearts, that when we are tempted to wander, we would remember the promise we made to each other in Your presence. I pray that we would honor and respect the men and women we interact with, and that we would be intentional about creating healthy boundaries in our places of work, recreation, and worship. And Lord, I pray that our intimacy would continue to grow.

Lord, You have charged me as a wife to respect my husband. Help me to consistently search for ways to encourage and build up my husband. Give me the grace to find joy in serving him. Help me to not be discouraged by laundry and dishes and things that often seem mundane. Forgive me when I take the small things for granted, and remind me that this life, this marriage, is truly a ministry that can be used to magnify Your goodness.

You have given the husband the charge of loving his wife. God, we both know that this is not always an easy task. I am anxious and forgetful and headstrong, but love covers a multitude of faults. Love not only bandages the wound, but heals it. Lord, I pray that You would strengthen Craig in Your love, and that his love for me would be an overflow of that. I pray that he would find the grace and safety in me that is required for him to be vulnerable.

I pray that we would be patient and kind. Help us not to be jealous or boastful or self-seeking. Help us not to dredge up past grievances. Give us the grace to always be truthful. Lord, let our love be a place of protection, trust, hope, and perseverance. Only in Your strength.

Above all, continue to remind us that our marriage gives only a glimpse of how the Bridegroom loves and yearns for his Bride.

Thank You for my husband, for his smile and strength and wit and constant willingness to serve and search for the best.

Help us to keep seeking Your face and expanding Your kingdom-garden.