I've shared lessons learned about our home and our girl. In honor of my husband's birthday this weekend, I thought I would share things I've learned about him in this past year.
Next month brings the beginning of the third decade I have known him, the man I love. For twenty years now we've been the closest of friends and confidantes. I thought I had him pretty well figured out. Then life changed.
Through shock and grief, tension and uncertainty, anxiety and more uncertainty, I've seen the man I married transform before my very eyes.
My man is more intelligent than he realized.
Confidence has been an ill-fitting garment on his shoulders, despite my best efforts to make it more comfortable for him. My praises, and the praises of our girl, go only so far. In these past months, his confidence has been built upon the respect of his classmates and professors, the right answers on homework problems, and the satisfaction of a job well done. The man who was unsure about taking this path has grown with each passing step, and it has been a sight to see.
My man is more intelligent than I realized.
I've always known he's smart. I've long admired his talent to build and fix things, to look at a drawing (his own or someone else's) and bring it to life. I've never seen him give himself over to reading and studying like he's had to do this past year. Listening to him talk about statistical analysis, ethics and the regulatory environment, and leadership in business, I've gained a new appreciation for his intellect.
My man is finding new things comfortable.
The work jeans have been retired. The once standard ball cap hangs in the mudroom. Steel-toed boots have been replaced by sandals and tennis shoes. A new life requires a new wardrobe.
Days of coming home at the break of dawn, trying to sleep while the sun burns down hot through our bedroom window are a faint memory. Missing Sunday worship twice a month is all but forgotten. His body recovers from the years of swing shift, the snatching of sleep at odd times. His spirit recovers from portions of life missed, family gatherings and dinners with friends, ballgames and trips to the amusement park.
I am finding new things comfortable.
Hearing him greet me when I arrive home each day. The privilege of family dinner each evening. The blessing of feeling him next to me in the bed each night. They are things I don't take for granted. I never want to.
My man appreciates the little things.
A few months ago, I started leaving him short notes listing the reasons I love him. He quickly became accustomed to getting them. Who knew such a small act would mean so much?
Sending silly texts to each other throughout the day, holding hands while watching our favorite television series on DVD each night, learning Spanish with him. All little things, small investments that have yielded big dividends in our relationship. Fires make our love stronger, more enduring.
My man loves me more than I realized.
He spends his days surrounded by classmates young enough to be our own children, his evenings immersed in books. He stretches his brain to grasp foreign concepts. He humbles himself to allow me to be the breadwinner. He is daring to dream new dreams. All of this to make a better life for our family and to better serve the Lord. His life boldly proclaims his love for me, the depths of which I had never understood.
As we celebrate another year of my husband's life, I'm thanking the Lord
...for His goodness in knowing just how much a lost and hurt young woman needed this man who would cherish her.
...for His wisdom in bringing me to this man who is most certainly my better half. Aside from Christ, he is the best thing about me.
...for His grace in giving two selfish and sinful people these 20 years of love and friendship, a strong marriage, and a beautiful daughter. I am blessed beyond measure.
Happy birthday, my sweet man. I am so incredibly proud to be your wife!