If Our Life Had a Soundtrack...

 The night before Valentine's Day, I was downloading several songs to burn onto a cd to be part of my husband's "goody surprise" when he woke up the next morning. I entitled the CD "If Our Life Had A Soundtrack" (sappy, I know) and included songs that have been important parts of our lives - from the song he played on the guitar and sang to me on our first date, to songs in our wedding, to our son's favorite song to dance to in the living room.

As I was downloading this music and listening to the songs, it reminded me of how far we've come, what a good man he is, and how incredibly blessed I am to have him. So, since I haven't posted about how much I respect and admire my husband in quite some time (it's been all about the kiddo), I thought that maybe now - a couple of weeks before our 5 year Anniversary, would be as good a time as any.

When things feel hectic in our lives, busy, stressful, chaotic ... when I feel like I want be able to give more of myself, my time, and my energy to being the wife that I truly desire to be, I always have to stop for a second and come back to how I got here. Remembering those things always motivates me to push harder, make the time, and do little things for him to show him how much I love him. Too often, when a couple has children and things get busy and they have to devote so much time to the kids and their activities, a lot of marriages go up in flames because those two people forgot who they were, why they fell in love, and how blessed they are to have each other.

It's like when you are ready to move from the house you are living in. Remember that feeling when you were renting? All the little things that were "wrong" just overwhelmed you and consumed your thoughts. Maybe the refrigerator leaks, and you wished you could see the beautiful countryside out your back door, and maybe you have a couple of beetles that find their way in once a month or so .... and all you keep thinking to yourself is how much you want to move, and how you can't wait to get into another house. And then you do.

And this new house is not everything you expected it to be. Sure, you got rid of the "problems" you had before, but now you've got new ones. Probably worse ones. You traded a leaky fridge for a leaky shower. And a couple of beetles for brown recluse spiders, and you miss living in that quiet neighborhood where you once felt so safe. You couldn't wait to get out of there, but now you realize just how incredibly blessed you were to be in that house. All you can think to yourself is - I'd give anything to have that back again. It wasn't nearly as awful as I thought.

I think that is also how a lot of people view a failing marriage. When the going gets tough, they want to jump ship immediately. So maybe your husband leaves his dirty socks on the floor, or doesn't tell you you're pretty anymore like he used to, or won't lift a finger to help you ... whatever it is that keeps telling you in your head - "things would be so much better if I had just married someone that ______," don't be so quick to think the grass is always greener. It's not. Sometimes, you don't get grass, at all. Sometimes, you're stuck with dirt.

When you start to think of little quirks and things that bother you about your spouse, take a minute and reflect on the blessing he is to you. How hard he works for you. How sweet and kind he is to you. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. That is one thing that I think husbands and wives don't do enough. They don't want to have to dig back into that place in their brain where they have stored their memories. DIG. Once a month, if not more, remind yourself of how and why you fell in love and why you STAY in love with your spouse. Listening to old songs that you both love sure is a good reminder. A lot of women watch too many romance movies, or read too many romance novels. In those, the men that the women fall for are all smooth talking, hard working, best friend material, fun dads who always fight for the girl. Right?

Well, I'm willing to bet, if you take a closer look at your husband, he's all those things ... and more. And he's not on the big screen. He's right beside you. I'm lucky enough to watch those romance movies, look at my life and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I've got that. In fact, I've got so much more. 

So here goes ... there are several reasons I am blessed to be married to my husband, but for now, I will stick with the Top Five that you might just see in the movies-

5. He knows all the right things to say

I don't mean he's a "schmoozer". His words don't come from a vain or empty place. He says what he means and he means what he says. But for this list, I'm not talking about his words to me. I'm talking about his words to God.

My husband prays the most beautiful prayers.

Always has.

It was one of the very first things that attracted me to him, and it is surely one of the things that continues to remind me how very blessed I am even after 5 years of marriage. There is an AW Tozer quote that says - "As a man prays, so he is." This is so true of my husband. His prayers are genuine, humble, thoughtful, and passionate. I rarely ever feel as deeply in love with him, as I do when we are holding hands and praying to God.

I don't need him to get up on some grandiose balcony and spit out all the things he loves about me. I can feel how much he loves me when he prays to God for my heart and soul.

4. He works so hard to support us.

It is such a blessing that I get to stay at home with our one year old son. Sometimes, I'm not quite sure how we make it work, but we do. I know my husband has a lot of pressure on him to make sure that I don't have to go back to work. His job gets really stressful and sometimes he has to work really late hours. I appreciate every moment he puts in for us. And as if it's not enough that he works extremely hard at his job, he is the type of man that comes home, gives our son a bath, cleans up the kitchen after I cook dinner, or helps with little things to make my life easier.

He could just get home and plop on the couch and tell me how hard his day at work is, but he doesn't. He sees taking care of our son and helping me with things around the house as a privilege and not a job. Having a husband like that also gives me perspective, that as worn out as I am at the end of the day, it is a privilege that I get to do things for him, take care of the house, do our laundry, cook his dinner, and take care of/teach our child all day. In other words, he is the type of man that makes being a woman, a stay at home wife and mother, so sweet.  I respect and adore him so much for allowing me to strive to be the wife and mother that I desire to be. I'm far from it, but he always makes me feel closer than I am.

3. He's my very best friend.

We've taken a couple of road trips in the last month. I love road trips. They always give me time to think about life. On one of them, I pulled out my phone and flipped to a website I had bookmarked called 30 Questions to Ask Your Spouse on a Road Trip. We had so much fun asking these questions to each other and answering them. I love that he tells me random Biblical facts while we are driving. I love that we play a game of compromise after he has listened to an hour of music and wants to listen to talk radio. And I love that I always win that game. ;) Music always wins, folks.

I love that he says something at least once a day that makes me laugh out loud. I love that he gets annoyed when something happening in a cartoon movie where the animals talk is "unrealistic". I love that he always brings me surprises home from the store if he stops to pick something up on the way home. And that his favorite part is watching my face when he shows me what he got.

I love that he loves to be silly with me. I love that he still wants to kiss me every time he sees me. I love that he has the worst memory in the world and tells me every time we pass something on the road what it is, like he's never told me before. I love that he always points out planes and squirrels.

And I love ... that I get to spend every day of my life with him.

2. He is such an amazing dad.

I knew he would be. I'm not surprised. One of my favorite times of the day is when he gets home from work. We hear the keys in the door, and he peeks around the corner for our son to see that he is home. The look of love and excitement on both of their faces as they walk toward each other is one of the most special things that a mother can see. I know that all day he is waiting for that moment.

There are two reasons I know that he is going to raise our son in the best way possible. One, because he is in the here and now. He takes time to read him stories. To play with him. To rock him in his lap when he is getting sleepy. He gets joy out of seeing our son reach milestones and try new things that he ends up loving. And two, because being the man he is, he will continue to be an example for him as he is growing up. To watch and see what a man of honesty and integrity looks like. A man of God. To see what it looks like for a husband to love his wife, deeply. What it means to forgive, to be compassionate, to be loyal. To work hard and provide for his family. To be consistently spiritual. I know that if our son grows up to be anything like his daddy, he will be a man with a heart of gold.

The best way to teach a child is by example.

1. He fought for me.

 Around this time of year, six years ago, I sat alone on my porch swing outside my quiet little house in the country. I watched the wind blow through the trees that surrounded me and felt the warm glow of the evening sun on my face before it disappeared below the line of trees in the distance.
I remember this day, because it was different than any other day in my life. It was the gentle tap of God's finger on the row of dominoes that started everything into motion. I got a phone call from a guy I barely knew and he was interested in getting to know me better.

It was a tricky situation.

To say I had "issues" might be the understatement of the century.  I had serious fear. Fear of losing anything that I cared deeply about. Because of that fear, I wanted to control everything in my life. Fear drove a lot of poor decisions I made in my twenties. It made me have trust issues. It made me unforgiving and over emotional. I had words inside my head that replayed every day of my life, and I was scared I'd never be able to get rid of them.

I wasn't worth loving.

I wasn't worth the hassle. I'll be the first to admit it.

And everyone told him to turn around and run ... and never look back. I told him to run, my best friends told him to run, his family told him to run, even my exes told him to run. We all warned him.  I was a destructive tornado that left nothing in my path. I held on so tight to all of the things I feared would slip through my hands, that I simply crushed them.

But one day, he sat me down and looked me in the eyes and told me - I understand what you're telling me, but I believe you're worth it.

He said that he could see past all the layers of hurt and shame and fear and all of the ugly stuff that I had wrapped myself up in, and he could see straight to the heart of me. And he wasn't going anywhere. He told me that one day, he was going to marry me. The real me. I could believe him, or not.  He was going to fight my demons. Carry my baggage. Strip apart my layers. Fix the parts of me that were broken. He would do whatever it took to make sure he had me as his wife for the rest of his life. As undeserving as I was. He never gave up on me.

That alone is enough to make me want to be the best wife in the world for him. And sometimes life does get busy, and we put our love on the "back burner" so to speak to take care of other things. But I hope he will read this and know, that even five years after saying I do, I still realize how incredibly blessed I am that he walked into my life and fell in love with my heart.

 I certainly fell in love with his.

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