As you know, I am not a Valentines Day kind of girl. I don’t think I ever have been. I remember getting heart chocolates from my dad – and better yet, daffodils in early Spring, which are special memories. And so I’ve encouraged you to start a similar, sweet traditions with Roo.
But getting gifts and flowers from you just isn’t that important to me; It’s not my “love language”…whether on Valentines Day or any other day! There’s nothing wrong with gifts given with a sense of romanticism, it just isn’t my ‘thing’.
I prefer the gifts of your time and attention as often as life allows. Spending time with you (rather than material presents) is what builds our relationship stronger: more connected and deeper.
Because – although this may not be true of all couples – for me, marriage is challenging!
Marriage is a mirror. And as a naturally reflective person, I replay my words and actions back. And sometimes that’s hard to see.
Recently a friend of mine mentioned in passing that she is envious of me and you…our relationship.
I wanted to say, “No! No! We don’t have it right yet at all!”
Yes, we have romantic dates every now and again. Yes, you make me feel beautiful and attractive every day. Yes, we have time alone in which we talk about our dreams for life. Yes, I see thousands of times a day how much my happiness means to you. Yes, I still feel twitter-patted when I see you. Yes, I see how proud you are of me. Yes, I know you appreciate me for simply being me.
I cherish you.
But more than anything, in order to stand the test of time in a society in which over half of all marriages end in divorce, our love needs a strong base in sacrifice and commitment. Both are more than an emotion – which can be fickle – and more about a decision.
We make the decision to stay together in an honest, loving relationship no matter what.
This strong base is rooted in our relationship with God, as individuals and as a couple and as a family. We believe in God’s healing power. We rely of the gift of grace by Jesus. Without those, I would be hurt and inflict hurt even more…I know that from my past experiences.
Since last Advent Season, I’ve been subscribed to Ann Voskamp’s blog posts. She is the NY Times bestselling author of “One Thousand Gifts”. The general premise is to make a conscious decision to be grateful and to find blessings in everything.
On a recent day off together, I read parts of her 5 Ways to Fight Through to a Loving Marriage post to you. Parts of it, we can’t relate to – such as using the “hate” word (a pet peeve of ours) for instance – but there are parts to which we can relate. Specifically the ambulance scenario. Through no fault of yours, I am the wailing ambulance: injured on the inside and looking for an ER (emotional response).
I also can definitely relate to her blog post about Fear.
Fear of failure – as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, homemaker, business woman, etc – all contribute to bunched up anxiety in one ball living in my chest cavity. As you know, it has a propensity for coming out first thing in the morning, just as her blog post talks about.
I recently shared a video with you by Jefferson Bethke. Not the “Hate Religion, Love Jesus” video that went viral but rather the “Sex, Marriage, and Fairytales” video. I know that when you had a few spare minutes, you watched it. It seems to touch on the idea that sexual attraction – although important – can’t sustain the decision to love. External beauty is fleeting; internal beauty is a lifetime.
And a lifetime with you is what I want.