Brian has been here for me for 19 years in marriage today. Over 20 if you count our courtship and engagement.
One hundred percent truth: My love for him is deeper and more intense now than it has ever been.
We really were only kids when we got married, see?
This is just a photograph, but if you want a true picture of the kind of husband Brian has been to me, then read this:
Ephesians 5:25-33 (The Message)
"Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband."
Our love has not been perfect. Oh, my goodness, I could share some whopper doozies of problems and conflicts with you. But not today. Today I remember a "policy" that Brian set up early on in our marriage. "We won't go to bed upset or angry," he would say, "and we won't lie in bed discussing it either. We'll go sit at the kitchen table or in the living room until we work it out." He has lived up to that over the years, and so have I.
Today I remember that he has had us on a budget ever since I can remember. Insanely so. I haven't always been grateful about that, if you know what I mean, but I am today.
This day is the day I remember that Brian has always been the one to take me wayyyy out of my comfort zone. He is adventurous. I am not. He is all about quality time. I am not. He is a risk-taker. I am not. Somehow, over the years, though, we've both gone further to the middle, and though I wouldn't necessarily shout this from a mountain top (a blog's pretty private, right?), I'm kind of glad I've let him drag me places kicking and screaming.
The theme that sticks out most in my mind for today, however, is 100/100. Percent/Percent, that is. This is the philosophy I have heard Brian repeat over and over and over and ooooooover and oooooooooooooooooover. A LoT. He believes that a marriage based on 50/50 will surely fail, if not physically, then spiritually. "You do your part, I'll do mine" is a recipe for failure from his perspective, and I happen to agree. If each of us gives 100 percent of ourselves with the Lord as our main focus and guide, then we are living out our marriage the way God intended.
I could go on and on...haven't even brought up what an incredible father he is to our children, but maybe I'm just selfish today and want him all to myself. So...I guess what I want to say is...Brian, thank you for nineteen years of 100 percent love. Thank you for never giving up on me and for growing up with me and for leading us God's way.
Just like you promised when we were dating, "I'll always come for you." Then you repeated as the Steven Curtis Chapman song "I Will Be Here" played at our wedding. You have lived up to your promise. You have been here, and not just halfway. 100 percent. I love you, Brian. 100 percent.
Our lifetimes are made for years,
So I will be here."
Steven Curtis Chapman
Taken last night, March 9th, 2009, at an anniversary gathering planned by my 2 daughters and my niece. Photo taken without blushing by my 13-year-old son. Oh, and how could I forget Abby? Do you see her blending in with Brian? She managed to keep her jealousy at a minimum as we gave a smooch, though I don't think she liked it too much. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law applauded at the end as I blushed.