Happy birthday to the man who married me.
Birthdays should be celebrations of thankfulness and the joy of life and sacred moments shared. Too often our birthdays come and go as just another day as we’re too caught up in parenthood, bills, the planning, prepping, and cleaning up of meals to notice another birthday that ticks off another year has passed.
Thank you for all the ups and downs of these almost ten years of togetherness and all that means.
You still say you love me.
Forgive me for not being that mushy, lovey, snuggly, chick movie watching kind of girl. You know I’d rather watch Die Hard than Sleepless in Seattle any day.
Despite those times of me, hiding curled-up sobbing ball in the closet, or the hysterical panicky save-me phone calls from parking lots, you stood by me and came to the rescue.
In those early years, when I just knew I couldn’t carry on another moment of marriage or motherhood, you encouraged me and soothed me. When I felt I was worthless and that you could do so much better with another different wife, you assured that I was indeed good enough. When motherhood overwhelmed and exhausted me, you calmly took over my duties after a long workday of your own, often staying up with wide-awake, sick, or crying babies so I could rest.
Even though we’ve been through much, you still say you love me.
We don’t have godly marriage or parenting role models. We knew this pioneering thing would be tough.
That’s ok because we have God and The Bible to teach us. We are going our own radical way.
We often get frustrated with how far we still have to go.
But look how far we’ve come!
We’re both still works in progress.
You still come home at night to an ungrateful wife in her pajamas some days. With no semblance of dinner as you stumble over Matchbox cars and dodging pencils and Legos and books. The dust bunnies are waging war on the cats and you and the kids are getting dressed out of laundry baskets. And those are sometimes our best days!
Yet you don’t seem too bothered by this. I think I get more frustrated with myself than you do.
You still say you love me.
When we argue about how to discipline the kids and the accusations fly and the words rise up against both of us and the quick tongues lash and the eyes shoot fire.
Then I’m more angry at you for forgiving and forgetting like you should. I wish I could just let it go and move on.
When I snap at you and act like a spoiled teenager with the huffing and eye-rolling and silent treatment, you still say you love me.
Even when I’m unlovable.
You’ve taught me what unconditional love is. Even though I often struggle against the idea. Even though I don’t deserve it. You won’t relinquish the hold even when I flail and fight.
Thank you for still telling me you love me.
I love you too.