What Else, Mama?

So, it’s Valentines Day. I’m aware of this solely mostly because at 11 PM last night I was frantically putting together 26 gifts for my 3-year-old and a dozen more for my little babe to give their friends at school. (I mean, seriously…what do you get babies for Valentines Day?? I was pretty proud of myself here…)

We also got a couple of small things for the girls, and as we sat at the counter for breakfast my oldest asked, “What did you get for Valentines, mama?” I immediately felt unsure of how to answer, because my husband and I had decided not to spend the money on gifts this year when we didn’t really need to.

“Well…I got some flowers from Papa, baby…” (hands-down my favorite Valentines tradition…)

“What else, mama? What else did you get?”

“Well…I got you and sissy and daddy, so that’s pretty awesome…”

“But WHAT ELSE, mama?!”

I couldn’t help second guessing our decision to “skip” Valentines. The doubt crept in…

Should we have exchanged gifts so the girls would see that we got each other something?

Do they think this means we don’t love each other?

I mean, what kind of couple doesn’t celebrate Valentines Day?!

Maybe we should both pick something up today to exchange tonight?

But I stopped myself mid-thought.

…NO.

Because what an incredible opportunity to teach my daughter that we don’t have to BUY each other things to prove our love; to show her that love can be expressed in ordinary, every day actions just as much as expensive, extravagant gifts. Maybe even more so?

So I started thinking…what did my husband get me for Valentines this year? Or, put another way…how did he show me love today?

He got the coffee set-up late last night so this morning when I woke up (before the sun) it would be waiting for me…because he knows my day doesn’t really start until after the first cup.

He fixed a bowl of oatmeal for me to shovel in my mouth on the way out the door…because he knows if he didn’t I would have skipped breakfast all together. And probably lunch, too. Because who has the time?

He got our toddler out of bed, got her dressed and fought her through every bite of a sausage biscuit sandwich…because he knows my mornings with the little involve a lot and if we divide and conquer we all get out the door a little less frazzled.

He made time for the school Valentines Day party in the middle of the afternoon, even though he had a million other things to do…because he knows if he didn’t our oldest would have been heartbroken. And he loves me well by loving our girls well.

He responded to our daughter’s cries from bed that she was a little hungry…then a little thirsty…then that her foot itched…because he knows that by bedtime there’s not a whole lot of me left.

He didn’t say a word when I sat down after dinner…without cleaning up…to have a little time to myself. To eat cheesecake, drink my latte and write…because he knows that sometimes that’s exactly what I need.

He loved me this Valentines Day by showing up.

Correction: He loves me every day by showing up.

So baby girl, when you ask “what else” …that list could go on forever.

 

Washed By The Water

Yesterday was a kind of big deal day…

After many months of consideration on his part (and many years of prayer on mine), my sweet husband decided to publicly declare his love for and commitment to Jesus through water baptism.

I’ve prayed over this decision for him the entirely of our marriage. Early on, there were a couple of things I knew for sure – I so desperately wanted my husband to get to this place in his faith, but I also wanted him to get here by his own free will (read as, not deciding to get baptized because I wanted him to and it would make me happy).

Watching the man I love walk to this place of submission to the Lord has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I am beyond words proud of him. I am eternally grateful for his strength (and my patience) to let the story unfold exactly as God had it written. After all, He is the perfect author of life.

As our motorcycle riding, cowboy boot wearing preacher said – there is nothing magic in the water. There will be peaks and valleys in his faith (and mine) over the course of our lives and our marriage. Yesterday was definitely a peak. But even when the storm comes, we are washed by the water – and the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

With Grace,

Jen