Thursday, August 29, 2013

four years

"Love in this second sense - love as distinct from 'being in love' - is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God.  They can have this love for each other even at moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.  They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be 'in love' with someone else. 'Being in love' first moved them to promise fidelity:  this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."

There was a day two years ago when I sat on the floor of Henry's room, him just weeks old. All three of us were crying. Exhausted, with nothing more to give. Shea talked about how he wasn't happy. I talked about how on that day, I didn't like him very much at all. It was an awful day we still talk about.

Perhaps a weird way of starting out an anniversary post. But it makes me remember that C.S. Lewis quote that was read at our wedding ceremony. When we got married we hadn't dealt with much except challenging family situations and lots of work travel. Four years later, I've learned that flowers, long talks of affirmation and fancy dinners are great but not the love that holds a marriage together when your newborn is screaming five hours every night.

Instead, that "quieter love" that runs the engine of this marriage is about:

moving to a new state when you have lived in the same area your entire life.

moving the entire contents of your house four times in four years to get
more space, more security, a garage.

making dinner several times a week even if it's always tacos, spaghetti or turkey burgers.

driving in a straight panic to the hospital with a screaming woman in your passenger seat who is pleading with you to give her drugs and turn on your flashers, for goodness sake.

holding your newborn son in awe as your wife is being equipped with an oxygen mask.

running around the house in circles when your baby will NOT stop crying
so your wife can take a shower.

posing with pumpkins, in front of peach trees, Thomas the train and lots of large trucks.

making dinner, doing the dishes and taking care of a toddler when your wife has a migraine.

attempting to iron your own pants.

working hard so your wife has the option of staying home part-time to play with trains.

sitting in a hospital waiting room, holding your wife's hand,
when she's about to lose her second baby.

making oatmeal for everyone every single morning and
sitting at a table to eat it together.

cleaning the litter pans every week.

always, always being on my side no matter what the topic or the people involved.

Love you, Ginn. Thank you for loving me in the ways that make this marriage thing work.


  1. This made me cry and praise God that he gave my Sarah such a wonderful husband. :) We love you both!

  2. So sweet. Thanks for this. Helps me remember all the reasons my years with my own hubby have been so quietly awesome.

  3. So sweet. Thanks for this. Helps me stop and think of all the reasons why these years with my own hubby have been so quietly awesome.

  4. How absolutely beautiful!! Happy anniversary to you both!! And prayers for many many many years of love to come!