When Charlie and I started dating, my heart was a bit of a mess. I’d been hurt. I had trust issues. Self-esteem issues. Issues. I’d lost faith in the idea there might be someone uniquely crafted for me.
On our second date, Charlie gave me a mixed tape with Marc Cohn’s “True Companion” as track #7. I still remember where I was on the highway when I heard,
So don’t you dare and try to walk away
I’ve got my heart set on our wedding day
I’ve got this vision of a girl in white
Made my decision that it’s you alright
And at that exact moment, I just knew. Yeah, we’d only been on two dates, but I couldn’t have been more certain than if I’d seen a burning bush. God said, “Chill out, girl. You’re going to marry this guy. The end.” Tears streamed down my face as I dared to believe that my heart had found one to love.
I mean, it took him slightly longer to figure things out, but here we are just the same.
Symbolically, seven is a number of completion and perfection, and the number takes on new meaning for me as Charlie and I celebrate seven years of marriage this week. And while it hasn’t all been perfection (ahem…pick up the dang socks!), I can honestly say I can’t wait to head into the next seven (or 70) years. He’s my best friend, and the first person I want to call with any news. My heart still beats faster when he enters a room, and I share Ellie’s excitement to see him at the end of each day. He chases away stress with humor, self-doubt with reassurance, and anger with cupcakes. (Obviously, he knows the key to my heart.)
So for my sweet husband, I’d like to share a little love:
I love your sense of humor (including the donkey laugh.) No one can cheer me up quite like you. I love hearing you say, “I looove you” in your dorky voice with the crazy eyes. We’ve laughed our way through a lot of hard stuff, and I cherish every moment.
I love your tenderness. I love that you’re not afraid to show emotion. Thank you for sharing my joys and my hurts with such care. When you hold me, the stress melts away, and I feel safe from all this world throws our way.
I love your determination and resourcefulness. Whether it’s buying a new clinic, building a house, or planning an exotic adventure, when you set your mind to something, you do it. When faced with a new challenge, you dive in completely, researching, questioning, and experimenting until you find success. (Seriously, if the vet thing doesn’t work out, you can be a computer repairman, general contractor, or travel agent. You still cannot be an alarm installer. Sorry.) Sometimes, I’m intimidated by your fearlessness in new endeavors, and I know that translates to frustration sometimes, but please know how much I admire all you’ve accomplished. You work so hard, and I’m incredibly thankful for all you’ve provided for our family.
I love watching you be a dad. LOVE. As in, my heart turns all squishy and leaks out my eyes on occasion. You have thrown yourself into fatherhood with your whole heart, and it’s evident every single day how much you adore your children. I love how you come home for lunch and fall into the floor to play baby dolls with our daughter or brave the hot sun to push her on the swing for an hour. I love how you make special time every week to take the older guys to lunch or take G. on a movie date. I love how you teach them how to grill, fix their cars, drive, budget money, talk to girls, and so much more. I love watching you put Ellie to bed and hearing you sing her special song. I love that you joyfully shop for Nerf guns and hundreds of Magic cards in an attempt to bond with our teenagers. I love how generous you are with your time and money; you’re always trying to make each of our children feel special and valued. You are an involved, energetic, and compassionate father, and I never want to take that blessing for granted.
I love the way you love God and love others. Together, I feel like we’re beginning to make our escape from the status quo. We’re finding the strength to begin asking God what He’d have us do with these lives, and while the answers have been challenging, terrifying, and in some cases….just plain nuts, we’ve said yes together. I love that you’ve been willing to sacrifice personal comfort to seek God’s direction. I love that you’re not afraid of doing hard things. I love that when I text you out of the blue with “How about we adopt another teenager ? Hehehe…” your response is to come in the door and start planning how to move furniture to make room. I love your generosity with friends, family, employees, and anyone in need. I love that you have a huge heart and that you open it to so many. I love that you believe in being the hands and feet of Christ and inspire me to do the same.
I love being your wife. I love how you value our marriage enough to work on the trouble spots when they arise. I love how you read books and seek advice on how to communicate and love better. I love cuddling with you and making plans for our future and laughing when that future completely ignores our direction. I love how you support me at every stage of my life and work to make me feel valued and appreciated whether I’m writing a graduate paper or emptying the diaper pail. Being married to you is one of the greatest gifts I’ll take from this life, and I want to thank you for the past seven years. They’ve been pretty darn amazing.
All my love,
P.S. If you’re feeling all warm-hearted after reading this and want to go get me some cupcakes, that would be okay. Just sayin….