Sadly or blissfully (depending) things haven't changed much. The kids and I stand at the door holding and hugging him a little too long each morning. We ask him at the beginning of every new day, "When will you be back??" We call him and check in after lunch. He and I text prayer requests and updates. And when he travels for work he always calls home with the same statement, "I am MISERABLE."
We really enjoy one another. I can not say this about every year of our marriage, but God has redeemed our relationship and brought beauty and grace from sin and selfishness. There were two years in our marriage that I dreaded hearing his car pull into the driveway. Quite honestly, I hated him. God knows, I am so thankful for mercy. After 13 years, I feel like a teenager who has just tasted love for the first time. (And like someone who is not afraid to bask in it!) My grandparents had the same type of relationship during their 66 year marriage. I don't know if I ever saw them walk together without hands or arms looped. Their lives just intertwined- even til death. I have been thinking about them a lot this week. They would have been married 68 years on Sunday. And now they are in heaven together enjoying their First Love, still sharing the same Passion and journey. Goodness, how beautiful! What a miracle it is to have a deep, meaningul, lasting marriage.
SO, when I want to insist on my own way, feverishly take the lead that belongs to Andy, look to the left or the right and compare our lives to others, or if we have a "dry" week (month, year...) with nothing especially romantic, I hope to remember these moments from today (that gave me butterflies):
:::His prayer: "Lord, make us obsessed with your Word!" (What a man!)
:::He came in from work, and snuck up on me in the kitchen to kiss the top of my shoulder.
:::He texted that he would be home early because I have been sick for the past 4 days and today was a hum-dinger of a day being the first day out of bed. But then he arrived 30 minutes late because his friend needed marriage advice. I didn't see the humor initially. But really, that's my Andy and you gotta love him.
:::As he was telling my son about how to deal with a bully, he began by not giving advice or correction or questioning (as, say for instance, a Mom would). He told his son, with tears welling up, that he was really sorry this had happened to him.
:::The bully situation reminded me of the one time he had to physically protect me. We were in college and a fraternity brother said the "f" word in front of me. Andy asked him to watch his mouth because "he was in the presence of a lady". The guy was humiliated and blurted out, "Are you sure?" Andy grabbed him by the throat, the guy's feet dangling, and assured him that he WAS sure. I stood there a little shocked, mouth gaped, but my honor was protected. And some wonder why I would follow this man to rural Alabama!?!
:::This very manly moment reminds me of the first time I saw his six-pack abs in college. My roommate and I went by his room to see if he and his brother wanted to do something. He was asleep and answered the door in his boxers. W-O-W. Off topic, moving along.
:::No matter how hurt I am by someone else, he reminds me to love boldly and selflessly. There was only one occasion when he asked me to walk away from a friend. And he was right.
:::His kisses still make my stomach sink into my shoes. And when I watch him with our children I feel each time like life is peaking and will never ever get any better. But it does.