Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What does 9 years of marriage feel like?

Another year has passed. We have been married for 9 years!!!!! By God's grace. 9 years. It hasn't been easy for us. I've done a lot of growing up. I still have a long way to go. But from day one, Shaun has been the most selfless, sacrificial man I have ever known. No joke. (If you know his dad, you know where he learned to give up his life for his bride. Day in and day out. At great expense to self). Thank you Papa. Your legacy will live on in your son. He gives you a hard time for giving away cars and time and money and stuff and more time and forgiveness over and over and over....but he is the SAME man you are in so many ways. And that makes me so thrilled. What a blessing to be the wife of a man who always puts others above self.....:). I sortof benefit too much from that at times.

I've said these words before. And I'll say them again. It sounds so cliche', but is true. He is my best friend. My life everyday revolves around him. Wishing he was home as soon as his tires leave the gravel driveway. Cleaning, teaching, praying, preparing dinner, all because we are anxiously awaiting his arrival home. We literally stand in the yard a lot of days around 5 watching for his car down the country road. My heart is more warmed toward him today than it was in 2004. I don't understand it, nor do I for a moment believe I deserve it, but the blessing I have in him cannot be explained in words. My heart just sings with delight at the thought of him.

God, in a way, gave me salvation in Shaun before we were married. It is because of my relationship with Shaun and his family I realized my deep need for the Savior. The great functionality (in a world of mostly dysfunctional families) of Shaun's family is because of their deliberate effort to keep Christ the center of their vision for family and missions. I pray Shaun and I can replicate that in our home. I pray souls can be saved by the testimony of our family life. In our home. So anyway, that's a lot of words to say, the greatest gift I've ever received from God truly is Shaun, because my salvation resulted from it....and I know God planned it that way.

It's good, I think, to make a habit of rehearsing reasons you love your spouse. Here are some reasons I love Shaun:

I love him because he loves God. He weekly surrenders great amounts of time to prepare for lessons, pray for, and love on people at our church. His heart is called to teach - and even if he wasn't my husband, I'd be in his class. By choice. He is SUCH a wonderful student and teacher of the Word. I see God's word thrill and encourage him and it encourages me as his sister in Christ. What a sweet thing that we will share eternity together before our Lord. And much of the urge I feel from The Lord to learn more about His word is a direct result of the things I hear and learn in Shaun's classes.

I love him because he loves me and the kids. I know because he writes it, he says it, and he shows it all the time. He comes home from long troubling days at work, where the lives of people depend on his preparation and performance, and he somehow puts that away, puts on a smile and he is ready to serve and love on the kids and I. He helps with supper, dishes, laundry....he tickles, plays, bathes, reads to and puts to bed...and he begs me to go take a bubble bath while he does it all. Seriously. It happens. Read it again. It happens. A lot.

(Side note: Men, do you complain that your wife is too often exhausted at bedtime and therefore unavailable for intimacy, yet you've flicked the remote for hours while she cooked, cleaned, bathed kids, etc.....? GET UP! SERVE HER. She will feel energized, more attractive, more attracted to you and be awake and eager and ready to "thank" you for your servant spirit around the home. Be patient, it takes more than a day. Serve her continually and I promise, those walls will come down and you will reap the benefit of your selfless service. Please don't broadcast to her why you're serving. Check your heart and do it out of true self sacrifice because she is more important than you are. Try it. Nothing to lose, right??)

Ok. Back to why I love my man...

I love him because he works so hard. So hard. And he is a rare attorney who actually cares about his clients and feels burdened for them. I know because there are days he comes through the door with a big need for a hug after the desperate and destitute circumstances he's dealt with all day. God is blessing his honest hard work with provision and we are thankful and prayerful that his practice can make a difference in the community. And even in times when we wonder if God remembers we have bills to pay and mouths to feed, Shaun diligently trusts God for provision. I know because I hear it when he prays and I see it in the continued joy and peace he has amidst a trying time. All the while, I'm wringing my hands and fretting. What an awesome example he is to me.

I love him because he is handsome. Nothing makes me smile more than those beautiful baby blues. He would still catch my eye today like he did in 2003. I love to look at him. I lovvvvvvve to look at him.

I love him because he is hilarious. If you've ever been around him for long, you know he's funny. Like laugh-til-you-cry funny. The life of the party and most likely the creator of the party. I love that he knows how to make me laugh. I need that more than he realizes. I smile so much more than I did before I knew him. That's why I have all these "laugh lines."

That's all I need, right?! A handsome, hilarious, loving, hard working man who loves God. My teenage checklist has been completed. For 9 years. And I'm sure his checklist was "Hott girl"...and obviously he has that in me. So we're good. :))) It's a dream come true.

Our marriage isn't perfect. In fact, we've often told other couples that apart from Christ and our covenant before him, we might have shook hands a year or two in and walked away.....but we didn't, because we knew something greater than ourselves was at stake. The Gospel of Christ. I need this marriage and Shaun- because it is a key part of the sanctifying role of Christ in my life. It is making us more holy. It's removing ME from the center and putting Christ at the center so that I can love, respect and submit to my husband as we try to serve and glorify Christ in our marriage. The eyes of lost men, and maybe saved ones trying to make it in their own marriage, are watching and learning about whether or not we are a true testament to Christ and what we call his transforming power in us....they watch to see if we are different. Please, Lord, let us look different.

I searched pictures to find one from our honeymoon....but they are all borderline inappropriate. Haha. And the in between pictures all have either a preggo belly in them, or a hospital gown, or a baby or two or three. Maybe we should take some pictures for our anniversary this year??

Our honeymoon. Sweet sweet days. Not a care in the world.

My prayer is that God will use us somehow to share His saving power with lost men headed for eternal Hell. My prayer is that God will use us to help sympathize with troubled marriages. My prayer is that God receive glory in all we do. Because He is worth the greatest sacrifices we could ever make. He gave his LIFE. And I live and experience this blessing of marriage and Shaun and intimacy and laughter and children....all because He gave his life. Otherwise, we don't even exist. So I'm thankful and hopeful God can use us.

I love you Shaun Hair. Happy anniversary! You are my hero. Now and always.

..- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

1 comment:

Camie Risinger said...

"Cleaning, teaching, praying, preparing dinner, all because we are anxiously awaiting his arrival home.” I am always encouraged by seeing your family model living with an eternal perspective. If that sentence doesn’t reflect anticipating Christ, I don’t know what does!

I love how God has given us such great love for our husbands!!!