Our precious baby GIRL will be here in September!! Her name is pronounced with a long e: ee-vee and we’re counting the seconds until we get to meet her!
Our first anniversary is on Sunday.
Since our internet is out at home I’m posting this today.
All I can say, without tearing up, is thank you.
Thank you for a wonderful year as husband & wife. Thank you for the many moments of laughter, prayer, encouragement, love and planning the past twelve months have held. Thank for you loving me & Gus with absolutely everything you have. Thank you for telling me I’m gorgeous first thing in the morning, for remembering that I love orange tulips and for fully embracing the emotional, creative, whimsical, not always down-to-earth woman that I am. You’ve given me incredible freedom to be myself.
I had no idea what it would be like to be a wife but your kindness and patience when I don’t have words, am sad or (stereotypically for new wives) mess up dinner have filled me with love for the “job” . You now know what tights, a hair straightener, foundation and exfoliating are. I can (almost) write my name in Greek, know what a camel cricket is and can properly hold a golf club. Our individual world’s have grown so much.
Together we’ve learned that you will (nearly) always win at Scrabble, I’m terrible at washing dishes, you cannot cook a turkey burger to save you life and we both hate making two trips to the car for groceries. We’ve learned that fighting after 10 p.m. is pointless, I’ll overreact to nearly everything, pasta with cheese sauce is our first pick for a quick dinner and Psych night needs to be a bi-weekly event (at least).
We now know that, to pamper me, a candle-lit massage is the way to go and, for you…a trip out for chicken wings. I still don’t understand that, honey. You also know that I believe everything is better by candlelight and that each moment has its own soundtrack. I know that you will always request commentaries for gifts and that $4.00 for you to go to the golfing range is worth its weight in…quarters.
We’ve learned some of our weak spots and some of our vulnerabilities. We’ve learned that there is absolutely nowhere we’d rather be than curled up in each other’s arms. The best part of the day is still when I hear your work boots on the front walkway. We’ve learned that on our knees in prayer is the first and best place to be when we’re overwhelmed.
If I could do it all again I’d choose you faster than the first time.
Ok, clearly I found more to say than just “thank you” .
I love you, honey!
I know that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what life and God have in store for us. Here’s to a lot more sacred, special moments in the years to come,
God with us.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
The magic, the sheer joy, the unspeakable wonder of Christmas is that Christ was with us. God himself with tiny, grasping baby hands, lungs that breathed sin-laden air, newborn skin pressed into a rough-hewn manger.
He lived where we live.
Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made man.
- Charles Wesley (“Let Heaven and Earth Combine”)
My challenge to myself this year was to “let Christmas be what it wanted to be”. A few weeks ago my pastor encouraged us to let the ghosts of Christmas past lie dormant. To let our current Christmas unfold without the pressure of living up to past years (or trying desperately to undo the pain of years past).
This year, for the first time, my Christmas was spent with my loving husband, my time was split between two families and, sadly, those special days were without dearly loved family members who were much too far away. This year I had the privilege of hosting Christmas Eve, Tom & I packed boxes for children in Ecuador, found our first tree and drove each other crazy with hints about the contents of hidden boxes.
Christmas was rich with small, sacred moments. Freedom from Christmas expectations and grace-given flexibility with changes in plans loosed me to soak in every miniscule, imperfect moment.
Waking up to raindrops on the trailer roof; nature’s recognition of a special day. A world washed clean.
The aroma of coffee that reminded me of India.
Tom’s face, giddy with delight, as he presented me with the presents he so carefully selected (and Christmas labels that read: To: Fox, From: Hulk).
The beautiful story of Christmas by the light of one, cranberry candle.
Tom’s arms for quiet moments of prayer.
Gus and his (stuffed) Christmas mouse.
Phone calls to New Jersey and California.
Baby fingerprints on the Christmas ornaments.
Friends who are more like family.
Loud, off-key versions of “Happy Birthday”.
Scrabble & Psych with Tom & Gus on Christmas night.
Preparation for the wedding of dear friends this weekend.
The magic, the sheer joy, the unspeakable wonder of the day after Christmas is that Christ IS with us. God himself with hands torn by nails, lungs that have breathed earth’s air and skin scarred by time here stays present in the lives of his children.
I hope you, I hope I, can lay down our expectations for today long enough to soak in the beauty of everything that makes today today.
Happy Christmas, everyone.
*Thanks to my sister, Beth, for the pictures. You can check out her blog here.
Happy Thanksgiving! We’re living it up in the mountains of Tennessee – back to South Carolina and more regular blogging next week!