Perhaps the very best date nights are the impromptu ones. When you haven't gotten all dressed up or made big plans and had been looking forward to it for a week.
The spur of the moment dates that just happen out of the blue because you need to run and get a book and stop by the second job, and while we're at it, why don't we share a bowl of queso and get a half price shake at Sonic too and pretend like we're on some romantic excursion? Errand running without the boys morphed into date night. I was in shorts and my hair was up and it was casual and on the fly. And I absolutely loved it.
Our seven year anniversary is days away and we spent the evening reflecting on where we've been in the last year. How Jacob and North Dakota and God has changed up everything and we are still trying to pick up the pieces - especially Todd. It has been hard watching him go through his own set of struggles with all of this. The disappointment, the loss of a dream, and the hurt and anger he carries about all of it.
We talked some about life and what it feels like to share it together. Sometimes I feel as though I keep running ahead. I spent so much of my life unhappy and miserable and not living, that now, I get so caught up in living and going and doing and saying yes, that I often forget that we are sharing this life together and maybe I need to slow down a bit. Maybe I need to let him catch up. Or maybe I need to take a few steps back and come alongside of him - and wait.
We're different, he and I. We couldn't be more opposite. But we go together - it works. I may or may not have gotten totally cheesy at the restaurant and used salt and pepper shakers to make my point. (Which totally means that I did.)
I remember reading this last year in the book "The Meaning of Marriage" by Timothy Keller. He writes:
"If you don't see your mate's deep flaws and weaknesses and dependencies, you're not even in the game. But if you don't get excited about the person your spouse has already grown into and will become, you aren't tapping into the power of marriage as spiritual friendship. The goal is to see something absolutely ravishing that God is making of the beloved. You see even now flashes of glory. You want to help your spouse become the person God wants him or her to be."
Since meeting Todd back in 2005, I have always been able to notice those flashes of glory. I think that's what drew me to him. From the beginning it was obvious that Todd gave me parts of his heart that he never trusted anyone else with. I have honored and cherished that about him. And I know, that as his wife, my role is to spur him on and encourage him to be the man that God created him to be. Not to so I'll have some ultra-awesome husband (though that is a bonus). But because that's simply part of what marriage is. Loving another undeserving, flawed, needy human being - it's a reflection of how much we are loved by the King.
Sometimes life and marriage feels like it's simply one struggle to the next though. You make it over one hurdle and you find out that the next one is just right around the corner. But at the same time, there is so much joy and passion and life and love in between all of it if you can stop to notice and acknowledge it.
I am grateful to do life with a man who desires joy, passion, life and love. And who wants to share those things....with me.