Sunday, February 16, 2014

Everyday should be Valentine's Day : A letter to my girls

So KLOVE, the Christian radio around my parts, had a pretty big segment of Valentine's Day about how the divorce rate in the church is now pretty equal to that of the "general society". This breaks my heart because the one thing that the Church is supposed to stand it's strongest on is love... Christ is Love sent to us and we're supposed to be love sent to each other, especially our spouses. This whole thing makes my eyes water just thinking about it. But really, it's a topic for another day, because then my mind went in a completely different direction. My daughters.  My daughters are going to grow up in a time where love and marriage are thought as even less sacred than they are thought of now... 
So the only one left to teach them about love is me and daddy.
That's a gift, but a scary and heavy one. 
My dearest most loved and precious daughters,
I am your living example now, and hope someday my letters and this blog will inspire you as the powerful and loving women you are to love even harder in this life than I know you already will....
So for now, girls...
How I grew up I was always unsure about love. I lived in a house where "I love yous" were almost never used except written in a birthday card. I grew up in a broken home and watched my parents "love" each other in cruel and sometimes violent ways. I grew up fantasizing about love through TV shows and croony sappy love songs. I grew up being used by men much older than me for things I just didn't understand back then. I grew up without Jesus and the understanding of how precious I was or how sacred the depths of my heart were, so I just would give it all away. I grew up learning that love was found in tangible things, things money bought. I grew up with the belief that showing love meant you were weak. Being vulnerable to someone meant you were small couldn't make it on your own. I grew up, really, thinking that love was wrong and that if it was 'right', I must've been completely unworthy of it. So I gave up.
Until I met Jesus who led me (eventually) to your daddy.
When daddy and I first found out we were having a baby, I was so scared. Marlaina, I was scared out of my mind that you would grow up feeling the lack of worth I felt growing up. I wasn't scared that I wouldn't love you. Believe me, from the moment I found out you were coming, I was overcome by my love for you. I was feeling feelings I had never felt before and I didn't know what to do with them. I was scared that even though I loved you like no other, I would still fail you because I was unsure of how to express those feelings. I wondered if this was my mom's struggle. I never really talked with anyone about these feelings except for your daddy and God, because I was scared of other people watching me be a mommy. I spent hours, probably days, weeks, praying God would be refining things in me, teaching me how to love more like Him, walking me through my pregnancy and making my rattling nerves still. And he did - He used your daddy to do it.
Ladies, your daddy is my hero. In the beginning of our relationship, I probably seemed like the strong one. The prayful one. The one with all the crazy life experience that aged me to 50 when I was 17. But I wasn't. I thought that whole time that I was almost "coaching" your dad out of a pit he was in, that I was the "together" one. When daddy and I started out, I loved your dad with a passion so strong that people thought we were insane. Seriously. You couldn't separate us for but two seconds, maybe. The moment we met, a fire lit that no one could contain. It was amazing. It was the most intense thing I have ever felt. I am crazy about your father. But that whole thing about me being the "together" one, that's just not the truth. God was using your precious father to transform my heart in ways I never thought possible. The Lord was using your daddy as a sort of tangible teacher to unlock the greatest mystery of my life. 
What is true love? What's it look like? Feel like? Talk like? Touch like?
I wasn't always the nicest little lady to be around for dad. I got pregnant early in our relationship, hormones kicked in, I got fat, I got miserable, I got depressed. I believe this was all part of God's incredible plan for before you got here (and for me and daddy's relationship) because I got to witness the most incredible thing. Your dad loved me right through all my miserable days. He brought me flowers, He opened my door. He left me love notes everywhere. He worked all day and then came home and rubbed my back. He spent so much time trying to make the apartments we skipped from perfect for me - painting, laying down carpets, mowing lawns, fixing my vehicle in the freezing cold while I was warm inside watching movies, telling me I was beautiful when I know I looked like more of a swamp monster or something, defending my sometimes craziness to other people, listening to music I love that he hates, watching chick flicks, always holding my hand, and always reminding me he loved me and what that love felt like for him... Your dad fought the good fight for me. He never gave up on your mommy who just didn't understand this love thing. I remember one night sitting in our dining room just sobbing to him because I felt like I could never love him like he loved me. I would try. I would full force love your daddy, and then screw it up somehow. My mind is racing with memories now and it's making me lose direction in my writing (I'm sure you understand that about me)

 Marla, when you were finally born, everything came full circle. Don't get me wrong, I've still got my "days". But everything finally made sense, and I got the best gift in the whole universe - my little family. We've now had your brother, who opened my eyes to love even more in indescribable ways, and your sister who I am five months expecting right now, who I am over the moon about.
I want you to know these things about me and daddy because love is hard. You are going to grow up in a world where loving others is even harder than it is now. But you've got to fight the love fight even harder than it's fighting you. This world doesn't know the love of Jesus. My precious girls, that's the only love that works. Pray with your man. Pray for your man. Pray for your man before he even is your man, before you even know him! Always go the extra distance to show your man that you love him more than yourself. It may be a pain sometimes. You may have a screaming baby that you're trying to change and the dishes may be piling up and the house may look like a tornado went through it when you just cleaned an hour ago, but your man is still going to walk through that door home to you after work - So take that extra few seconds and meet him with a hug. Do not let the craziness of life steal that few seconds of bliss and relief that only his entrance through that door creates. Let him know you value him and appreciate all his hard work. Let him know that no other person on the earth could take his place, ever. Let him know that he is the most peaceful voice you've heard all day and it stays in your mind when he leaves and makes crazy moments not so crazy. Let him know how much you miss him all day long and how lucky your are to be his bride. Let him know that his smile is the most gorgeous you've ever seen, and no happy moment in your life would be complete without it. Let him know that without him, you'd be nothing but a hollow heart, just like I would be with out your daddy.
I love you, Marlaina and my little Bean without a name yet.
And  hope when you begin your love journey with your husbands, you can look back at me and daddy and remember our love fight and want we what have. I hope we taught you well how to love though the good, and fight for your love though the shaky and rocky times. 
We love you unendingly and pray you find a love fight like ours.
Love, your mommy.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's A Wonderful Life

On Sunday, my Robbie and I celebrated our three year anniversary from the night we committed our little selves to each other, our first date.
Card I made Robbie
They say slow and steady wins the race, but our story is anything but those adjectives. From the moment our eyes met (Rob stalked me for about month at my work place) to the night I finally gave him my number, to our first date... Things seriously never slowed down. In fact, as we got closer, the more fast things sped up! I can only blame this on the fact that from our very first conversation, I knew and God told me that that blue eyed handsome boy would someday be my husband... And I was totally okay with that.
Three years later, a wedding late, three kids later, numerous apartments later, and a billion I love yous later, he still stands as my absolute everything and the hero that saved this girl form herself. I'm pretty sure we saved each other, scooped up at the same time by the hand of God and knitting our lives into one. My husband is so precious to me.
One of our first dates. An Eric Church concert. We almost died that night. Seriously. There was a mattress laying in the middle of our side of the road... Rob swerved between a telephone pole and the mattress... If I could say I hadn't fallen for him already, that would've been the moment!

 I wish I had taken pictures of our anniversary date night, but I totally forgot.
Our first night out with no Marla in awhile, it was a great time alone.
My knight in shiny armor...
 Also exciting, we are pushing and pulling ourselves more and more toward the finish line. We hit a very celebrated and tearful milestone a week ago. Our little bundle of girl made it passed a great statistic she was given - about a 50% chance of surviving past 17 weeks.
We are 18 weeks strong today with an appointment on Wednesday.

Now off I go to one of my favorite chores... Laundry.
The literal "cycle" that never ends...