There is no way I could have known 15 years ago how much I would love you now. Then, when we were dating, life was fun, but I didn’t know how much I would love you in the years to follow. There were movie dates, trips to Boone, and fun days out with friends. There was my prom (because I was too young to go to yours), hockey games, and a brief time when we both had braces -haha-. There were love notes left on my car, and letters passed between classes. We thought we needed each other then, but we had no idea. We got married and life was beautiful. We started a home with a card table and some chairs, and then expanded into “real” furniture. We doted on each other and bought each other lots of everything–gadgets, clothes, etc.. Then we both wanted a little something more. He was born in October after a brief changing of the minds (neither one of us thought we wanted kids–or I convinced you that you didn’t want them either). Our lives changed for the better here. I remember you asking how many car seats would fit in the back of our car. I tell everybody because it’s pretty funny how our minds were changed with his birth ;). Well, we realized that questions with #3. The car seats “might” have fit had we bought smaller ones, but you decided to buy us a bigger -safer- car. So here we are with three beautiful children, and I now know what “needing” you really means. I realize what loving you really means!
Love is something that we do, it is an action. The Bible says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” We have truly learned these lessons over the years! You’ve truly shown me what it is to love and be loved.
Love is patient and you have shown me patience more times than I can count. We both have had our share of having to be patient. Waiting out a super long engagement, every week for the weekend when I was in school, a time of serious trial, a very long labor (G babe), and now patience is a daily struggle with the kids. But I wanted to thank you especially for being patient with our children. When I want to explode at the end of the day you come home and take the kids outside to “work” in the garage. When I want to nap, you take them in the other room to play. When I need to photograph a wedding you keep them at home, or out and about for the day. I’ve also seen you be very kind to us in every way. When I’m done cooking dinner you are there to help clean up. When I’ve washed the clothes your there to help me fold them. But it’s not only your helpful nature, it’s your warm smile that I love. Everyone you know loves you. I always hear wonderful things from your co- workers about how funny you are, how you help, or how you are someone they can talk to. I’ve seen you do kind things for people who didn’t ask for help, and I’ve seen you nurture and love our children. I can’t tell you how my heart swells when I see you holding our babies. Not only in the hospital, although I can’t even write about that without tearing up, but every hug and kiss when you get home from work and every time before bed. Our kids eyes light up when you get home and I’m not ashamed to admit that mine do too.
Love does not envy or boast; it isn’t arrogant or rude. I don’t think you think of yourself before you think of us. We drive the nicer car, and we are well provided for. We fight on occasion, but you’ve not been rude to me. I’ve not seen an arrogant bone in your body, and when you boast it is about your family. When I go to your work your coworkers ask if “these are the people you talk so much about (referring to me and the kids).” You work out and I know that’s a little for you, but it’s also for me. Thank you for keeping in shape, eating healthy, and doing all you can to be healthy for your family. You set an awesome example for me and the kids, and you look really hot too ;).
Love isn’t irritable or resentful, nor does it rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth. I’ve seen you be grumpy and irritable through the years, but it isn’t ever for long, and you always apologize. I’m so thankful to have a husband who is willing to come to me and say, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t in a good mood.” This is also a wonderful lesson for our kids. Bad moods do and will happen, and that’s ok, but if you’ve hurt someone along the way it’s best to apologize. You lead by example and I couldn’t be more thankful. You also don’t hold grudges on me. I’ve hurt you on several occasions and you don’t rejoice in it or throw it back in my face. You are always quick to forgive.
Love bears all things. Wow we have been through a lot! Teenage fights, car accidents, a brief break up, 3 years of long distance dating, expanding our family, religious debates, life changes, family dramas, and lots of home owner issues (floods in our house mostly–ha), but we’ve continued to have a positive outlook on life. Thank you for leading me and being a strong hold for me. Thank you for waking up in the morning and reading your Bible. I’m not sure if you have noticed yet but I like to read what you’ve read when I wake up (usually after you because you’ve woken up early just to read). I like to see what you’ve underlined and find important. What is important to you is important to me. We can bear all things together through Christ and Him alone. I’m thankful for the hope He has given us in our marriage!
Love believes, hopes, and endures all things. There is so much I believe in with us. So much hope for the now and for the future with you! I hope our kids grow up to be just like you. I hope that they learn a lot from you! I hope that they see you wake up on Sunday morning and make us all breakfast. I hope that they see you forgive me, respect me, and love me all because Jesus first loved you. I hope they see the little notes you leave for me in the morning and the small gestures to let me know you care. It’s the little things like leaving a little coffee in the pot because you know I’ll have some after you, or putting my chocolate syrup in my purse before church because I’m cheap and I would rather add my own syrup to a latte (LOL). These things show that you know me well and you pay attention to me. I couldn’t be more thankful that you pay attention to me! I hope, most importantly, that our kids see gospel in you–in us. I hope that we can endure all things because Jesus endured so much on the cross for us. Neither one of us are perfect, but I hope we can endure all things with the hope of greater things to come.
I thought I loved you 15 years ago, but I didn’t fully grasp the meaning of the word. I thought I needed you then, but I did not need you like I need you now. You’ve helped me see the Biblical definition of love. I don’t really want to grow old, but I can see getting old with you ;). Right now I need you to help me with the kids, but later I’ll need you to lean on when we can’t walk straight. I’ll need you to love me until the day I die (because you’ve got the better genes). I want to need you forever. I love you “my love.”