Wednesday, January 30, 2013

more than half of me

Friday marks another beginning of the annual event in our house known as Valentines.  Many of you who know me, know what this means.  Some of you wish that you didn't.  Some of my guy friends wish that their wives didn't.  For the rest, let me just say that this isn't your grandmothers version.  I'm not talking about the once a year, flowers, chocolates and dinner reservations type of event.  I decided long ago that I didn't need FTD, Hallmark, or Yelp to drive my observation of the holiday.  This isn't meant to be judgement on the rest...it's simply a reflection of the least I can do to honor my soul mate and the best half of my life.  Simply put, our celebration goes from the 1st to the 14th.  It does include flowers, dinner, and cards.  The biggest part of it though is the daily, intentional demonstration of love and honor through little expressions and experiences that, quite honestly, are not costly at all, unless you count the investment of yourself.
Many years ago, understanding that the landslide of life was threatening to overwhelm the details and moments that hold relationships together, I was convicted that our relationship was worth more than a days concentrated investment.  If my faith in the God who modeled love was real and present, one of the most important places for this to manifest was in my marriage.  I thought back to our dating days when everyday was invested in how I could demonstrate my love.  It can come to a point in life, after you both say "I do", that we begin to think thoughts like "they know".  I don't need to buy flowers because "they know".  I don't need to express my love with cards and notes because "they know".  Knowing that they know is not a valid excuse for not showing what you feel.  Neglect is a leading cause of disintegration and one of the poorest excuses.
I knew and I know that I could and I can do better.  Everyday during these next two weeks takes an investment in creativity and thought, both to incorporate something fresh along with some old favorites that help her glimpse the tip of the iceberg of her value to me.  She is the best part of me and continues to help refine the rough spots.  We can complete each others sentences.  We hear each other when neither of us is speaking.  When we are "on" there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
It is a smooth meshing of gears, clutch, and footwork that can make a manual transmission so sweet.
When we are not on.... Well it's a bit like teaching someone to drive stick for the first time.  Within the grinding there is still the miracle of getting there intact and surviving to drive another day.
If you know us you understand the "opposites attract" rule.  She is fun, I am not so much.  She is spontaneous, I am not so much.  She is hospitable, I'm working on it.  In fact, logic might dictate that she was the likely candidate for this ministry gig and I was an afterthought.  In fact, early on anyway, that was the impression from some.  The truth is that, if her outward people oriented disposition led the way we would not be a ministry in Seattle.  We would not have been in ministry in New York.  In fact, we would not be in ministry at all.  The fact that we are is a testament to her openness to God, faith in me, and willingness to follow.  The strength of my ministry originates in the same places.  It may sound cliche to state that without her I would not be half the man that I am, but it is undeniably fact.  So the next two weeks is dedicated to unapologetically showing her how much that I value her. Happy Valentines month!


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