Dear Valentine

To The One Who Still Makes My Heart Flutter...

It's hard to believe that in the blink of our eyes, eight years have come and gone since we first celebrated this day of love together :) Life has dramatically changed, several times over from that first year and yet, when I close my eyes I can go right back to that time in our history together.  Eight years ago, you made me dinner and we exchanged little gifts that were chosen with all the stress of "what do I get him/her that sends the perfect message??"  I'm pretty sure we each went home with a teddy bear, you a CD and me some flowers.  Good choices for that first year :) But if you remember you also gave me a gift that night that would forever change my life and yours.  You sat me down and opened your Bible.  I felt my heart begin to race and then melt all on that hot, Florida night. You said sweet things about the months we had spent together, deepening our friendship and getting to know each other.  You echoed every thought I had and you won me over with your tender words and the compliments that dripped off your tongue.  But because you had something greater in mind, you didn't fill me up with empty words, you went to the TRUE WORD and read me the picture of love from the One who created it in the first place. 

You told me about a love that is patient, that is kind, that does not envy or boast and isn't proud.  A love that does not dishonor others, is not self seeking, or easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.  A love that does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  A love that protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.  A love that never fails...

With that picture of love in mind, you told me that second only to Jesus, I was the object of your affection.  Although I already knew you loved me with your actions, you gave me the gift of love with your words.  By the grace of God, I had waited for you to take the lead, for you to pursue me and for you to open that door.  "I love you" was freely exchanged that night and with three little words, you upped the ante and gave me the future that I longed for. A future with you. 

So here we are, 8 years later.  We've moved from Florida, to North Carolina, and landed in Minnesota.  You went from valet, to student, to Pastor and I went from employee, to nanny, to Mom.  We have two precious babies who know us as Mommy and Daddy and a marriage that is stronger today than it was last year.  I am so incredibly grateful for you.  God gave me a gift of pure grace when He led me to you! 
Sure there are days, when our life together isn't perfect :)
When we irritate each other or say a quick word that we later regret. 
But for every day that has been filled with heartache, you have given me ten times more that have been filled with JOY!  The fact of the matter is, I wouldn't trade my life with you for a life with anyone else.  You are the one I love to wake up with.  You are the one I love having babies with.  And you are the one who still stops my heart with a glance across the room.

In eight years of loving me, your love has been patient and kind.  Your love has not been envious or boastful or proud.  It hasn't been self-seeking, or easily angered and thankfully, it's kept no record of endless wrongs.  Your love has never delighted in evil, but has always rejoiced with the truth.  Your love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.  By the grace of God, your love hasn't failed. 

Has your love always been all of these things to me, all of the time?  No. It couldn't be and we both know, neither could mine.  But you have stayed true to your word and to THE WORD and have offered me the grace that has been given to us both through Jesus. 
And for that, I am extremely humbled and thankful. 
I have no idea what the future holds or how many days and years I get to love you in return.  But I do know that you are and always will be my favorite valentine. 
You have given me two of the most beautiful children and the privilege of staying home with them. 
I am indebted to you and to your hard work for that. 

I love you Travy. 
You are the object of my affection and the one I love, to love. 
Happy Valentine's Day...


Ron and Peggy said...

Lucky man!

Toni :O) said...

Awww...that is such a sweet post Steph....I feel the same way about my husband of 18 years and we've been together 21...hard to believe but geez, those years fly by fast! Savor each and every one and hope you all have a wonderful St. Valentine's Day! :O)

Darla said...

I LOVE this post, Stephanie...the words you chose, the pictures you captured, the grateful attitude you expressed. I'm glad the Lord blessed you with each other.

Kaycee said...

This is beautiful.