Today marks an incredible chapter in our love story, our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary! As I sit and reflect on the past 10 years, there is one thing that sticks out most in my mind: how much the love for my husband has grown over this decade. Time has allowed us to develop a closeness and bond that words can’t describe. He knows what I’m thinking, what I’m about to say and can understand my deepest fears and craziest dreams. He’s my biggest fan and I don’t ever want to take for granted this blessing God has given me.
So, to my Brain (yes, this is how I always spelled his name on cards while dating long distance) – 10 Ways I Love You, Deary:
#1 Your Unconditional Love (really, unconditional – as in…flu on our honeymoon unconditional!!)
10 Years ago tonight, we said “I do” in front of our closest friends and family with the perfect Christmasy wedding. Our ceremony was simple, elegant and exactly what I dreamed of having. I had MANY MANY sick friends and family – my little sister didn’t even make it into most of the photos because of her sickness. I had a bit of a runny nose and scratchy throat, but I was fine…so I thought. Fast forward to the morning after our wedding. I could barely move, barely talk, hardly pack my clothes (because I STILL had to pack for our honeymoon) and looked at my husband with tears in my eyes saying, “Honey, I’m really sick!” We called the doctor and got some fast meds before driving to Florida. Our honeymoon began with Brian stopping on the side of the road between Charlotte and Atlanta so I could puke every few hours. And between the puking, I was knocked out by cough medicine with codeine!! WOW! What an incredible way to start out married life, right?!? He didn’t miss a beat. He just held me and wrapped his arms around me with unconditional love. And he hasn’t stopped. This man shows love to me, our children and so many others – never expecting a thing in return.
You are an example of love – no matter whatever the situation may be…and I love that.
#2 You gave me Thing 1 & Thing 2
Every time I look into the eyes of our daughters, I see their daddy. I see his thoughtfulness in their willingness to help anyone around them. I see his smile when their faces light up. I see their joy when he walks into a room. I see their excitement when he lays in the middle of the living room floor and plays tackle daddy. I see his determination coming through as Kayla learns to read. I see his affection as Kylie says, “Me hold you!” I can’t imagine taking this journey of parenthood without him by my side.
You challenge me to be an incredible mom – with a husband that is by my side every single snotty nose step of the way…and I love that.
#3 You understand my love for Christmas
I have been known to listen to Christmas music year round. I have been known to pull out decorations in October. I MAY or may NOT have been known to leave a Christmas tree up into April! When I had the bright idea to fill the church with live Christmas trees for our wedding, my man went right along with me. Here we go with his old pick up truck (we named it the Goat!) to cut down 19 TREES – yes, I said 19 TREES from the woods behind his parent’s home. We put them all on the back of The Goat, made tree stands for EVERY SINGLE TREE – and took them to the church to put on lights. And he didn’t complain once.
You smile when I burst out singing “Oh Holy Night” in July…and I love that.
#4 You are a human calculator – and we all know I NEED help with math!
When Brian was in high school, his buddies would sit around and throw out ridiculous math numbers for Brian to calculate in his head. All while another buddy used the calculator. Yes, they really did this. And he could keep up. I, on the other hand, once bought a “deal” on sunglasses at a road side shop in Gatlinburg. The sign read: 1 for $3, 2 for $7. I LOVE a bargain, so of course I bought the 2 for $7!!! Goodness gracious alive. My family even banned me from keeping score when we play cards. Yes, my math skills are that bad.
You make up for my numbers deficiency…and I love that. (Side note: Last year on our anniversary I wrote a blog about 9 years…and I was supposed to list 9 reasons…instead I listed 10, oops! Brian absolutely called me out on it :))
#5 You have given me a confidence like I’ve never had
Many folks around me in life would likely believe that I don’t struggle with self confidence. I’m outgoing, talkative, and high on life (most days, haha)! When the end of the day comes and I’m left with my own self doubts and regrets, my husband is the one that talks me through the tears and difficult moments. His words comfort me and build me up. He’s realistic in bringing me back to reality. He helps me face circumstances and obstacles with a confidence that makes me believe in myself.
You lift me up when I’m down…and I love that.
#6 You make me feel beautiful
I may have long skinny legs and I may be 6 feet tall, but I don’t always feel beautiful. I may have zits all over my face, a cold sore the size of Alaska, a short toe nail that looks weird, a c-section tummy rollover, and greasy hair that has to be washed every single day – and he still looks into my eyes and tells me how beautiful I am. As we grow older, he makes me feel more beautiful than before. I’ve never been more comfortable with who I am, more comfortable with all my imperfections – and felt so very loved.
You make me feel like a supermodel…and I love that.
#7 You know my love language and you speak it well
Early in our marriage, we started a series of dates called, “Simply Romantic Nights” by Family Life. One of the dates required me to fill out a love language survey so Brian would know how to speak that language to me. I don’t even remember what the results were, but the other day he mentioned something about that card. And, he promised to always know my love language and speak it to me. He knows I love flowers, cards, romantic trips and tiki hut beds on the beach in Mexico :).
You pay attention to the things that I love in life and you do them…and I love that.
#8 Your perspective on life has changed me
I tend to complain. A lot. At one point in my life, my work situation had gotten really negative and the environment was super stressful. During this time, Brian took a class about being BOLD – Business Objective Life by Design. He learned all about changing your mindset and perspective – and he took action. He started changing the way he looked at things, and the things he looked at changed. And this absolutely spilled over into our marriage and relationship.
You remind me that there is ALWAYS a positive aspect…and I love that.
#9 You have folded hands, raised hands and open hands
I once heard Lysa TerKeurst speak about hands. She asked three questions: Are your hands folded (in prayer)? Are your hands raised (in worship)? Are your hands open (giving)? These questions have remained in my mind as I reflect on who I am and what my goals and dreams in life are. My husband is constantly an example of all three to me. He is the spiritual leader of our home and I respect him so much for this. His faithfulness in giving has been much more than I would have ever imagined that we would be able to do in this lifetime.
You continually challenge me to be prayerful, worshipful and giving – on a daily basis…and I love that.
#10 You put God and our family first…ALWAYS
There is no doubt about where he stands. This man of mine loves God. He serves, he gives, he leads and he provides for our family. There is no way I deserve or could repay what he has given me. I am the person that I am today because I have been loved by him.
You are the love of my life and you live out these words every day: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut 6:5…and I love that.
This has been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 will bring. I love you more than words can say.