While I was folding clothes this afternoon, sitting in front of the TV watching a Praise Baby video for the 100th time with Ethan, I had an epiphany.
So many little things in my life have added up to show me how much joy there exists way deep down in my heart; it's a joy that is only God-given and nothing that I've done is deserving of this joy.
I was folding one of Patrick's shirts and God showed me what a treasure I have in my husband. It's hard for me to believe that 6 months ago, I didn't like being in the same room with him...and him me. There was so much unspoken tension that we didn't know how to address, except through anger, aversion, and tears. After falling down into a lowest of low, God has slowly brought us through this muck and mire, transforming our hearts from ones of despair to hope. And there is fullness of joy in our marriage.
This morning, I woke up about 6:30, thinking that Patrick was downstairs doing some reading and I poured my coffee while starting on my never-ending list of to-dos. About 30 minutes later, I heard the garage door open and I was surprised to see Patrick walk in with a bag of cinnamon-chip scones and a pumpkin spice latte for me. I was speechless at this act of kindness, knowing that he thought of me first thing and went out to get me something I enjoy...just because he loves me. He's been asking me questions about what I like from here or there and I just didn't add it up, not even expecting such a gesture. We shared the pastries with the kids, spending a leisurely morning together in laughter and excitement of another adventure he was taking Mallory on this afternoon...a date to see her first movie in a theatre. He's been wanting to do something like this with Mal and I'm excited for both of them. Last weekend, he gave me time to myself while taking the kids to his parents for the weekend. And he's also been helping out a lot with other tasks that are normally mine, but with the greatness of my berth, it's been more physically challenging for me and he notices. I also found and re-read a note yesterday that he wrote to me a few months ago, expressing his love for me and desiring to show me the love I deserve as his wife.
I'm thankful for the lessons we're learning about love. We sacrifice precious sleep time for 20-30 minutes alone with each other in the mornings to have a brief devotion, pray, and talk about what's going on in our hearts. We had a few weeks of direction through counselling at church, but other than that, our commitment to this time has been under the leadership of Patrick and my willingness to follow. It's amazing what God will do when choosing to do things God's way. God can transform the ugliest of ugly to something very beautiful and new. I can't tell you how many ways our marriage has flourished...and it hasn't been because we talked to the right people or we've been held accountable by this person or that person or because we've delved into programs or what-not. Our marriage has flourished under the grace of God through Christ who is served by a faithful husband dedicated to love his wife and by a wife who chooses to submit to her husband.
Easy? No. This has not been a easy road.
But as the little things happen in life, like lattes, laundry, laughter and love notes, God will show Himself gracious to the undeserved sinner.
And He will give fullness of joy.