I remember those early days of our marriage, when I thought I was so in love with him.
I had no idea.
As the "new" wore of and life set in, as hard days came and we learned to weather storms, then and only then did I realize the depth of love.
When he sat by my bed as I lay aching from exploratory surgery. When I fearfully whispered that I had failed him by being unable to bear children, and he said "I married YOU for you, not for a baby." When in my sleep I felt him place his hand upon my belly and I knew he was silently praying.
Then I felt the depth of love.
When I at long last held our first baby in my arms, he sat behind me, weeping.
When he wept at the placement of three more babies...and at the arrival of our last child home.
When he lays on the floor and lets them all climb on him and pull and tug at his limbs and wrestle and laugh...
When he lets DJ stay up past his bedtime to watch sports, I act annoyed at the late morning that I know will result, but I silently thank God for the way they enjoy each others' company.
When he gets SO excited about a weekend alone with me...after nearly sixteen years of me.
Then I feel the depth of love.
He is my rock...my stability. His words hold more power over my heart than any other person on this earth. His prayers fall on my ears like gentle rain, soothing my soul and settling my spirit.
He is the spiritual leader of my home...becoming more so, more confident in this place of responsibility, with each passing year. He is adored by our children, met with squeals of joy and forceful hugs as he walks through the door.
(I can assure you my arrival is NOT met with such, um, festivity...I'm just sayin'.)
He is God's gift to me, given when I was so lost. He was there when I accepted Jesus...leading me to the throne of God for the very first time. He watched as I followed the Lord in baptism and stuck with me through all the growing pains of my early walk with God.
Our life has not turned out like we originally planned...not even close. We never dreamed we would live like this...five beautiful brown babes, homeschooling, and living far from any family who could serve as respite.
No, this is not how we planned it...it is better.
I am so thankful to share this journey with him. So thankful that he puts up with all of my quirks and weirdness and wacky ideas. So thankful that he loves me in the best and worst of times and believes in me when I can hardly believe it myself!
My sweetheart, I am truly, from the bottom of my heart, thankful for you.
I love you.
Thank you for showing me the depths of love.