4 years ago
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tues Nov 16
In the early years of our marriage, I learned that one of Larry's love languages is words of affirmation. (His second one is acts of service. Mine are quality time & physical touch if ya really cared to know.) For many years, I made it a point to encourage & uplift him often. It came naturally while we were dating. I think most people tend to relish the praise & flattery on someone they're hoping to marry. And it came naturally for most of the early years we were married. I was still swooning over the new sweet love. But you know... over time, it gets harder to find new things to praise & encourage. I kind of felt like I needed to be creative & come up with new things to point out & cheer about. You know, just telling him how proud I am of him seemed to be old hat by the 10th year of marriage.... telling him that I am always happy to brag about him to my friends seemed well, boring. But recently I discovered that boring & old hat or not, he still needs to hear it. Hearing MY words of praise & adoration means so much more to him than ANYONE else's words. (and conversely, MY words of teasing or disappointment or meanness destroy him quicker than ANYONE else's words do) If I can get creative & find new things to praise, fabulous! But even those same old things that I have told him a hundred times really lift his spirit & make him feel like the coolest guy in the world. (which, by the way, if you didn't already know...he is!) Because words of affirmation is not one of my love languages, it didn't occur to me that this was the case. I was looking at it like giving a birthday gift. You wouldn't give someone the same cool toy for 5 birthdays in a row would you? So why would I tell him the same old things 5x? Wouldn't he get tired of that?
In a word, no. My precious husband is one of the most amazing people I know. And I need to remember to tell him that more often.
Larry grew up in a very different environment than I did. His family was not as close-knit and faith was not as important as it was in my family. We have different backgrounds where those things are concerned, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that God brought him to my hometown to work during college for the express purpose of meeting ME. Larry had several other choices of colleges to attend, but due to a fouled up band scholarship, he came here! And because he worked at a little pizza place in his hometown, he transferred to the one I was working at when he came to town. I know it's not exactly the most romantic, serendipitous story you've ever read, but I know that God put us both in the same place at the same time. I know that meeting & falling in love with my husband was not good luck or fate or karma or whatever other cosmos-universe-fortune sort of title you want to call it. It was the hand of God. And I will be eternally grateful to God for it.
Larry & I spent nearly 2 years dating before we got married. We spent plenty of time steaming up the windows of his little red Geo Metro during that time (wink!) but do you know what my favorite memories of our dates are? All the HOURS we spent talking. We loved to just be around each other & talk. We talked about EVERYthing you can possibly imagine. He was absolutely honest with me about every detail of his life & history. There were stories & details that shocked me a little....things that I'd never seen or heard a guy talk about before. He was completely gut level honest with me about his faith, his dreams, his hopes for the future. And that's why I fell in love with him. I wanted to be a part of those dreams, those hopes, that future.
Sure, he was hot & all too. I didn't JUST like talking to him. I went through lots of tubes of Chapstick while we were dating. (big grin) When we met, he looked like Garth Brooks. (Don't laugh. It was the early 90s & I was a total Garth fan at the time!) He had the tight Wranglers & the cowboy shirts & the hat. But the glimmer in his eyes that I saw when we were together -- that glow that says "I'm in love and you make my world complete" -- was more attractive to me that any other physical feature! And once in a while, 18 years later, I still get a glimpse of that sweet look. And it still makes the my stomach flip-flop when I see it. Oh yes...Larry still rocks my world.
Over the years, Larry has had numerous jobs, but there's one thing in common with all of them. Every one of them had the goal of helping other people. When we met, he was in school, but on the weekends he was a volunteer fireman & an EMT. While in school, he got his paramedic certification and his TX peace officer's license. He worked full time as a medic & did reserve hours with a local law enforcement agency in the first year or so that we were married. Somewhere along the way, he decided to switch that around became a full time cop and part-time paramedic. Over the course of time, he moved up the law enforcement ladder & ended up as an investigator for the county probation department, chasing down the felony probation "clients" who absconded (took off, left town, became fugitives). Throughout the last 5 or so years of that, he went back to school to finish something he felt called to years before--his seminary degree. He felt called to ministry, but wasn't sure how that would all work out. When he graduated seminary, he was hired at a local church & served as a pastor there for 4 1/2 years. At the end of that season of our lives, God called us to step down & move Larry back into his previous "mission field"--law enforcement. I can't really get very detailed on this blog about the job he holds now, but without giving details I can tell you that it is VERY important to the lives of the families in our area. He is protecting & serving the community again & recently re-gained his state peace officer's license so if you mess with me or our kids, be careful....Larry might be packing. :)
I am so far beyond proud of who he is & what he does & all he stands for. I am honored to stand beside him in life as his wife. I love that he can be a total "man's man" but then 2 hours later he can be the most tender & gentle teacher, sharing God's word & leading people to Christ. I love that he can sharpen a knife & hunt for food for our family and then turn around and cry on my shoulder because he's been broken by something he's dealt with at work. I love that he can be a greasy, sweaty, stinky mess with dirt caked on his face and then just hours later he will snuggle one of our kids in his lap while they're sick. Yes ladies, he really is the complete package.
And because of that, I want to be the very best wife I can be for him. I want to make him smile when he sees me. I want to see that eyebrow wiggle & grin he does when he likes what I'm wearing. I want to hear the cheesy lines he feeds me. I want to hear him talking about me (in a complimentary way!) when he doesn't know I'm around. I love hearing people say that he told a story about me or the kids from the pulpit or while teaching a Sunday School class when I was not there. I want to make him proud. I want him to be excited about coming home in the evenings. I want him to look forward to date nights with me. I want him to know that his deepest & most intimate secrets are safely locked inside my heart where no one will ever find them. I want him to feel absolutely no reason to look elsewhere for fulfillment and acceptance and love.
So tonight, I'm grateful for the most amazing man in my world.
Father, thank you for the most precious gift in my life, my sweet husband Larry.