My Valentine

During my teen years I worked part time in a flower shop. Various times of the year got a little crazy. Valentine’s Day got a lot crazy. This was during my feminist stage when I had decided I was never going to get married. And that if I got married I was never going to have kids. And if I had kids I was never going to stay home with them. When I was a teenager “never” entered my vocabulary a lot.

God, however, had a very different plan for my life. I write this today as a married woman of 22 years, mother to 2 beautiful daughters (16 & 18), and as an owner of a business that allowed me to work from home so I could be a stay-at-home mom.  Not what I had planned but so much better than I could have imagined.

My husband and I met during a summer job in college. Our relationship started slow and built steadily over a 5 year period. We dated 2½ years in college and 2½ years by airplane between Minneapolis (his first job) and Los Angeles (my first job.) We married in the small Midwest town where I grew up and set up house together in LA.

We have worked through little issues (toilet paper over or under) and big (different religious backgrounds) to get where we are today. Having a wife who is a recovering porn addict is one of the big ones. My addiction was not easy on our marriage or on my husband. Having a wife who is called into public ministry with her story makes it even harder. When I asked him for forgiveness he gave it. When I answered God’s call he supported it. Is it no wonder, then, that after 22 years of marriage he is still the person with whom I most want to spend time? Which brings me to this Valentine’s Day.

I have always been a stickler for celebrating any holiday on the actual holiday. No celebrating the Friday or Saturday before or after (or whenever it is convenient) for me. My husband just accepts this as a quirk in my personality. But this year was different because he had the next day, President’s Day, off. Deciding between a 2-hour dinner at a favorite restaurant on Valentine’s Day or an entire day together the day after was not a hard decision to make.

We talked about ourselves, our girls, our families, our jobs, our calendars, politics & current events, an upcoming vacation. We unplugged and spent 12 uninterrupted hours together.  We hiked around some frozen water falls, walked an ice-covered beach, ate some great food and browsed a few shops. For one day we chose to stop the merry-go-round and get off together hand-in-hand. (OK that last sentence leans toward sappy but it expresses how I feel). This Valentine’s Day I thank God for a husband who loves me for who I was, who I am, and who I am going to be.

Precious Father – Thank you for the gift of my husband. And thank you for the gift of our day away. Help us to carve out time to connect in meaningful ways, on a regular basis, in the midst of our busy schedules. Amen.