I've often understood the importance of public declarations... a marriage is more than just two people living together. It's a commitment made before friends and God and the public nature of that commitment is meant to be honoured. An infant's baptism or dedication (depending upon your denomination) is a commitment before fellow believers that the parents will honour and respect the gift they have been given, the "training up of a child" to have a strong moral compass and to know the importance of faith. Even a birthday party is a form of declaration, that you "get it".... that life is to be celebrated and that the passing of time is not a march towards a grim end, but a badge of honour of another year well lived, regardless of life's circumstances.
And so today I decided to make another public declaration, a love letter to my best friend, my wife Kate. It's not an anniversary or a particular day of importance. But who says you have to wait for that once a year day to say what needs to be said? Seems like a waste of the other 364 days to me. So here it is, before my readers (few that they may be), but for my wife...
"Katie, I can't say these words have been on my mind for a long time. But they have been on my heart every day I'm with you. This is a message I want you to hear. But even more, it's a message I want you to 'get'. You wonder how I can stay so positive, so resolute in the face of what seems to be overwhelming adversity. You credit me as being a man of faith. But even though faith plays a role in who I am, there's something else at work each day that I wake up and each night I go to bed. How could I ever question the love God has for me or consider myself anything but blessed when my greatest blessing is by my side every single day? Even though I may wake up in the night, anxious over life's challenges, I can't help but hear the melody of a song in my heart when I turn over and see you laying next to me. As tired as I may be when getting out of bed for the umpteenth time to attend the cries of our baby boy, it's just another opportunity to wrap my arms around you when I crawl back into bed. You make me laugh, you make me think, you make me want to celebrate life no matter what else is going on. When I strive to daily become a better, stronger man, it's because I want to be that man for you. I've never "settled", never sought to just be married without caring who I committed myself to you. You were given to me, as I was to you. So even when wolves are at the door and the house is shaking, I only have to look at you to feel the joy rise in my heart and think to myself, how could I be so lucky. I am rich because of you, even when there is no money in the bank. I am safe because of you, even when tomorrow is completely uncertain. Because in all these days, with 4 kids, 4 animals (besides the kids), a house too full of clothes and clutter, failing appliances, a million chores to do, and then another million after that.... one thing is always clear. All the world's problems, all the challenges and hard times we have faced... they all pale next to the fact that today, THIS day, I get to spend with you. So what have I got to complain about? 'This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice! Rejoice and be glad in it.' And how do I know that He has made this day for me? Because He made you a part of it. So I will rejoice indeed.
I love you... then, now, and always. And I couldn't be a happier man because of it.
I love you Katie. I like you. I desire you. And all of this is God's gift to me. Why am I, among all men, so richly blessed?
11 months ago