Thursday, March 24, 2011

Living Hope

I stretch and yawn on the couch and then spend a moment or two tidying up the living room.  I fold a quilt, put a few books back on their shelves, pile forgotten toys in the corner.  In the kitchen, I glug a glass of water, turn out the light.  Onward up the stairs now, where 5 souls already slumber and I'm heading to join in.

In the pitch black of my bedroom, I fumble, glancing at the clock and reminding myself that he has to be up in four hours, trying to keep quiet. 

Every night, I slide beneath the blankets, and his warm feet find my cold ones.  He rolls over in his sleep and throws an arm around my middle.  And every night I'm filled with wonder at this, what true love looks like.  Two people, clinging close, bonded and melded.

Every night, just before drifting off, I whisper into the darkness, although I know he doesn't hear.

"I love you."

Its more than just a profession of feeling, its a promise.

Looking out for number one does not work in marriage, unless the "one" you are looking out for is the two of you, bonded into one.  Putting your needs and wants above those of your spouse only leads to frustration and discontentment.  Conversely, prioritizing the relationship and what is best for both involved can lead to a closer, stronger relationship.  True love is truly selfless.  And while we struggle from time to time, we continue on with this as our goal. 

I know it looks naive to the world, the one that tells you that you should always have an escape clause, a way to get out in case things turn sour.  Going all in is too big of a gamble, hold back, never vulnerable, and you won't get hurt.  I stumble ahead in faith and together we bring into the world 2, 3, 4, soon to be five little people in a radical act of hope and trust.  I allow myself to be vulnerable here, setting aside career aspirations and staying home with the people we've brought into the world, not because I believe he is perfect, but because I believe what we have can succeed - if we continue on in fidelity and faith, together.

I fall asleep with his arm around me and wake to his cold pillow, him long gone, working, doing his part to keep this thing we have going.  Not because it is easy or always fun but because it is worth something.  I get little people up and  dressed and fed and start my laundry, my dishes, my schooling.  Just as my body is a home for our newest little one, I know when I am fully here, I represent home to him and to the family we have together.

He comes home after a long day and pulls me close, turning me away from my sink-full of work.  We touch foreheads.  The kids come running in and he gets pulled away, but we're held together in this moment.  One in spirit, one in vision.  Neither perfect, both doing all we can.

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  1. Simply beautiful! May we remember what a blessing we have in marriage and not to take it lightly. We have struggled through some hard times over the last few years. But it's comforting to know that we're always there for each matter what.

    Thanks for a great start to my day!

  2. Wow. This is outstanding; thanks so much! The imagery is pitch-perfect.

  3. Lydia, you are one of the most talented writers! You have a way of getting to the depth of a momma's heart. I loved this so much, I forwarded it to my husband to encourage him. I want him to know we appreciate what he does for us everyday and that we (his family) are joined in a chorus of other families doing the same. God bless you and have a great day!

  4. Oh man--your writing is so powerful! I don't even know you, and yet I'm tearing up right now. I love how you explain childbearing as a "radical act of hope and trust." I've been married for going on 6 years, and according to 'the plan' we may start trying to have kids this fall, since my husband is almost halfway done with his PhD. Every time I think about bringing little ones into the world, I'm filled with both joyful expectation and terror. I'm going to have to share your post with my husband as an encouragement to us both. =)
    I also loved it when you said it's not necessarily easy or fun, but it's worth something. That's exactly right. Thanks for speaking truth to my heart this morning.

  5. You rip me up, woman! <3 Amazing.

  6. Thank you all for stopping by! Jenna - having children IS terrifying in that it is a huge undertaking, however we have found that our love and respect for one another has grown exponentially with the common goal of raising our family. My appreciation of him and all he does and is has grown so much, and I know that is true of him as well. Having children, for us, has been not only an expression of our love for one another, but a practice of of faith and fidelity to this family. Blessings to you and yours!

  7. Lydia this is beautiful, and such a wonderful reminder to me today.

  8. This is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder of what those little moments truly mean.

  9. Yet again, so beautiful and moving! I did a post awhile back regarding how many in the world today view marriage as irrelevant ...but if we look at as something "divine"...then it holds far more worth. If we are building something together, we are far less inclined to act in manner which tears down. Far less likely to be tempted into something which destroys, rather than upholds and affirms. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  10. What a beautiful picture of marriage you have written hear for us to read.
    It is so important, no matter our faults and struggles, to truly invest all that we can into our marriage. To work together and not neglect the love shared between the two of us. Simple things mean the least that is what I am finding out in my own marriage!

    Blessings to you and yours!


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