Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

13 years ago today I had my first Valentines date with my now Husband Joshua.  I remember that date like it happened yesterday, especially because we had only just started dating 10 days prior.  I remember clearly how handsome he looked as he handed me the most beautiful roses.  I think back to the flutter I felt in my chest as my heart seemed to skip beat after beat with excitement and anticipation of the romantic evening ahead. I can still smell the the delicious fragrance of his cologne, and I can still taste the sweetness of his kiss during our Valentines embrace.

Much has changed since then.  Those who know us might be surprised to learn that we have been married almost 9 years, and we have the most amazing miracle children, Noah Elrod and Dovie Grace, now 4 years old.  I say that because there were times when even Joshua and I didn't think our love would survive the challenges we faced; but it certainly has.  It has definitely not always been easy.  It has not always been wine and roses.  We have faced many difficulties and challenges, both as individuals and as a couple.  However, our faith in God, coupled with our belief in our relationship and our desire to be together has made us victorious in love.  We have weathered the storms and come out atop the clouds because of our love and commitment for one another. 

Though I am still very young in my marriage, I have learned a some things.  In this day and age we, as a married couple, are the minority.  So many couples are calling it quits these days.  Divorce rates have skyrocketed in this country.  I think that is quite a shame, and I feel extremely blessed to be in a strong faith based marriage to my Husband Joshua.  If someone were to ask my advice on marriage, albeit as I said I have only 9 years experience in it, I feel qualified to put a few things out there.

Respect:  Never talk negative about your spouse to other people.  NEVER!  For that matter, make it your mission to speak only kind words towards each other.  You will not always get this right, believe me!  You will slip, and that is ok.  Ask for forgiveness, and be a good forgiver as well.

Romance:  KEEP IT ALIVE!  Love one another and make love to one another!  Make the time to do this and keep the fires of passion burning people!  Find new and unique ways to demonstate your love.  Make it fun!  Make it exciting!  Leave your inhibitions at the door and just do it!  NEVER EVER LET THE FIRE BURN OUT!

Talk:  Have you ever heard that saying "talk is cheap?"  Well, let me tell you this certainly does not apply here!  Talking to your significant other is priceless!  Communicate with your words-with your verbal words, not just via emails, texts, or social networking.  You are busy I get that-but you must make the time for talk!  This is something that I vow to do more of myself this year. 

Pray!  Pray by yourself and pray with your partner.  Talk about intimacy-there is something to be said for the closeness that comes from praying together as a couple.

In the 13 years that Joshua and I have been together, and in the 9 years we have been married, I say with all honesty that I love him more today than I ever have before.  The love that I have for him grows stronger every day, as does the passion I feel for him.  Each day when I look at him, I find something new about him that I didn't notice before, and I find myself becoming more attracted to him.  I love that he is such a hands-on father to our children.  I appreciate how respectful of me and to me he is-especially in front of Noah and Dovie.  I know that one day Noah will treat his wife the way he sees his Daddy treating Mommy, just as Dovie will seek a partner who respects her and treats her like the Princess she is. 

My beloved late Grandfather used to ask me when Joshua and I were dating, "when's there gonna be a ring on that finger?"  (he'd grab my ring finger and kind of shake it as he asked-it was really cute, and Joshua's ears would turn bright red when PaPa asked that question!)  I remember telling him one time, "well, according to Joshua's MOTHER, it'll be when he turns 30!"  I thought it was a joke then, but as they say "mother knows best!"  Boy did she!  LOL!  But seriously.

I'll never forget when PaPa was dying, and he couldn't even speak.  As he lay in his hospital bed, he took Joshua's hand, tapped his finger and glanced over at me.  Joshua knew.  I knew.  I saw Joshua kind of nod to Papa, as to affirm his suggestion.  The rest, as they say, is history.  I just wish PaPa was here with us.  My Grandparents would have been married 56 years when he died.  We are blessed that Nanny is still alive and kicking, and doubly blessed that Noah and Dovie are so close with her as I was as a child and still am today.  I myself am blessed that my Husband treats me the way PaPa always treated Nanny.  I thank God for him every day of my life.

I have no doubt that Joshua and I will make it to 56 years and then some!