Last night as I was preparing a nice Valentine's dinner of Greek Lemon Chicken while trying to keep up with what was going on for The Bachelor, I started contemplating real love.
I was feeling tired and exhausted. One of the many downsides to Rheumatoid Arthritis is the fatigue that comes with it. By the end of the day I feel spent, and it is a challenge to push through those feelings and tell my body to keep going. As I stood over the stove, continually whisking my lemon sauce, I was struck with the thought that this - this was real love. Preparing a special meal for my husband even though my body would rather be curled up on the couch. And I started thinking of places where I have experienced Todd's real love. Where he has sacrificed and given of himself even when he is tired or frustrated or would just rather be doing something else.
Real love serves and sacrifices.
Earlier in the day I received the only thing I really want on any Valentine's Day from my husband. Flowers.
Flowers make me feel loved. Remembered. Celebrated. Special. Important. Happy. They remind me that I matter to someone. Every year is always a different arrangement and I love to see what colors that Todd comes up with and chooses for me. Yesterday's flowers were a combination of purple lillies, peach and white roses and orange gerber daises. They are bright and vibrant and they make me smile. I don't think I will ever tire of getting of them. They are a symbol of his real love for me.
Real love gives, reminds and treasures.
As of late, it feels like Todd and I have experienced the reality of marriage - the messy parts that you have to get in and clean up together. Both of us are not just committed to staying married because "that's what the Bible says," but we are committed to fighting for a good, loving, fun and honest marriage. I guess one of the positive results to seeing my parent's marriage fall apart and end in divorce, is knowing that I don't want that for myself. I will be damned if I let the enemy do that to my marriage. I am in it to fight for it - not to just exist, but to be awesome. We try to purpose to be mindful of when things are starting to spiral out of control or feel stale and disconnected and then do something about it.
Real love fights and calls to more.
Last night we enjoyed a quiet, candlelit dinner. Nothing too fancy. I didn't even use the cloth napkins. Tommy was in bed and though it was probably too late to be eating dinner, it was just me and him.
We both chose funny cards for each other this year. And that made me smile. Sometimes when things feel too serious or heavy, it always feels good to laugh. After dinner we played a silly game we found at a book store last week. It was a very enjoyable night, and after last week's mess and tension, it felt good to be silly and play again.
Real love has a sense of humor. Real love plays.
We make mistakes. We hurt each other. We are often self-seeking. We do damage. We often don't show up how we need to for the other. We aren't perfect. We are real.
I am grateful to share real love with this man. My husband, my forever Valentine.