When Simon and I got married five years ago, I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t think the sun rose and set in his dark brown eyes.
But five years down the line, when I’ve had a long day with Adlai, and his bike helmet and backpack are in the middle of the living room floor, and I’ve got yogurt on every item of clothing I’m wearing, and he wants to know if I picked up any milk today…well – it’s harder than it used to be.
It’s easy for me, because I’ve got quite a lot of alone time these days – time to think, to ponder – to fill that time with thoughts of what I wish he’d say, what he said last night, what he meant by it. And if I’m not careful, I start to believe things that aren’t true about my husband. Because my tiredness gets the better of me. And it’s so easy to believe lies when you’re washing a thousand dishes.
Simon turned 30 last week, and for his birthday, I made a list of 30 things I love about him. And y’all, the strangest thing happened. As I sat here, thinking of all the wonderful things my husband has said to me, has done for me. All the things we’ve walked through together. All the belly laughs we’ve shared, and the tears we’ve cried together. Well, the more of those things I thought of – the more I wrote down – the more came to me. And before I knew it I was at number 30 and I could’ve gone on and on and on.
Because in the same way my bitter thoughts snowball into each other when my guard is down, when I remind myself of all he is, of all that he does for me, those things build on top of each other. Negative begets negative; positive begets positive.
So my challenge to you now, or in those times you’re feeling worn down and struggling to muster up the love you thought would never run dry, is to sit down with a pen and paper and just make a list.
Start small if you need to.
I love that he makes the coffee in the mornings.
I love that he takes his dinner plate to the kitchen when he’s done.
And let each item bring to mind the next one.
I love that he takes Adlai to the park when he gets home from work.
I love that he calls Adlai “Sugar Plum Fairy.”
If this is hard for you, if you struggle to make your list, maybe you could do what a friend told me she did, and write down five statements about your husband, like this:
My husband makes good decisions.
My husband works hard to provide for our family.
My husband is bold in tough situations.
My husband is a good judge of character.
My husband is protective of me and my children.
And if you’re not feeling 100% convinced about any of those, don’t worry.
You know how God spoke creation into being? You were made in His image, and that power is in you. So speak the words out. Say why you love him. Say who he is.
And be amazed as you feel your heart soften toward him.
Be amazed as you watch him become what you believe him to be.