I LOVE what Pearl-McPhee says in her blog today: "I want my daughters, (and your daughters and sons - because my kids are going to need some well adjusted people to marry) to have realistic expectations of love. I want them to know that the Valentines Day love isn't sustainable. Not through taking out the garbage, skunks in the chimney or losing your job. You need love with teeth for that. "
You need love with teeth....... That really struck me today, and as I was waltzing down memory lane anyway (because I just now feel well enough to get back to ancient history photos), I was thinking about how REAL LOVE has been demonstrated to me over the years.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of Andy's and my engagement. I remember laying by the fire in my parents house. We had exchanged cards, presents, and kisses and it was time for him to go home. I knew he was going to ask me soon and I was afraid (you are probably like, what are you nuts??????). I was afraid because of the example my parents had set. Anyway, we were discussing this and he said, "I know you are afraid, but I want you to marry me anyway." He pulled out a red wrapped box with a silver bow and I was crying and shaking so much, he had to open it. I said, "Yes, I love you." That was the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken, and it paid off.
So, we signed up with our priest for pre-marital counseling. The only thing I remember that Quigg said, and it was like a prophecy, was this: "Marriage is about 2 people joining thier lives to go thru the shit (yes, the priest really said "shit") together and not alone." I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT!!!!!~ Now, after mental illness, codependency, pregnancy, child birth, death, marital separations, broken family relationships...... I got it now.
Now, after almost 10 years of marriage, I am finally, just now, learning what LOVE is.
Love is patient: when sex is the last thing you want to do after a full day of kids
Love is kind: when your husband vacuums the house, or you massage his feet (expecting nothing in return)
Love does not envy: when husband gets kudos at work, and you get none
Love does not boast: or rather, boasts in the works of others, not your own; delighting in another
Love is not proud: "Baby, I am sorry"
Love is not rude: not calling husband names when he is stupid.... again
Love is not easily angered: after a hard day, remembering that it is not "all about you"
Love keeps no record of wrongs: after you say "I forgive you", try not to bring it up... again
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth: rejoicing as husband begins to understand you..... a little
Love always protects: pray, pray, pray. After all, what else can we really do?
Love always trusts: trusting that God has a plan, and all 'THIS', is not in vain
Love always hopes: having faith that what you can't see in the natural world, will come to pass
Love always perseveres: after failing for the 1000th time, we get up and try to love again
In short, LOVE never fails.
By no means am I claiming to have figured it all out. I just know a couple of things. God has put me in this world with a plan and a purpose to fulfill. What that is, I don't really know. But maybe, it could be as simple as LOVE. Not the 60's version of love. But this version:
"Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jn 15:13
And the other thing..... I like to knit.