I was exhausted. My whole body ached.

“Am I getting sick? I don’t have time to be sick!
Is it just pure exhaustion? After a relaxing weekend, why am I still tired?
If I go to sleep now I’ll get 5 hours. I can’t function well on 5 hours, but its better than 4.
Why am I still awake? My head hurts.
Maybe I should be praying for someone. God am I awake because I need to be interceding? …nope, just awake apparently. I got nothing God. Since I’m up, maybe you can just put someone on my heart. Super sincere, I know.”

I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. My husband was lying next to me lightly snoring.

My back was tight. I couldn’t get comfortable. My legs were cramping. (I’m obviously getting sick, oh no!).

I grabbed my phone, knowing this is the worst thing I could do, but pinning new projects to my list of never gonna happen was more productive than staring at the ceiling. (I should totally make a board called never gonna happen…almost all of my boards would then be on one! Simplicity at it’s best!)

An hour passed. I had been awake for 2 hours and 38 minutes…39 minutes.
I put my phone down and rolled over.
“If I close my eyes sleep will find me.”
2 hours 41 minutes…

I rolled over again and this time my husband reached over to me and groggily says, “What’s wrong?”

I was at the point of frustration. “I can’t sleep! I’ve been up for almost 3 hours and I can’t fall asleep. I’ve prayed, I’ve read, I’ve been on my phone, I can’t sleep and my body hurts and I don’t feel good and I can’t get sick and I’m so tired.”

He pulled me close and he started praying over me.
I still wasn’t comfortable.
I sat up and said I’m gonna go watch TV and he pulled me back and said, ” You need to lie down.”
He rubbed my back. He scratched my head.
He was tender and unselfish, despite how tired he was.

I felt bad I had woken him. He had to be at the office early and here I was keeping him up. I started to feel more relaxed as I curled into his arms and whispered, “I’m sorry I’m keeping you up.”

“Getting to spend time with you is worth being up for, even at 3 in the morning.”

My husband and I have a relationship where we show love by gentle teasing and laughter. He has always been very romantic and thoughtful since we started dating at 15. His romancing me since a young girl has been something that I treasure and I am very spoiled. He has never once stopped pursuing me, wooing me, loving me or caring for me in so many tender and beautiful ways.

After 20 years of being together, 14 years of marriage, 3 kids, lots of laughter and lots of tears, my knees still buckle when he looks at me. Though he has soft grey hair at his temples, that look hasn’t changed in 20 years and in that look we are 15 again and care free and ridiculously in love.

After 20 years we still laugh. A lot.

Yet, words like these he keeps for special moments.

Maybe because it was late and maybe I was feeling vulnerable, I shed a few tears and sniffled and he asked, “Why are you crying?”

“That was the sweetest thing you have ever said to me.”

sweet us1
laughing
us 2
us

He still loves me.

He knows my weaknesses, my faults, my fears, my doubts and worries and yet, he still loves me.
He has seen me at my darkest, when it was anxiety and depression and panic that would wake me. When anger fueled me. When doubt broke me.
He has seen me angry at him, at my kids, at my life and at my God.

He loves me.

No longer the girl of 15, with a tiny waist and curvy figure, who was naïve and lighthearted, who loved Jesus because that’s what she was suppose to do and who innocently and selfishly believed that everything would all work out. That girl he fell in love with is gone and now who he holds is a woman who walked through life with a mask for so long and then one day ripped it off and now walks completely unguarded, vulnerable and messy. No longer a girl of 15, but 30 something, with gray hair, dark circles under her eyes, carrying 20 extra pounds, stretch marks and rough feet.

Yet, He loves me still.

Even more, he wants to be with me.

If you were to ask me what is the one thing that keeps the romance burning in a marriage…it’s simple, really.

Be present.
Embrace the here and now.
Even at 3 in the morning.

Because being with the one you love is better than being anywhere else.

We believed that at 15 and we believe it still.

You are His Beloved,
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