I know I haven't exactly been faithful in posting regularly on my blog, but I hope you'll forgive me. And, I hope you'll forgive my pride, as I use this entry to brag about my husband, Brandon.
When my husband and I first started talking, beginning that journey of getting to know each other, something about him really intrigued me. I couldn't figure out what it was, but then I realized...
Brandon was one the only man I dated with a backbone. Of course, I'm speaking metaphorically- although the mental picture of a bunch of rubber-chickenesque fellas is humorous. While he did try to woo me, he presented himself as he was. At times, it was frustrating for me, but it was alluring as well. Before we even started officially dating, I knew this was the man I would marry (I don't think I've ever posted that story here, although many of you know it already), still there were times when I thought, "God, are you serious?"
I was not use to dating a man who wasn't afraid to lead, and this really threw me off. On one hand, I rather enjoyed it, because it was masculine and appealed very much to this feminine side of me (It was actually a bit thrilling!), but on the other side, I was frustrated that he didn't bow down and worship at my feet, because I was accustom to this sort of treatment..... but it also came with a price.
Those spineless guys who seemed to bend at my will usually left me with the tab. If we went out to eat, I had to pay. If we went to the movies, it was often "my treat". Most of them didn't have vehicles (or one they could borrow from a parent), so I had to drive them everywhere (which meant they weren't paying for gas either!). I was the leader in the relationship, and it showed. If a guy did show signs of leadership- paying for things, driving me around- I found that they usually expected something in return.... something I wasn't willing to give.
So, it's fair to say that Brandon was different from any other man I had ever dated. I began to realize he possessed the very qualities that I desired. He had a personality that balanced my off-beat nature quite well.
Still, a couple years down the road, I became very critical of those very qualities that had been so endearing in the beginning. Why? Because our marriage became all about me. It was MY marriage.
My brother and his beautiful bride tied the knot yesterday in the very same place that my husband and I wed. Over the last week, in anticipation of the wedding, I began to think about the span of my relationship (eight years together, nearly seven of those as a married couple), and I couldn't help but count my blessings in the husband God so graciously matched me with.
I cannot think of one person in this universe, except for God, who knows me better than my husband. My whole adulthood as of yet has been spent married to this wonderful man, and he witnessed first-hand my transition into adulthood, marriage, and motherhood. He saw the good, bad, and the ugly (and there was lots of ugly!) and stood by my side.
My husband understands me so well. He knows just how to encourage me. He knows the right words to say and the right things to do to help get me out of ruts and over the hills of life. He has been amazingly supportive, even though sometimes I'm all over the place, jumping from one hobby or passion to another.
My husband truly understands my needs. He knows I can get easily overwhelmed at times, and he knows how to remedy it.
He also knows that I am flawed, and he is incredibly forgiving.
If there is anyone who should win an award for patience, it is my husband. He married a gal who couldn't cook, didn't understand the concept of "home maintenance" and regular cleaning, and didn't keep up with laundry, and he loved me passionately anyway (although I know he was often irritated!).
Beyond my homemaking shortcomings, he has been patient as I learned how to properly love him as our roles changed from dating, to marrieds, to parents..... our roles have changed many times.
And, I am thankful that he has learned to be patient as I get ready to go anywhere and no longer tries to rush me. :)
I am thankful that my husband loves to be the provider for our family and has never asked me to work outside the home. This has been such a blessing to me, especially since I know so many who would love to stay home with their children but are unable for one reason or another.
I use to feel rather resentful when I would hear people bragging on my husband, because, as a stay at home mother and wife, I didn't have many people bragging about how wonderfully I did my job, but over the years I have learned that his success is my success, and I now love to hear others praise my husband. My heart swells with pride when I hear that others love his strong work ethic. My husband's work ethic may not make him the most popular person among his work peers, but those he works for know they can count on him and trust him to do what is right. His honesty, his focus, his confidence, and his loyalty prove to others that he is trustworthy.
I have seen men who hate to go to work and try to get by with the least amount of effort possible until it absolutely necessary that they give of their best. Recently, there have been some layoffs at my husband's company, and some of those people suddenly changed their tune and tried to present themselves as hard workers. My husband didn't have to change his actions- he was reliable and trustworthy before, working diligently and always giving his best.... whether anyone was watching, whether anyone would notice, whether anyone would praise him or not.
Yesterday, there was a company meeting that my husband was not able to make it to. A friend called and told him that he was praised throughout the meeting. One of his clients had written an email praising him, and the owner of the company my husband works for read it allowed to everyone.
My husband never aims for praise, he just aims to do his best. He knows it's not about him, but about the company- and what he does reflects on the company. I am so thankful for this quality in him, which was passed down from his father, and I pray that this sort of work ethic will be passed to our sons as well. Brandon knows his duty as husband and father is to provide, and he uses this as an act of worship to God and a show of love to his family.
I love that my husband doesn't separate out his "spiritual life" from his work life, and seeks to uphold godly standards no matter what the circumstance or place.
He loves to help others, and he does so often.
Brandon is an excellent leader, and while I haven't always been (and still am not always) the most submissive and perfect wife, he does not only "act the part" when I'm doing my part. He is consistent and dependable.
Another thing I absolutely adore about my husband is the fact that I can be SURE that he is the person he is in front of me even when I am not around. I know that he will not talk poorly about me to his friends or rag on my failures. I know that he does not act crudely when around guys who cuss and demean women. I know that he holds our marriage in high regard, so I can trust him around other women who may not respect our union.
My husband makes me feel safe, and I appreciate this more than he knows. I know he would sacrifice himself to save us. I know, even if he lost his job today, he would find a way to provide for us- that he would never shirk his responsibilities or make excuses. Even if the job was low down on the totem pole, he would take it and approach it with as much care and effort as if it were the vice presidency. Even if he had to gather cans for money as a last resort, he would do it.
I also know that if technology crashed down, we lost our home, and we had to live out in the wilderness, we would be just fine because my husband can provide without modern conveniences, if need be. His abilities to hunt, fish, and provide shelter and care with only those things found in nature give me a sense of safety, in case of "the worst case scenario". (But, if the worst case scenario leaves me without my husband, I'm up a creek without a paddle and heading for a waterfall!!)
He's also incredibly handy, and can fix just about anything! If he doesn't know how beforehand, he'll figure it out!
Above all, I love how my husband loves me. He is kind and gentle. He is silly and playful. He knows how to simply listen, and when to act. He understands my moods. He understands my heart. He understands me even when I make no sense at all!
He tells me he loves me many times a day, and lets me know that he thinks I'm gorgeous and beautiful about as much (even when I know I look like a possum who has been run over a couple times!). He calls me to tell me he's thinking about me, and he knows that doing the dishes is more romantic than bringing me flowers (and cheaper too). And, sometimes... he does both.
There's not enough room on this blog, or on the world wide web, for me to explain how awesome and wonderful my husband is, so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. I am so thankful for the man God transformed. I tried to change him into the man I wanted him to be when we first got married, but, let me tell you, you'll never get anywhere trying to change a person.
God transformed him into the man I love today, and I'm telling you, he's much better than the man I tried to change him into. :)
For years I focused on his flaws and let those wonderful, amazing qualities pass by without much notice.... but I'm thankful he didn't do the same to me.