Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When You Say Yes

Last night, Josh and I filled more of our empty walls. We gathered the screws and nails, the screwdriver and hammer, the level and tape measure, and proceeded to hang our modest collection of eye candy.

Up a little.

Over just a quarter of an inch.

No, back a smidge.

Yes, right there.

Do you think it's too high?

Do you think it's high enough?

Is is too much?

Is it enough?

Are we centered?

It's perfect.


When you say yes, you don't think about the minutiae-filled moments of a lifetime.

You don't think about the laundry you'll fold, the toilets you'll clean, the floors you'll sweep, the dishes you'll rinse, load, unload, repeat.

You don't think about the utilities you'll set up, the bills you'll pay, the contractors you'll manage, the appointments you'll make.

You don't think about the decisions you'll mull regarding retirement accounts and home mortgages and insurance policies and wills.

You don't think about the little bathroom floor where you'll spend the wee hours of the morning with your sick child or the nights you'll climb into bed next to a coughing, snuffling, snoring and miserable spouse.

The pretty house, the weekends away, the snuggly babies, the games of catch in the backyard--those you can imagine when he's down on one knee. Those are the elements of romance you can conceive.

But the other stuff--the logistics and the finances and the repairs and the kids who confound and the jobs that disappoint/thrill/exhaust and the nights you spend moving pictures up an inch, over a quarter--those are the moments of which a marriage is made. Life shared in all its lovely and crazy-making and snooze-worthy glory.

When you can smile and tease and chuckle your way through an evening when the most exciting thing on the agenda is organizing the garage or marveling at how your daughter can manage to leave a trail of belongings that reaches every room in the house...

When you can collapse into bed together at the end of the day, knowing there's nothing left to do but hold each other and pray over your kids, wondering if you've disciplined them too much or not enough, if your words and actions even mattered...

When you can ride the waves of success, job loss, relocation, and limbo, and watch infinite possibility stretch out before you, knowing everything could change again in a moment, or not...

And want nothing more than to live each triumph and crisis with the man who kneeled before you once upon a time--

Then you have a real romance.

I looked across the room at my husband last night, balancing on the big red armchair with hammer in hand for the love of me, and I realized how naive I was all those years ago.

And how wise.

When I said yes, I could never have imagined this moment: hanging pictures at ten-thirty at night in Houston, Texas, with two precious kiddos asleep behind closed doors and a pup curled into a ball on the floor between.

But when I said yes, deep down I knew I could enjoy anything, anywhere if I were with him.

And I was right.

Up a little.

Over a quarter of an inch.

Yes, right there.

Saying yes means you'll spend your days crafting a life together: big decisions, small adjustments, course corrections, questions and doubts, and the labor of making the vision come true.

So that when you step back, you'll see something beautiful, something that enhances this temporal home on earth not just for us, but also for those who pass through.

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