“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” ~ Pablo Picaso
Three different pharmacies. In less than an hour.
Two-year-old CJ caught a case of a bad cold this week, bordering on pneumonia. I was on the hunt, trying to get some over-the-counter remedy for the little guy. Turns out they don’t sell what I was looking for anymore. But I found something else instead.
My search for medicine brought me walking through an explosion of Valentine cards, words and love-dovey products. The celebration of love is in full swing.
As I passed by the greeting card aisle, I stopped to look over the Valentine’s Day cards. The selection was thin. Most of the “Husband” cards talked about how hard the he worked and how daily life is so busy.
I decided to check out the “Love” section. These read much more romantic.
Reading all the mushy gushy sentiments brought me back to those first dates with Hubby. Romantic with never enough time to finish our conversations. I was surprised by his attention and even more so by my attraction to him, since I seriously thought I had the gift of singleness. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love. But, since I was blowing out thirty candles not having found “the one”, I had to practically consider the possibility. I made up my mind to be joyfully content and live the best single life possible.
Then one Friday night, he walked in as a visitor to our 30’s singles group at church. It’s often said that mature love grows and we mustn’t rely on our feelings. But, you know what? I have always been emotionally open and bare with God. If I was gonna marry, I wanted someone who reflected this aspect of God. I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than emotionally available and affectionate.
I played it very carefully because once I gave my heart away, I couldn’t do it piece-meal.
I played it so safe, I over played it.
He thought I wanted to be just friends.
Uh-oh. It was time. I needed to give him a sign.
Guess what I did? I went to a candy store, sampled the bins and made little packets of gummy bears, malt balls, yogurt covered pretzels, chocolate raisins and other sweet treats. Then, I wrote a little note, drove over to his apartment and placed it on his doorstep.
I giggle now, remembering how I nervously waited for the phone to ring that evening.
Here I am, tired after a day of being koala wrapped by CJ, with an afternoon still left with both boys. But, something curious happened as an idea hit me.
I wanted to flirt with remembrance. I escaped into a plan to unwrap love with Hubby — for no reason, other than “I like you.”
I gave the kids one more TV show than usual, got the place tidied up, got the kids fed earlier — for an earlier bedtime.
When Hubby came home, he had had a tough day. I was drained too. But, after Hubby and I put the kids to bed, I dashed off out, claiming I needed to do one last grocery run.
I bought a mix of candy, tip-toed into the kitchen, and quietly cut out a simple valentine — using a few squeezes of glue, a pair of scissors and a red crayon. I poured it into a container and lit a candle next to it.
“Honey,” I mentioned as casually as I could. “I left something on the kitchen counter. Would you mind grabbing it for me?”
He came back with big boyish grin.
“Remember the candy I dropped off just for you?” I smiled.
We immediately went back in a time machine, just him and I.
Before the wrinkles from sleep deprivation.
Before we had to worry about the economy.
Before we had two little boys and parenting became an everyday reality.
Before there was love, we liked.
As the world counts down to hearts and roses this week — bring yourself back to the place where you were just his girl.
And he was just your guy.
What you say matters to him deeply.
Eve was cut out of Adam’s rib. You have the amazing power to love that part of him that no one can reach.
Think back on how you smothered him with affection, that lets him know he is special. No matter how crazy life gets — especially when I get stressed — I love escaping to that place of being the beloved. Where both him and I are safe.
I think of ways to invite Hubby to return there with me. As wives, we can take the lead.
Do you remember how you first flirted or showered affection on your guy?
Everyone’s story is different. Our love languages are unique too.
Touch — Did you hug and snuggle, linked hands as he drove, or encircled your arms around him?
Time — Or maybe you walked your way into his heart by spending time doing stuff your special guy loves?
Acts of Service — Are you the kind of girl that likes to bake or cook your affection?
Words of Affirmation — Did you write, email, or text him sweet nothings that would make your friends cringe?
Gifts — Did you buy him little somethings that let him know you were thinking of him?
One of my favorite books on marriage was given to us by our friends Mike and Sally, a godly couple who has enjoyed over 40 years of wedded bliss: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. He studied and followed over 600 newlywed couples since 1972 to find common ingredients in the successful marriages that avoided divorce.
You’d think things like “common interests” or “absence of conflict and arguments” topped the list. They didn’t even make the list.
“Fondness and admiration can be fragile unless you remain aware of how crucial they are to the friendship… the core of any good marriage….The simple reason is that fondness and admiration are antidotes for contempt.”
Gottman found that 94 percent of the time that couples who put a positive spin on their marriage’s history were likely to have a happy future.
So, take the time to splurge on your guy.
Go ahead, flirt with remembrance.
This Valentine’s week, give both you and your spouse the gift of remembrance.
Don’t wait until the 14th. Set the mood now.
Make it simple.
Bring him back to that place when your story as a couple first began.
My guess is that you’ll find yourself beloved there as well.
“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man” Genesis 2:22
Wanna venture out? Share a sign you gave when your story as a couple began?
What are your ideas to flirt with remembrance to unwrap love?
Pull up a chair. We promise not to tell. Give us some ideas…. Click to share a comment..
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