Sunday, October 16, 2016

When He Writes Love {A Post by Tony}

I was speaking with someone the other day about a job I needed done on my house. 

Near the end of the conversation they made some comment about Madison House and then followed up with this,

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.”

I hesitated for a second and then responded with a smile,

“Thanks. If you hear anything bad about me I would think that is true as well.”

They laughed, but not really. I think the nakedness of the idea caught them off guard. They recovered quickly, a very classy man, he was.  

Kimberley is an amazing woman. She’s always writing incredible things about me. I don’t have her same perspective on me.  I see a never ending mess ahead of me that I’m struggling to give back to Christ on daily basis, mostly failing but with patches of light that help me continue.

Kimberley is electric, an Adonis, a blazing fire on a long bitterly cold day.  She is entirely the funniest woman I’ve ever met and the gentlest heart.

To hear other men talk about their wives, then listen as Kimberley imparts to me marriages she catches glimpses of, I feel sorrow and joy and the guilt of a survivor.  With Kimberley in my life I KNOW I went through the war and came out on the other side; wife, children, and job, all intact and accounted for. 

So here it goes: Kimberley is always writing down lists of things she is thankful for, so here is my list of Kimberley’s joys and the treasure that I have found in being with her.

1.     She gets up and does devotions for over an hour.
2.     No, seriously, she gets up EVERY MORNING and does devotions for over an hour!
3.     She never nags. I can’t explain that, it never happens. I’ve never felt nagged.
4.     She is incredibly respectful of me in front of the kids.
5.     She is respectful of me in front of the kids and others even though I don’t deserve it.
6.     Kimberly respects me in private, public, socially, and at work, even when we’re in the middle of an idiotic fight.
7.     She spends hours sitting with me and gently rubbing her hands over my back while we read and listen to music together in the evenings.
8.     During this time a kid will inevitably poke their messed head of hair around the corner and yell, “Mommy, I poop my pants!” or, “Mommy, Lyla throw up on her bed and it stinky!” Kimberley works with me to clean up any mess.
9.     I sleep very little but when I do I may as well be dead, and Kimberley, who Is a lite sleeper will deal with most of the 2am kid problems without trying to wake me or making me feel bad the next day.
10.  I interrupt people. It’s a really bad habit, worse than smoking, and Kimberley quietly waits while I jibber jabber about whatever nonsense was in my head and then quietly continues after I’ve wound down.
11.  Kimberley is amazing at taking a dollar and making it stretch out to the end of forever.
12.  The bed is always made. It is with great joy that I enter our bedroom to find that the covers are clean, warm, and soft.
13.  I wake up with Kimberley’s arms wrapped around me. 
14.  If I complain, it’s not at Kimberley. It is for more time with Kimberley. The communication is strong; I want to be with her, I want more of her, she is the safest place on earth.  Whenever there is gunfire and sirens outside the house, I’m not worried; Christ is with us and Kimberley is with me.
15.  Don’t you think Kimberley is a sexy name?  I do. Kimberley, Kimberley, Kimberley…
16.  Hair, make-up, clothes, I don’t know how she does it but she always looks like fire from the gods and I often find myself staring like an idiot.  Yes, idiot. Wake up you fool! But I don’t want to wake up, I want to stay here forever, with only you.
17.  Other women just aren’t getting in the door. They may as well be blind. Where is the door?  Only Kimberley knows, and she can let herself in and take up residence whenever she pleases.
18.  I love making Kimberley laugh. I’m so thankful she likes my sense of humor because it gives me great pleasure to see her throw her head back and enjoy the peace of laughing.
19.  In an age of such sexual, unmitigated, dis-holy catastrophe, Kimberley is a very modest dresser. Not Amish, stylish.
20.  Eric Clapton said it better, “Yellow Tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.”
21.  Not much phases me, but I have to admit, if Kimberley is gone 15 minutes later than she said she would be I get dry mouth and start internally freaking out that she is dead or maimed or has been kidnapped by terrorists or all other manner of hideous horrible.  Then she breezes in the door, laughs, and kisses away all the ugly manifestations of the monsters of my imagination.
22.  Lastly, for this list, “My baby don’t mess around because she loves me so and this I know for sure.”  -Andre 3000-

I love you Kimberley and it is a logistical impossibility for a me to encapsulate the essence of your radiance with a list of poorly stated, “22 reasons.”
You are the only woman that can break me with a flash of her eyes and a tilt of her head.  All other woman are wax candles, dissolving in a river of imprecations before your insatiable flame.  I have only ever been with you; I will only ever be with you.  16 years have been too short to know you and a 1000 more will never do.

Eternity will have to suffice. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.          


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e00 more will never do,f humor,y guy, he was. o suffice.  i  fire. s of the monters of imagination. ll other mannner s into, i

Thursday, October 6, 2016

For the First Fifteen

I walked down that aisle 16 days before he turned 27.

I can never forget that look on his face.

I don't ever want to.

There are men who use words as cruelly as they use their weapons and their fists.

Men who see a weakness and exploit it,

abuse it,

break it even further down.

There are men who see their work as an escape, an excuse to stay far away from the women they married, the children who call them Daddy, the life they said yes to as a covenant was being formed with words and bodies and love.

It was in a little country church that I met him all dressed in white with a bouquet of roses and heather clutched tightly in my hand, saying those ancient words that would entwine my life with his as long as both our hearts were beating.

There were words I had never said to him - words about my life and my mistakes that I had never shared with him. Afraid of rejection, afraid of not being his.

He lifted that veil over my face to seal those vows with the only kiss we had ever shared, but I allowed a veil to remain over my heart.

It took well over a decade of days with this man and his loving and our 4 babies to loosen my tongue - to unveil a veiled life and lay myself bare.

Jesus, He had taken my life that wanted Him in name only, wanted nothing to do with His Church or His people or His Word and over a decade of days He wooed my heart and made me desperate for Him and His holy grace.

It was Jesus who loved me into lifting every veil from my heart and it was Tony who, in the middle of his own pain, tenderly took the bloody mess of my hidden secrets and helped me lift them up to the Light of forgiveness.

There is a man who walks fearlessly in the dark places. I've watched him from the quiet of our front porch. He reaches out to those who others would turn away from and loves deeply enough to point hard and broken hearts back to the truth of Jesus and His Word.

I've heard this man's strong voice call hope into the mess of a drunken haze leaning on those old front steps of ours - the firm words that reminded as long as there was breath in the lungs, no one was ever too far gone.

My ears have caught his voice singing hope to our children as he prays words over bowed and sleepy heads.

I know a man who walks with me on a road that leads us to Jesus, who lovingly traces the scars of my past and lifts my eyes off of those broken days and points to the One Who is calling His Bride to Himself.

I know a man whose life has been one with my own for fifteen years. His arms hold the dearest comfort, his heartbeat is more familiar than the thrum of my own. 

I know a man who walks in the ways of our Savior, whose eyes hold the Light of Life. 

Fifteen years of moments and days and I selfishly want more of more gift of him. 

My dearest Tony,

Your love has been the greatest gift I have ever received. Thank you for the ways that you give yourself to us. Thank you for loving me and for leading me back to the love of Jesus. Thank you for loving me as Christ has loved the Church - for giving me a glimpse of the beauty of our Heavenly Bridegroom and the way that He loves us.

Thank you for fifteen incredible years.  You have my heart and my love.