To My Husband on his Birthday

A letter to my husband on his birthday.

You call to check up on me and I grumble about all the time I’m wasting having to dust the floors and you say, “I didn’t call to hear you complain.”


Your words don’t wound me, they wake me up. You are so right — right when you’ve taken the kids to give me time to write. Right when you’ve chosen to support me in this blogging journey.

I forget to count my gifts sometimes, when I allow frustration from those pesky dust bunnies, and their ability to reproduce.

I forget God is producing in me.

Then you come with roses undeserving, and all the ingredients for my favorite dessert to bake for me.

And sometimes I stand on the porch, and watch you drive away in truck for a man. I know you go to face the heavy burdens of the day, of the businesses, making sure that the accounts are full so our fridge stays full. You labor. Your hands toil. Your mind wonders how. Your heart trusts God. You scrape the bottom of the barrel, and you always brings home more than enough.

You go whether you are weary or stressed or discouraged. You still forge ahead with the same dedication and commitment, because, as you always say, “I want to give you the best.”

And you do. And sometimes I forget to count the gifts.

You provide the resources and you provide us your heart –
the best of who you are.
And you listen patiently as I remind you that our girls need to know that you think they are beautiful. Sometimes I say it impassioned, but laced with disrespect. I’m sorry for that.

I know what it’s like to not know if your daddy thinks your beautiful or special or if he even loves you. I also know well the emptiness an absent father leaves in a young girl’s heart and where it can lead her to have it filled.

But our girls won’t ever have to know the void left by an unloving father. My knowledge of that gives way to fear sometimes.
Our newest girl, we thought was going to be a boy. We wanted a boy. We prayed for a boy, a brother for our only son. But God gave us girls. He whispered to my heart when I was just 3 months swollen with our littlest months before the sonogram would tell, “I am giving you girls to raise them confident. I need girls who know who they are in Me.”
Even our eldest, whom you’ve made your own — God made sure you were there by our side, even before I knew you’d be ours. She’s never had to know what it’s like to be fatherless.
You rescue when I have lost my way and fallen into a dark place. Your hand that reaches cannot be distinguished between Jesus’  as you love me as Christ loves.
We can be fiery, us two. You married a Latino you know? My blood runs hot. Yet you have a way of calming me, with love that is unconditional. You never run away. I never fear you will. My sorry does not come as it should, and even without mine, humbly you still offer yours.

When I feel like I just want to run away overwhelmed with life, and even try, you chase me relentless until in your arms I am undone. You pledge again your support. You vow your love with your life, and you cry to God on my behalf. You stand in the gap, between the arrows that fly and my own soul as you wrestle, not with flesh and blood, but with dark forces unseen.

I wonder if you know how I love when you chase after me. I am not comfortable with my body, and I turn you away. But still, you come after me and always the gentlemen. At my most undone times you tell me how beautiful I am to you. I wonder, do you pick the times I look my worst to tell me? But I know, because I hear it in your voice — sincere.

I remember when our things to do list changed. When it felt as if our family was growing apart as the things to do list wedged between us. Days off, never really being days off. Life passing us by. God is working in our hearts, even still, that the most important accomplishment is our children — our relationship with them. This is what we are to work for — fight for — a heart connection with them.

Yes, we can always do better at managing our time. But time is life and once it’s spent there is no gaining it back. The unfinished projects will always be there. The children will not.

And so I complain to you about the work still to be done, and I am sorry for that. And you remind me, “I chose to go to the beach with you instead of mow the lawn.”

And for that I am grateful. You choose what really matters. I am still learning. I am learning how to live real life with no regrets. I know from thinking about yesterday the only thing I regret is what I did not do to cultivate our relationship and that of our children.

And you still bear with me. You bear for me. You stand and hold me up. You support and uplift and want to see me fulfill my purpose in God.

And it’s your birthday weekend, and you buy me new shoes and travel clothes for my trip to Guatemala. It’s the day before your birthday and your buy me Tres Leche cake.

I wonder what I did to deserve you, and I realized there is nothing I could’ve done. You are a gift. You make me better, and God knew that. God has sketched one with mine, your life design. Sometimes I am not so great at showing how much I appreciate the gift you are. I hope that today I was able to.


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  • http://www.emilywierenga.com imperfect prose

    oh friend. i found myself just staring at the photos, at the way your children exude peace and confidence, and at the joy you and your husband share… this is powerful and strong. thank you for sharing.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Emily,

      I love it when you visit here. I wish I had words to tell you how your words bless me. They don’t just bless me, they reduce and refine me. Thank you for your comment. I went back and looked over the pictures and praised God all over again.

  • http://canaanboundbrigade.wordpress.com Kim B.

    What a BEAUTIFUL post! How great too for your children to read just how blessed they are to have your hubby as their father :)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Kim,

      I didn’t even think about having my children read it. Thanks for sharing that thought and thank you for your sweet comment :)

  • http://sixinthehickorysticks.blogspot.com Nacole

    Oh, friend, this: “I wonder if you know how I love when you chase after me. I am not comfortable with my body, and I turn you away. But still, you come after me and always the gentlemen. At my most undone times you tell me how beautiful I am to you. I wonder, do you pick the times I look my worst to tell me? But I know, because I hear it in your voice — sincere.”

    I may have shed a tear or two over this…this hit me right square in my woman heart. I have been that woman so many times, unsure, not feeling enough, not liking the skin I’m in, but always amazed and healed by his desire for me. Beautiful. One of these days, when I get brave enough, and the mood hits just right, I will talk more about this woman issue. Writing for Emily on anorexia was difficult and it takes a lot to go there. Blessings to you and admiration for writing the uncomfortable things.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Nacole,

      Oh, you came for a visit. Thank you for taking from your precious time to share with me your heart and your story. You are so very brave already. You have so much to share and pour from you spirit that will bring healing to countless woman.

      You are beautiful… You shine bright His light.

      Love you, my friend.

  • http://www.pruningprincesses.blogspot.com Laura @ Pruning Princesses

    A sweet gift, shared publically makes it sweeter. Your post felt like you were singing praises from the mountaintop. Now I want to meet you both.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Laura,

      Ah… you made me smile. You gave me joy with your comment :) How sweet if we could meet. I’d invite you over for dinner and I’d show you all my homeschool books :)

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com/ Nikki

    God is so good, isn’t He. Always caring for our needs. And with you, friend, He went above and beyond. I am blessed to say the same….Oh how He loves us.

    Leaving here all blurry-eyed as I praise Him for making all things beautiful!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Nikki,

      He truly does make beauty from ashes. You do Him so much justice when you write about His love and grace. You are beautiful…

  • http://sarahannrogers.com Sarah

    I may have cried a bit. Husbands are such a blessing. And a girl’s dad is SO vital to her life and her security. You are very blessed, friend.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Sarah,

      I just came from your place. You are a doll :) I am so glad to be connecting with you!

  • http://www.upliftingwordsonline.com/2012/09/10/one-thousand- Stefanie Brown

    We celebrated my husband’s birthday on Sunday. Like you, God has gifted me with an amazing man who loves God and adores us. We’re blessed women, my friend!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Stefanie,

      Oh, I rejoice with you, for the wonderful things God has given. His plans are perfect! Blessings to you as you pour out and live your life as a sacrifice of praise!

  • http://www.studiojru.com/blog Jennifer {StudioJRU}

    Oh, how beautiful. What a wonderful, amazing gift our husbands are to us. God knows so perfectly, the one who makes us better. Love all your photos. What a beautiful family you have!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jennifer,

      It is amazing to me how God truly knows “perfectly” to one who makes us better. Thank you for rejoicing with me :)

  • http://soulstops.com Dolly@Soulstops

    Happy Birthday to your hubby, and what a loving tribute to your husband, and to God, who brought the two of you together. Lovely photos of your kids…what a gift for them to have parents who seek and value a heart connection with them…Wow! Many blessings to you and your, Michele-Lyn :)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Dolly,

      Thank you for the birthday wishes! Thank you for the beautiful comment :) You are an encourager!

  • http://www.thedomesticfringe.com the domestic fringe

    Beautiful. You have a lovely family

    ~FringeGirl

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Thank you, Fringe Girl :)

  • http://compassionadvocacy.blogspot.com/ Lolita Valle

    Happy Birthday to your husband, Michelle-Lynn.

    I am rejoicing with you and your children for the gift of a man in your life who is everything for you.

    I pray for more years in your marriage.

    Lovely tribute to Him you wrote.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lolita,

      Thank you for rejoicing with me! And for your sweet blessing :)

  • krista

    very deep, sweet post of your birthday message to your husband. I feel all those things about myself and y husband as well. I’m glad to read I’m not the only one who complains and tries and tries and tries to get it all done.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Krista,

      Thank you for your sharing honestly. May God help us both to remember the gifts we have when we are tempted to be generous with our grumbles :)

  • http://www.thewarriorwives.com Elizabeth@Warrior Wives

    What a beautiful and transparent expression of love for your husband!

    Thanks for linking up today!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Elizabeth, thank you :)

  • http://www.aLittleMisadventure.com marvelyne engel

    absolutely stunning – a truly beautiful tribute to a wonderful man.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Marvelyne,

      Yes, I am in awe of the gift. Then again I shouldn’t be, considering the Giver. Thank you for your love and support :) You are a blessing to me!

  • http://hispenonmyheart.com Tereasa

    What a beautiful tribute to your husband. He shall be respected at the city gates! (Pr. 31:23)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Tereasa, thank you and what a perfect verse :)

  • ro elliott

    Michele…tell your husband happy birthday and thank him for loving his wife as Christ loves the church…for laying HIs life down…not just in the big ways…but the small…all building a place of love for Christ love for us to be reflected in this world. blessings to you both as you grow this family well~

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ro,

      Oh, what a sweet message to my Husband. Thank you :) Thank you for always blessing me!

  • http://www.justfollowingjesus.com Elizabeth Stewart

    Beautiful thanksgiving Michele!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Thank you, Elizabeth :)

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    What a beautiful gift of words you’ve laid out for your husband on his birthday.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Barbie,

      I wish I could’ve done more, and I write better than I talk :)

  • Sandra

    I loved reading this post, Michelle. Thanks for being so transparent! I love you two and your family!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Sandra,

      You were there from the beginnings of all this. What a gift to be able to share with you :)

  • http://www.encourage-1-another.blogspot.co.uk Wendy @ E1A

    Your post is beautiful! Your family is beautiful… and so are you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Wendy, thank you so very much :) Blushing…

  • http://www.heavenlyglimpses.blogspot.com/2012/09/10-lessons- Theresa@HeavenlyGlimpses

    Yes, yes, and yes! What a beautiful tribute to your husband and for every wife who can relate somehow. Your lovely relationship reveals the beautiful refining touch of Christs hands. What a gift. Only God, clearly God!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Theresa,

      Yes, it is so clearly the handiwork of God. Thank you for your beautiful words :)