Category Archives: My Husband

happy anniversary, my J

6 years, my Love. 6 years of so much beautiful life and learning. The best 6 years of my life.

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“The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot.”

Every year that we are given together is this: “A new piece of the plot,” a new chapter to add to our grace-filled, sweet, and sanctified story. Every bit of our every day, whatever it holds, is a piece of that story. The heaviness of this past year, the ways we felt stretched to our limit, the character that was formed in us, the joy that we found in choosing gratitude, the ways Jesus made us more like Himself. All these things are pieces of our life together.

These pieces are pictures of the themes that continue to flow throughout our marriage and the life we share together — growing together as husband and wife, being more in love with each other now than on the day we said our vows, being even dearer best friends now than on that day we said our vows, laughter and our inside jokes, learning how to communicate better, learning how to practically serve and love the other better, eating a lot of good food, being brave together, evenings filled with books and movies and hot beverages, trips and adventures, being creative together, dreaming together, navigating the road of parenting together, challenging one another, encouraging one another, praying for one another, trusting and seeking Jesus together; and above all, the faithfulness, kindness, and grace of the One who made us one.

Our 5th year of marriage held a lot. Oh, quite a lot. And while I am so thankful we are through that time now, I continually come back to the gratitude I feel that the Lord brought us through that. We learned so much, J. We learned it together, and that’s my favorite part. Truly, my Love, I grow more overwhelmed everyday at the sweet grace of God in choosing me to be the one who gets to walk through every day with you. Every year we journey together I think my heart might actually burst with how much I love you; but, every year after that it must get bigger because my love for you grows every day. I’m so glad that you are the one I get to share my heart, memories, adventures, love of books and travel, belly laughs, coffee addiction, gum, and tiny bathroom cabinets with. I am so proud, so thankful, and so deliriously happy that I get to stand next to you as your wife. Now, and for the next 100 years.

You are my hero, my best friend, and my greatest love.

Happy Anniversary, my husband.

With all my heart,

Me

for my J

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Happy Birthday to you, my husband.

I love the sweetness that September holds for us. We celebrate our daughter, we celebrate your birthday, and we celebrate the day we met. That day, that moment we met, is still so fresh in my memory. I can replay it vividly, remembering what we both were wearing (oh, the windpants), where we were standing, and what we said. Let this statement be called cheesy if it must, but it is true: my life was changed that day. The moment that tall, blond, blue-eyed, smiling, Michigan sweatshirt clad, senior shook my hand, my life was changed and a whole new level of love, excitement, and dreams began to build.

Life with you is rather wonderful. To dream with you, to adventure with you, to parent with you, to grow with you, to learn with you, to make mistakes with you, to cry and ache with you, to enjoy and laugh with you, is the best. It really is just the best. You are my favorite to experience life with and I’m still pinching myself that the Lord gave you to me to trek through every day with.

These last weeks/months have been filled with heart-aching, weary days, but there are several sweet things that have come out of these days. One of the greatest is the daily reminder of God’s grace displayed through you, my husband. How kind He has been. You are such a gentle, thoughtful, and wise leader. You listen well and you speak truth with such love. Your shoulder soaks up countless tears for me and your humor brings out my most genuine, full laughter. You help me to learn and you push me to grow, to try, and to be brave. You are my greatest example and my best friend. As much as we’ve joked about running away to some exotic location, (where, of course, our problems would never follow us), I would rather be here, trusting Jesus together, striving together in His strength, and being made more like Him, because that is what gives us the most joy.

You are my greatest gift this side of heaven and the most hard-working, genuine, kind, thoughtful, wise, gentle, generous, patient, humble, strong, faithful, and incredibly-loving man; the best man I know.

I celebrate you today, my Love. I sure do love living life with you.

With all my love,

Me

unselfish love

My husband is the most hardworking man I know. He is faithful and diligent with every single task he puts his hand to and he does it all with excellence. He is humble, eager to learn, and surrounds himself with people, books, and articles that spur him on in his work and creativity. He loves AK and I in the most sacrificial, joyful way and every day I see a testimony of that when he kisses us goodbye and walks out the door to go to work.

He gets up early every morning to have his quiet time, work out and prepare himself for the day. And when he comes home from work he pours into his girls with the sweetest and most gentle heart. He inspires and encourages me every day by his thoughtfulness and his unselfish love.

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But sometimes I’m selfish and I push these things to the back of my mind. Sometimes I let my mind be so consumed with the full day I had and how very exhausted I am, that when J walks in the door I instantly fall into dependent mode and look to him to relieve me. I think to myself, “there is absolutely no way his day was as draining and busy as mine. I mean, I’ve been preparing meals, cleaning, walking through life with people, potty training, running errands, and playing with and caring for a 2 year old! I’ve basically been superwoman today so clearly I need some relief!” (a glimpse into my sinful heart here, people.)

Now my hubby is the sweetest guy on the face of the earth and is always eager to help and serve me and make me feel like I really am superwoman and I am humbled by his care.

Here’s the thing, though. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says this:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” 

When I am sitting in my own self-pity and self-righteous thinking, making mental tally marks about who did the most that day, not only is that sinful against the Lord, but it is unloving and sinful against my husband too. To love him well I am to set aside my own needs and desires to care for his. To love him as I am commanded to in Scripture I don’t “insist on my own way.” 

Does this mean that when I have a day where the house is a war zone, or multiple 2-year old tantrums are had, or life was a bit painful, that when J gets home that evening I can’t say, “Babe, it’s been a really hard day and I could use a few minutes of quiet to myself after dinner.” Or, “Babe, would you mind taking Little to play outside for a bit? She could use the exercise and I could use the stillness.” Not at all! This is why we communicate! This is why we talk to each other and learn how best to serve and help one another. My husband can read me like a book and over the 5 years we’ve been married we have grown in anticipating one another’s needs. He can see it on my face when it’s been a long day and he is the best about giving extra hugs and letting me have some alone time.

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What this does mean is that my first thought isn’t what I can get from him. What if my long day was his long day, too? What if he had issues at work, or his computer crashed, or his mind has been distracted with life stuff going on? What am I going to do then? Say, “Well, stinks for you, Babe. I’m going to go close myself in the bedroom and read. Let me know when you get AK down.” Umm, no. At that time, and any other, my first thought ought to be how I can love him well, whether it’s been an awful day or a nearly perfect day.

That means that when my husband walks in the door at dinnertime I should strive to make my first thought, how can I serve him well? How can I show him how grateful I am for him and how much I appreciate his hard work and provision for us? How can I give of myself to show him more of Jesus?

This is where I get to practice that sacrificial love I’ve been called to give him as my husband. These times have such a sweetness to them, if I choose to see them that way, because I have the opportunity to show him the love of Christ. That unselfish, unwavering, grace-filled, patient, gentle, and sacrificial love of Christ. Not because of anything I have done, but because of Christ in me. 

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is He better than it all?

Jas and I had a good, though hard, conversation this morning. Through a sermon he was listening to, his thoughts were turned to how he would cope if he faced a great tragedy, or if we faced a great tragedy. What if something happened to AK or I? What if something happened to him? Would God still be the same God in that situation that we believe Him to be now? The answer is a resounding yes, but we talked about whether or not we are faithfully seeking to love God more than anything or anyone else in this world, trusting that He is the same God whatever circumstances we face.

Now, I know this is a heavy topic and you might possibly be thinking, seriously? How morbid could she be right now? But my point is not to be morbid. My desire in sharing this is to be open about a struggle that both my husband and I face — setting one another and our little girl up as more loved and more important in our hearts than God. That’s what was at the heart of our conversation this morning. We aren’t trying to live in fear of something happening — the Lord tells us over and over again in Scripture not to live in fear, not to worry about the days ahead (Matt. 6:25-34, Heb. 13:6, Ps. 23:4, 27:1, Isa. 41:10). What we desire, is to love the Lord so deeply, to seek Him so diligently, that whatever circumstances He allows in our lives, we would rest in the truth of His character and lean on His abundant and tireless grace and strength.

To love the Lord wholly. To love Him with all our heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5), this means that we must remove any idol that we are loving more than Him. Those we love most dearly in the world can so quickly surpass God in our minds and hearts. And while they are testimonies and gifts of His grace to us who we are called to love deeply, selflessly, and in the way He loves us, they are not to be more to us than Him.

One of my Dad’s absolute favorite quotes is one from Mark Dever. Dad has quoted it to us countless times over the past years and it is one that Jas and I hold dear in our lives. It is this:

“God, in His kindness, allows us to be living testimonies to the fact that having Him and trusting Him and being His are better than painless joints or happy marriages or never-ending earthly friendships; having Him is better than it all.” 

So this. This is what Jas and I are desiring to be a reality in our daily living. Is God “better than it all” to us? Is He better than being married to your best friend and dearest love? Is He better than holding your child for the first time, holding their hands as you take walks together, watching them grow? Is He better than those dear friendships in which you cry, laugh, and talk for hours? Is He better than health? Is He better than your dream home? Is He better than the raise at work? Is He better than having your dream job? Is He better then?

And then, hear it is this way. Is He better when you watch a friend walk through the loss of their spouse? Is He better when you are struggling with infertility? Is He better when every job turns you down? Is He better when you feel absolutely alone in the world? Is He better when your child gets ignored or hurt by their friends? Is He better when you can’t make rent that month? Is He better when the way you thought or expected life to be isn’t happening? Is He better then?

Asking myself this question is, truly, one of the hardest things to do. Because, when I’m honest about my heart before the Lord, I have to say that so often I’m not living as if He is better. But, as gut-wrenching and revealing as it is to think through those things, to see where my deepest love lies, I am thankful. I am thankful for the conviction a question like this brings to my heart. And I am thankful for a God who draws me ever closer to Himself, desiring to be my greatest love, to see me love Himself with all my heart, soul, and might.

I pray that He becomes better than it all to me — in every area of my life. May I seek Him so diligently, pursue Him so passionately, read His Word so faithfully, that with each day I can more truly say, yes. He is better than it all. And another gracious result of that? I will love Jason and Anna Kate and all those around me better as well. For I will love them as I should — I will love them less than the good God who gave them to me.

I am thankful for that hard conversation I had with my sweet husband this morning. I am thankful for his thoughtful, tender, faithful heart. I am thankful to learn with him and grow with him. I am thankful that, together, we can pursue loving God more than we do each other. Oh, how I pray, by God’s grace, that our home and our marriage will be one where it is seen that He is best!

date your spouse

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My husband posted this the other day, after we had been on a date, “Every time I take specific time away with my wife, whether it be a date or longer, I’m reminded anew why it’s so important.” I love him. And I think he is right on the money. In our marriages, we must, we need to take specific time away with one another to refresh us, encourage us, and focus on just each other. Your spouse is to be the most important person in the world to you. Before your kids. The marriage relationship is the only one of its kind on the earth. That’s how God designed it. It is the only relationship on earth that reflects God’s relationship with His church. Your relationship with your littles, as beautiful, important, and filled-to-bursting-with-love as it is, is to come after that covenant relationship that you made with your spouse.

And you know what the beautiful thing is? When we live that out to our kids, it blesses them, it is a gift to them, and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with them. I still remember my parents going on dates as I was growing up. Specific memories where they talked to us about why they went out just the two of them and how mom and dad’s relationship was different than their relationships with us. I remember seeing then, as I still do now, them cherish that time together and make it a priority to have that time together. And, oh my goodness, I’m so grateful I saw that. For a multitude of different reasons. And now Jas and I have the opportunity to display that same thing to our Little.

Plan that date night away. Plan a trip! Jas and I are taking our first, longer than one night, trip away later this year. To be honest, we’ve both become emotional already at the thought of being away from AK for a few days, but we know how good it is and how necessary it is for us to go away together. For her sake and for ours. Get creative as you plan dates. I know that everybody’s situation is different. Babysitters are hard to find, finances are tight, job schedules are difficult to maneuver around. Trust me, I understand. Don’t get discouraged, though. You can still make it happen! Make a later dinner together after the kids go to bed and sit on the floor and have a picnic. Make a fun dessert and have a movie night in. Have a morning date for breakfast, or an afternoon date where you just go take a walk and sit at a coffee shop for a while (a favorite of ours), or go wander around a bookstore (another favorite of ours). Think of what you both enjoy doing and go do it together! Hike, bike, paint pottery, shoot guns, or eat crickets and go skydiving. Whatever it is, do it together! Go out with other couples as well. Invest in each other, build into each other, learn from each other. It’s a blessing.

Just spend that time. Looking at each other, talking to each other, laughing, trying new things, observing your surroundings, having adventures together. That time away gives you special opportunities for quiet thought and thoughtful talk. It gives you time to talk about your little ones: what they are learning and struggling through, what you are learning as parents, plans for them, prayers for them. It gives you time to talk about ministry, work, relationships, to think through things and pray through things together, to share your heart and what the Lord is teaching you. Life can get so busy. Stop and spend that time together. You are one and times alone together are sweet times of growing closer as one.

The dates that Jas and I spend together are some of my most favorite times and cherished memories. Spending that time away with my best friend, however long it is, always reminds me of the gift that marriage is and how gracious the Lord has been to give me this man to love and live life with.

Date your spouse. Once the ring goes on and you become engaged, once the vows are said and you are married, don’t stop dating your spouse. It only grows sweeter.

5 wonderful years

5 years ago on our honeymoon……

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Our beautiful life today…..

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Five years ago today I woke up in a hotel room, my mom gently rubbing my back and saying, “Good Morning. You’re getting married today.” I will never ever forget that first moment on my wedding day. I was getting married. I was committing to spend my life with a certain, wonderful man. About 6 hours later I walked down the aisle to that certain man, completely overwhelmed by the joy in that moment. Standing at the front of the church, waiting for me, was this man – who looked just so so good – this picture of God’s grace and goodness in my life. When I walked back down the aisle that day I walked with my husband and our life as one began.

The thought that it has been 5 years brings 2 thoughts to my mind. I can’t believe 5 years have already gone by! In the same hand, I’m pretty sure we’ve been married for at least 20 because life without being married to Jas seems like a memory ago.

These 5 years have been the best of my life. And it truly, truly just gets sweeter. My love for Jas deepens daily and the joy of spending life with my best friend only increases. Through everything – whether moments of the sweetest joy or moments when we are confessing sin to one another – the days, months, and years have been beautiful. For in all of those moments the Lord has sanctified us, changed us, and deepened our understanding of who He must be in our individual hearts and our life together.

Jason, each day with you is a gift. Since walking down the aisle to you, I have only grown more amazed of the Lord’s goodness to me. The way that you love me, the way you love Anna Kate, the way you lead our family, the way you work, the way you communicate, the way you serve, the way you think and process things, the way you care for others, the way you plan — every part of you is a humble, thoughtful, gentle, strong, wise, careful, and loving evidence of the fact that you love Jesus most and seek Him first. Your devotion to Him is the most faithful example to me. Being married to you, my best friend, is the sweetest joy in the world. And becoming parents together, by God’s gift of our beautiful daughter, has deepened my love for you as we walk through parenting this little treasure together. As I look back over the past 5 years, the Lord’s faithfulness in our lives is so clear and I praise Him for all that He has taught us. What grace to have Him lead us, teach us, and make us more like Himself as we seek Him together.

Happy Aniversary, my Love. I am so thankful for you. There is no one dearer to me in the world. I love you more with every day.

– Me

Happy Birthday, my Love

My J,

Today is one of my favorite days in all the year. Today I get to celebrate you and the fact that 30 years ago the Lord chose to bless the world with the greatest man by bringing you into it. Today I also get to celebrate that 6 years ago the Lord changed my life in the most wonderful way by bringing you into it. I know that it was your birthday, but I think that I got the best gift that day. It took about .001 seconds for me to be completely smitten with you that day and today, 6 years and a whole lot of seconds later, I’m even more smitten.

You are the kindest, most humble, wise, thoughtful, creative, perseverant, faithful, gracious, loving man. No one makes me laugh harder than you and no one helps me to laugh at myself more than you. No one encourages me more or challenges me more. I love your entrepreneurial, creative brain and how being married to you has instilled that more deeply in me and spurred me on to try new things with a greater excitement and passion. I love your leadership, your humility, your servant-heart. All the things I love about you I love even more because they are grounded in your love for the Lord and your devoted heart for Him. You give evidence to His saving grace in your life in every bit of who you are. You work unto Him, you study His word, you pray fervently to Him, you seek His transforming forgiveness and work in your life. You live for Him, you lead me according to His truth, and love me as He loves His church. That is the heart of what makes you the man that you are, the man that I love, the best man I know.

I praise the Lord for all He has done in your 30 years of life, my Love. I am unspeakably thankful that He chose me to be the one to walk the last 6 years with you and, Lord willing, the next 50, 60, 70…….

Happy Birthday, my Husband.

I love you.