Sunday, April 26, 2009

Six Years--A Tribute to My Hubby

Have you heard the story about the couple, married for 30 years, who, while flying somewhere were asked by the flight attendant what it was like to be married that long? The husband said it "felt like five minutes," at which his wife smiled, until he finished the thought with ". . .under water."

I often get a chuckle remembering this story, and lately I've been asking couples who have been married a long time if it is indeed "five minutes under water." Some will laugh hysterically, then agree that it really does feel that way. I don't like it. Perhaps I'll stop asking.

The thing is, it makes a funny joke, but for it to be a reality, I think it's too sad to laugh about. It is amazing to me how many couples feel this way about marriage (or each other). This is not what marriage should be like. What does it say if you basically just tollerate each other for decades?

Casey and I celebrated our sixth anniversary recently. Though it isn't thirty years, it hasn't been five minutes either :) I am thankful for this. God has been so good to us. Bringing us together and shocking us with just how "down-to-the-last-detail" He was in placing us with one another. Every now and then (even now), I will gaze at him in amazement that he is mine, and that *I* have a husband! Of course, he usually responds to my amazement with, "I sure hope so. . . we have three children!"

My husband is my best friend. He is the one I go to first when I have wonderful news or need comfort or encouragement. His is the advice I seek first, and the (earthly) opinion that matters most to me. He alone knows things about me that I've never entrusted to anyone before.

Casey makes me laugh. Whether it is his go-getter attitude that causes him to think adding one more thing to his plate is just what he needs, or watching him as he watches a cheesy movie or crack up at his own jokes--I think he's hilarious.

Casey's our family's main breadwinner (Oh, wait. At the moment, he's our only breadwinner!) In this day of increasing stay-at-home hubbies, I am thankful that mine has decided to take on our family's financial burdens and not shoulder me with them. Thank you, dear. You know they would crush me!

Casey's a hard worker. He faithfully shows up to work, does more than what is expected of him and reaps the rewards of his commitment to excellence. Though you'll hear him say that all it takes to stand out in the crowd is to show up to work and do your job, he constantly exceeds the expectations of his co-workers, customers, managers and supervisors and is always among the top performers when it comes evaluation time. In the five years in his current job setting, he has annually been placed in the highest category regarding performance: that of Outstanding Contributer. I am very proud of him (can you tell?). I even ask to take a look at whatever I can about his reviews and interviews. Reading what others say about him gives me a shot in the arm that I'm not the only one who thinks he's great, and my respect and admiration for him grows with the reading of each comment and paragraph. Sigh. . .

The best part is that he doesn't just contribute outstandingly at work. Casey has a good balance of being "all there" at home, too. Except for a night or two each week, he works nine-hour days. He's just really good at managing his time. Those over him are more than happy with what he accomplishes in the time he is at work (often surprised); hardly ever ask him to stay late, and willingly allow him to take personal time when he is needed at home.

Yes, there will always be that entrepreneurial part of him that bites off more than it can chew (err, or the family can chew. I think he could manage it if it weren't for us!), but I am so thankful that he is willing to back off and say no to things if he sees it is too hard on the family. As time goes by, he is getting better and better at this, and for a couple years now he has proactively balanced his commitments (trading one for another, rather than adding) so as to keep a good margin in our marriage and family.

Casey is a kind, caring father to our three girls. He is often my example of patience and long-suffering. He calmly disciplines and lovingly tells them of their sin and need of a Saviour. At the tender ages of four, two and 11 months (not so much with her :), he shares life lessons and reasons for why they have certain rules. He encourages them to discuss or ask questions if they don't understand something. He lets them help him with tasks that would be easier done by himself. His example reminds me of the things I can work on and improve in my daily encounters with them.

I truly mean it when I say that Casey is the most wonderful man in the world. He really is a servant leader. He is kind. It matters to him if I am upset, confused or sad about something. So much so that he'll sacrifice sleep, comfort, you-name-it, in order to work things out. Even if it has nothing to do with him. He sees himself as my caretaker. As much as he'd probably rather do something (anything?) else, he gladly becomes my sounding board. And if we aren't able to work it out in the time we have, he'll ask if we can revisit it later. (And later actually happens :)

Case willingly jumps in and helps me with the girls, the dishes, dinner . . . is it any wonder I am head-over-heels for this guy? By all the little things he does throughout the day, the week. . . he keeps my passion for him alive and growing. I often feel as though I have a crush on him (most especially when he is super cheesy and immature. . . it makes me feel like we are 15 years younger and I really like this goofy guy).

My man is protective, but not jealous; kind, but not a pushover; strong, but not overbearing; a leader, but not a dictator; a husband, not a son; a provider, but not a workaholic. Conscientious about his person, but not vain; he's responsible, brave, honest, giving, thoughtful. A man of integrity, conviction and great character.

His example as a husband is such a good picture of Ephesians 5, and submission to such a husband is an honor, not drudgery. I willingly embrace it. Thank you for making it easy on me, My Only. I love you more each year we are together. May God grant us many more years of oneness.