For My Husband on Father's Day


You love them.

I know this because I see what you do.  I see you roll out of bed night after night, the first one up to change diapers or wet sheets.  I see you welcoming a pancake making assistant when I know her presence makes the process longer, more difficult.  I see you say no when it would be easier to say yes.  I see you put aside money each month for their college funds.  I see you hold and tickle and snuggle and just enjoy being with them.

I know this because I watch them with you.  I see the big one's face light up when you come home from work, watch her put down her toys and run full force across our little court to your arms.  I hear her request a Daddy-Daughter Date, beg for a run with you in the jogging stroller.  I see a smile spread across the little one's face at the sight of you, her cheeks round and joyful.  I see them both in your arms, and there is trust and contentment and peace.

I know this because you grieve the one we lost.  We mourned her together, and I was never more sure I'd married the right man.  You wore the cuff links with her footprints to your brother's wedding.  When you pray for her, there are still tears.

You love them.

There are lot of things I could say about you on Father's Day, but I think this is the most important one.  Our girls know the love of their father, and in that, you are giving them a priceless gift.

Thirty Pieces of My Thirty Years #14: CJ

A post for my husband - on our second anniversary.

Before we married, I grew to love you for many reasons. I loved you for not being afraid of difficult questions - both as a care group leader and as a person. I loved you for the generosity I saw you display toward me and toward friends and fellow church members. I loved you for relating to my roommates when you were hanging out at our house and for making them feel comfortable being around us. I loved you for the way you fit into my family - making my mom laugh, going hunting with my dad, talking politics, theology, and sports with my brothers. I loved you for making an effort to get to know the many people who are part of my life, how at ease they all seemed to be around you. I loved you for the way your whole face lights up with your smile and for the way you laugh deeply. I loved you for the story you wrote me on our first Valentine's Day, for the creativity and tenderness that showed up in it. I loved you for your steadiness and for all that offers to crazy, up-and-down, emotional me. I loved you for bearing with me through a particularly hard period in my life, for your patience and care for me in the midst of my fears and doubts and yes, lots of tears.

Now, two years later, I love you for all of these reasons and for so many more. I love you for the ways I see God shaping your heart - increasing your vision for ministry, helping you to grow in patience and leadership. I love you for the way you love children, for the way you pursue them until they like you, for the tears in your eyes when you met our baby niece. I love you for the risks I see you taking as you prepare to lead a care group, for your willingness to follow God even when the way forward is not always clear. I love you for your ability to take an idea and make it a reality, even if you've never done it before - for the planters you built in our backyard, for the electrical outlets you've replaced, for the drywall you've patched. I love you for talking to me late at night even when you wanted to go to sleep. I love you for challenging me in areas of my sin that I didn't see - or want to see. I love you for bringing me a glass of water before bed every night and for holding me before we go to sleep. I love you for doing life with me - from exploring the CA coast to making cranberry orange scones to sketching ideas for built-in bookshelves to dreaming about the future. I love you for blessing me with an amazing thirtieth birthday and a whole series of thirtieth birthday celebrations. I love you for knowing me better than anyone ever has, for seeing all of my strengths and weaknesses, and for loving me anyway. I love you for showing me what the love of God is like. I love you for being you.

I loved you then, and I love you more now. I am so grateful for all that God has given me in you, and I look forward to watching our love grow and deepen in the years to come. Happy anniversary, love!

Happy Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day, CJ and I went away to Massanutten for the weekend (thanks Brian and Bethanie for the free stay!). As part of the weekend, I shared with CJ a few of the things that made me fall for him and that I still love about him.

1. One of the first memories I have of CJ is him coming over to my apartment for a lunch my roommates were hosting. I was sitting on the floor grading papers, and he came and sat down on the floor with me and asked questions about what I was doing. The willingness he showed to come down into my world and be with me continues, and I'm so grateful.

2. Before we were dating, CJ led the small group I attended. When I expressed to the group that sermons often left me with difficult, unanswered questions, he instituted the "Abby Martin Question" as part of our regular meetings. This was a time when people could ask hard questions about anything the sermon might have stirred for them. I was so blessed that he wasn't threatened by my difficult questions and that he even welcomed them. This has been such a huge blessing as the past few years have been full of lots of spirtual doubts and questions for me.

3. The first time I knew I liked CJ was when we organized a trip to Lancaster for the Fourth of July. We ended up taking a walk through Littiz Springs Park just before the fireworks started, and CJ began asking me lots of questions about teaching and church. As we talked, I got this strong sense that CJ both really cared what I had to say and also wasn't afraid to challenge me if he thought I was wrong. This was something I hadn't experienced in a guy before. And I knew then that I liked it...and needed it! I still do.

Happy Valentine's Day love! You are a wonderful gift to me.