I love love! Especially the process of falling in love.
The romantics among us will agree, there’s just something about the intensity of the feelings we experience when we fall in love for the first time. It’s exciting! The joy is over the top. The doubt is nerve wracking. The loneliness of separation heart-breaking. The sensations of falling for someone — who’s falling for you at the same — are soaring!
For the above reasons, I’m a huge, goofy, tearful fan of romantic movies and TV shows and books. Which explains why I became a romance writer. I spend my work days telling tales of people falling in love.
But I live my real life with someone I’ve loved for a long time. Loving someone close to you (whether it be a parent, relative, friend, child) over the long haul in a non-fictional world is not always very full of excitement, joy, and soaring sensation. Instead of ‘falling in love’ we could call it ‘trekking together in love’ over a long, sometimes monotonous, sometimes hard stretch of life.
I was twenty-one when I married my husband.
It’s somewhat astonishing to me that I was confident enough and/or crazy and misguided enough to think that I was ready to choose my husband at that age. But I did. And then we spent the first four years of our marriage living overseas in fabulous places. It was like an extended honeymoon.
Eventually we returned to the sates and settled into our long trek, a mortgage, and three kids. We’ve been married now for twenty-one years which means that I’ve been married for half my life. (!!)
My years of marriage haven’t made me an expert on the topic of how to ‘Love Well’ over the long haul. But, looking back over our relationship, I can see how His Highness (my affectionate nickname for my husband) has gone the distance and loved ME well.
He’s given me a lot of gifts. He’s taken me on a lot of nice dinners and trips. He’s said lovely things to me. He’s done the right sorts of things on many, many Valentine’s Days. But none of that is what has meant the most to me. In thinking about how He’s loved me well on the trek I came up with….
#1. Be a friend. My husband is my best friend. We disagree. In fact, I sometimes accuse him of disagreeing with everything I say just for the fun of it. I’ll say, “Let’s have chicken for dinner.” And instead of saying, “Great,” he’ll immediately say, “Let’s have fish.” But, you see, we’ve built a deep, trusting friendship. We like each other. We’re not mean to each other. We’re loyal friends.
#2. Laugh. I love the quote from Joanne Woodward about her long marriage to Paul Newman. “Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” Ladies, Paul Newman was gorgeous when they married. Yet it was the laughter they shared that she valued most over time. I feel the very same way. Laughter is worth pure gold!
#2. Listen. His Highness listens to me more than any other person in my life. There are plenty of times where I’m talking and have to ask him to pause the TV or put down his book so that he can really HEAR what I’m saying. But he always does. And then he asks follow up questions and poses his <always strong> opinions. Then he does a lot more listening.
#3. Believe. Love “believes all things” according to Corinthians 13:7, ESV. His Highness has supported me in every possible way — verbally, physically through a hug or a shoulder or a hand that’s reached out to grasp mine. He’s offered financial support, moral support, kid-babysitting support so I could work. But most of all, he’s just… believed in me. Has there a been a person in your life who’s made all the difference because they had faith in you? A parent, a teacher, a coach, a friend? Then you know how life-changing, how God-giving, that is.
Let’s find ways to love those closest to us well over the long trek by being a friend, by laughing, listening, and steadfastly believing!
I’d be delighted to hear how someone close to you has ‘loved you well’! Please share.
p.s. I’ve added some fun, practical ideas re: how to show love this Valentine’s Day to my Holidays board on Pinterest in case you’re in the market for some inspiration.
Did you know that some friends and I are currently offering a Valentine’s Day giveaway? To enter for the main prize go here.
We’re also offering a side prize of a sea glass pendant and earrings (shown on right) plus a 2 pound box of See’s Chocolates! You can enter for the side prize by visiting each of the six ‘Love Well’ blog stops in order and collecting a word at each stop. (Hint: the words will be in red.)
1. Visit Dani Pettrey by clicking here
2. Visit Rachel Hauck by clicking here
3. Visit Lisa Wingate by clicking here
4. Visit Katie Ganshert by clicking here
5. Visit Susan May Warren by clicking here
6. This is the final stop and my word is: WELL.
Once you’ve put together the complete sentence using all six words, enter it below in the Rafflecopter Box for a chance to win!