Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A note for my husband

Since I have no other decent outlet to publicly thank and praise my husband, I'd like to do it here.

We just celebrated our second anniversary yesterday and this is a perfect excuse to thank him, which is something I don't do nearly enough. I have a terrible problem with criticism - not only with him, but with everyone. I'm often a female Scrooge who is able to pick out the worst parts of anyone or anything. You can imagine that he receives the worst of it. He, on the other hand, sees the good in almost everything. He's realistic about the evil and rotten aspects of the world, but he tries whenever he can to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, including me. He gives me breaks I don't deserve. He gives me hugs when I'm rude to him. He encourages me when I'm pouting like a child. He never lets me turn out the light until I've given him a kiss goodnight. He rushes home from work to spend time with me when he could go out with friends. He notices the second I seem sad or upset and is never content until he makes me smile again.

On top of that, he shows our son what it means to be a godly man who takes care of his family and fears the Lord. His number one priority is providing and caring for us. He never complains when he gets home from working sixteen hours straight through the night. He shows strength and perseverance in a workplace filled with temptations and stress. He admits when he's wrong with a humility I've never had. But the best way he honors and mirrors Christ is that he loves me when I'm completely unloveable. I often have those critical, naggy, unpleasant days where I'm constantly pointing out ways I think he could be helping me more or putting him down when I should be building up. I step back at the end of the day and loathe my actions, but I'm shocked every time I look at him and realize he's still looking at me like he did on our first date when he fell in love with me. That puts me in my place better than any amount of criticizing ever could. I don't know why God decided to bless me with such a wonderful human being as my best friend, but I'm forever thankful that He did and I'm forever thankful for you, Andrew Matthews. Happy Anniversary and I love you.

"I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there, you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you."
(Our first dance at our wedding)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"So I'll offer myself and I'll just give until there's nothing else"

I think enough is happening in our lives right now that it calls for a little family update...

Well, my last post was just six days before we found out we are pregnant with our second munchkin! A little female Matthews will be popping out somewhere around January 20th and we are all ecstatic - except Will, who still gives a confused laugh every time I point to my belly and say "baby". Man, is he in for a shock.

In light of the new member of our family, we are moving to a larger house on base this coming Friday. We were happy to be placed in a house with a much nicer, more open layout and right in the area on base we were hoping for. Things have been quite busy and a bit stressful as we prepare for that move, but I'm happy to be dealing with the craziness at five months pregnant rather than nine. Our landlords require a perfectly clean place in order for us to move out, so I've been scrubbing when I can and packing when I'm not scrubbing. It will be a huge relief when that whole process is over!

An enormous blessing we've received recently is friends from our church (who also go way back with my folks) gave us their car for Andrew to drive to work so that I can keep the Elantra during the day. I can't explain how this will change my life and give me such a new sense of freedom. After two years of working around Andrew's unpredictable schedule and turning down opportunities, I can finally leave the house even when Andrew is at work! Wonderful, wonderful thing and we can't thank them enough for their generosity.

On top of moving, we are also gearing up for a three-week trip to Philly in October. It comes at a perfect time for us, especially for Andrew who really needs some time away from work. His opportunities to take leave are so few and far between that we were elated that they granted him such a long period of time to relax and get refreshed. We will also get to celebrate with my best friend, Heidi and her fiance, Eric, at their wedding while we're home. I am honored to be her Matron of Honor (harharhar) and can't wait to spend a day with her that we've talked about since freshman year in high school when we used to giggle incessantly on our beds and wonder what our futures would look like.

Will is growing like a weed, albeit more vertically than horizontally. His almost fourteen-month-old little legs just recently grew out of nine-month sized pants, so he's still teensy. We've discovered a level of defiance in him that I didn't know could exist at such an early age. I thought throwing fits was something that came after a child learns to talk, which is something he shows little interest in apart from his usual "dada" and "mama". Apparently, I was wrong with this one. He still shocks me every time I tell him "no" on something and he bursts into angry tears and starts smacking whatever he's frustrated with - the door, floor, his truck or me. It's mostly so surprising because he's such a sweetheart the rest of the time. He loves to sit on my lap, especially in the evenings, and give me hugs and kisses on the cheek and carry on a one-sided conversation. Sometimes he runs full-speed into my arms, throws his arms around my neck and lays his head on my shoulder like I'm his favorite person in the world. I know his defiance is just a part of growing up and realizing you don't always get what you want. I also know it's better to learn that lesson sooner rather than later, so for now I'll just see it as a good thing and an indication of how advanced he is in his understanding of life - right?

I'm overwhelmed by how blessed I am every day. Of course, I completely take it for granted more often than I ever should and there are times that the smallest thing makes me feel like life is so hard. The coffee maker breaks, I develop a cold while Will is teething, Andrew gets called into work unexpectedly. It sounds especially silly when I type it out. But then something like a conversation with someone at the grocery store or even a commercial on TV reminds me that I have an amazingly wonderful life and the Lord has blessed me with a perfect family. Not perfect, but perfect for me. It's exactly what I need and want and that's more than I could ever ask for. My job is to take care of the people I love and that's what I want to do. God gave me the job I always asked Him for and it's even better than I thought it would be. No job is without challenges and no life is without heartache, but I learn from it every time. And if I haven't learned yet I know I will.