Loving in the Moments


1377265060My husband and I recently celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary, and true to form, we spent it in a tiny NYC hotel room after a day of jostling three young children around the city sightseeing. We're still waiting for the official "anniversary dinner" by ourselves, but it will come when it comes. One of the things that you learn after twelve years of marriage is that you can't save up your love for special occasions. You'd better be loving right now in the moments if you're going to be loving at all. As author Anna Quindlen writes,

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they come to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead no, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.

Marriages are made of these moments, moments--both big and small--that stretch over the course of the days, months, and years we spend together. It's easy to forget this in the midst of the chaos. In the midst of the laundry to be folded, the grass to be mowed, the children to be fed, the beds to be made--it's easy to miss these moments, to rush through them and never really make room for the very people we share them with.

But we must. We must learn to love in the moments. We must learn to love with the kind of love that the Apostle speaks about in I Corinthians 13. A love that is is patient and kind; that does not envy or boast; a love that is not arrogant or rude or insist on its own way; that is not irritable or resentful; a love that doesn't rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Because this kind of love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 

So while, we often want to express our love in one big event, I think that the most dramatic expressions of love are often the ones that happen day to day. Love existing in small, ordinary ways. Love loving in the moments. So today, on this day several weeks after my anniversary, I want to contextualize I Corinthians 13 for the day to day. I've discovered that

Love means waiting patiently for you to finish your work and while I do, finding little ways to serve you each day--making your favorite mac and cheese, simply making the bed; Love means not being jealous when the children think you are the fun parent and not boasting about what I do to take care of you and them; Love means not speaking poorly about you to other people or saying belittling things when we disagree;  Love means letting you have the remote so you can watch the US Open; Love means joyfully tackling the dirty dishes alone because you have to rush away to a meeting after dinner; Love means having the courage to approach you when you are caught in false thinking and rejoicing with you when you have the strength to overcome it; Love means laughing at your corny jokes; Love means believing in your dreams--even if I can't see them; Love means being a place of hope and light when the shadows comes closing in and all you can see is darkness; Love means living a lifetime of moments with you. Until death us do part.